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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 89589
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I am writing this question for my friend who doesnt have internet

Customer Question

I am writing this question for my friend who doesn't have internet access right now. She just arrived in OR and her belongings are in transit from CA.
She carefully researched movers, contacted BBB for ratings and reviews. Got 4 in home quotes. I saw the paperwork during this process. Three of the quotes were in the same ballpark. The highest discounted down to the lowest price. She happened to choose that one because of dealing with the same person throughout. Price 3,150 & packing 200=3,350.
On moving day it took 8 hours to load the truck (1 bedroom apt)!! A the END of the day they presented her with a "revised estimate" of 3,900 & packing 1,000 = 4,900.
At this point she SHOULD have called her representative and/or _________(I don't know what).. Instead she said something and the loading guys changed it to 3,700 & packing 644 = 4,344. She paid half in cash since they only take cash or money order. The other half is due on delivery any day now...........OK, I can see several potential mistakes she made. I didn't know about the overcharge until later on moving night....... (1) The original estimate was for CUBIC FEET of 1,000 @ 3.15 each. (10 ft cube) (about 7,000 lb) and packing certain items including packing materials at $200. She has all the emails of their coorespondence....(2) The new "bargain price" of for 1,175 CU FT @ 3.15 and packing materials costing 644.............WHAT CAN SHE DO? She doesn't have the extra $1,000.......
The price includes a month of storage in OR, which she has no intention of using. She needs her stuff so she can start work. I am not including any of my ideas in order to get the best legal response.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Did they actually come to her apartment to give her the price quote or was it all done on the phone?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Her contact with the company came TO her apt and gave original estimate after he carefully inventoried everything......... The things that needed to be packed were listed on some of the estimates, though all had packing around $200. What was packed by them matched the list far as I know........Furniture put into the truck matched the estimate. I personally verified the inventory packed - vs- estimated. The original box count was low because she used smaller boxes (I'm trying to keep minutae down for you. There's more to that as well.)

 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Then she has a claim for breach of contract and likely unfair and deceptive business practices (probably bait and switch as well) which she needs to file with the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit in California. Yes, signing the new bill to change the contract will be something she will have to explain if this goes to court, but the argument is it was signed by coercion because she had to move and they had her in a position that she had no choice. Also, she will have to pay up to get her property, but when she pays she needs to sign and next to her name she needs to put "signed and paid under protest with reservation of all rights to legal action."

Typically, the Attorney General and the BBB can resolve these claims without going to court, but if they cannot she will have to sue for unfair practices and breach of contract in the court to recover her money.


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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 89589
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
Law Educator, Esq. and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

PaulMJD,

Thank you so much. Just knowing how to sign the final papers is priceless. One more question - I would think it's a good idea to try and get the price down by talking to her representative. First, she doesn't HAVE the extra $1,000. Second, he knows he quoted differently. Perhaps they would reduce the packing to what was agreed upon if she paid for the extra space. If they do that does she retain the right to legal action? She has no funds to pay a lawyer either. The move wiped her out.

 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Talking to the representative now is a great idea, but to get her property back she will have to find a way to pay them. If she negotiates, it is reasonable that the packing could be reduced since the representative did see the items to be packed before he gave a price, but it is also reasonable to believe that extra space could have been miscalculated and that could be seen as a reasonable increase in cost. She could retain the right to legal action and does not really need an attorney for this as it could go to small claims in CA (but she would have to travel there to pursue it).

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