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Sleeping on air mattresses when movers don't deliver

Couple says they refused to pay when price went up
Maryland movers charged, accused of defrauding more than 900 customers
Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 17:29:14-05

Hundreds of people are moving to Arizona every day. And many are using moving companies to haul their belongings.

But for many intrastate moves, there is no longer a written estimated price or even a list of exactly what's being moved.

It's mostly done by an hourly rate, number of bedrooms and a guess on how long it will take.

Kim McKellar and her husband found out that it can be a real nightmare if things don't go as planned.

They've been sleeping on air mattresses and eating off a card table for weeks, refusing to pay a bill and not getting a delivery.

They moved from Maricopa to Tempe and hired Light Brothers Moving to do it.

Kim says she was upfront about exactly what she had to move.

She says Light Brothers wanted the number of bedrooms, and then worked out a per hour estimate.

They never saw the belongings or listed them.

The estimate was around $875 total for about a seven-hour move.

But Kim says once the movers came, things went very slow.

She says the movers didn't bring a big enough truck and even brought one that was open air.

Kim says "at 12 1/2 hours they had not even removed all of the items. I had to move the remainder the next day by myself."

She says the movers had to make multiple trips.

When everything was finally out of the house, she got a bill.

That $875 estimate was now $1,315.

There are a series of emails back and forth.

Light Brothers is asking repeatedly to deliver.

Kim didn't want to pay the extra money.

As the couple's belongings stayed in storage, the cost of storage went up.

Brandon Light with Light Brothers says "she wasn't ready for us to move her when we got there. They weren't done packing."

He also says "she did have more items than anticipated and had our guys help pack some of her items. Every little thing extra adds time to the move so this is in part why it was longer."

And this is the problem with having no inventory or written contract of what exactly is supposed to be done. It's hard to go back and show proof of an agreement.

Kim says she called police. She says when they came out, they tried to work out a payment deal.

When it didn't happen, she says delivery didn't happen. But it should have.

Arizona statue 44-1613 says in part "a household goods mover may not refuse to deliver or unload a consumer's household goods."

Law enforcement can take possession and payment is worked out later.

Kim still refused to pay and there was no forced delivery.

Light Brothers says they tried repeatedly to deliver and would have done it without demanding payment upfront.

But Kim points to an early text when the mover says "I'm done talking unless you're willing to pay and have us unload."

More than a month later, the movers did deliver without getting paid.

Kim still refused saying the extra charges were not her fault.

She says she now has her own bills after buying items that were missing for weeks.

Light Brothers says they probably won't fight to get that money.

Before you move (not the day of), demand to get a written contract with a total estimated price listed.

Make sure that agreement has an inventory of exactly what is going to be moved.

You also want packing and other costs spelled out or something that says "no packing involved."

It's the only way to protect yourself later.

In an email to us, Light Brothers says in part:

"We do however still do in person estimates as well as video walkthrough estimates. All of the pricing we talked about was agreed on and signed for before we started the job. It did go over the estimated time and that's why I was willing to work with her on the price. I mentioned to her on several occasions that I would pick up and deliver anything that was left free of charge so she could get to what she needed to.

The contract is what is sent to her when we schedule her in the system but it's the same thing she signs when we arrive and start the clock. The inventory was taken but just based off what she told me. Normally it's easy to gauge the move size and length based off how many rooms there are.

Yeah I tried to on multiple occasions get her to give me a day to be there to deliver her items. I guess there was a lack of communication on both of our sides which I am sorry for because this could have been resolved much earlier.

Overall I would like to apologize to Kim McKellar and her family for any stress this move may have caused. It was never our intention to have things happen this way and no matter which way you look at it there was nothing for us to gain from this either."