If they have not performed as agreed unde the contract, you can sue them for breach of contract. The problem many people run into with movers is exactly what you are running into, the movers hold the person's belongings hostage and charge a higher fee, sometimes as much as double to deliver and unload. They quote a low moving rate initially and then they up the fee once they have packed and loaded the items and begin the move. They blame it on higher gas charges, more weight than was anticipated on the trucks, miscalculations, etc. and know they have the owner over a barrel because they need their belongings. The movers figure they are states away and the owner will just write it off to experience and never make the trip back to sue them for breach of contract. In most cases they are right and that is why they continue to do this to people.
Depending on the amount of the claim, it might be worth looking into hiring a lawyer in the old state to sue them on your behalf. Document all damages, overcharges and anything else that will show their negligence and incompetence. Keep a daily journal of your conversations with the company for evidence and then make the decision whether you want to let them get away with it or sue them.
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What I mean if if it is a relatively small amount, say $1000-1500 it may not be worth your time and trouble to pursue it once you hire an attorney to pursue it. If your damages, extra moving costs, storage expenses, etc. are, say $2500 or more it may be worth your time to sue them. If you have any plans to return to the old state and want to pursue it without an attorney in small claims court, it would decrease your legal costs (attorney fees) and you may well want to pursue suing them.
In some cases, you will be entitled by law to recover attorney's fees. In those cases, you may be able to get a lawyer to represent you and charge you a contingency fee; that is, charge you a fee only if you win. In such cases, this can open up other courts to you which you otherwise may not be able to use effectively without a lawyer representing you. Even in small claims court, a lawyer can often increase your chance of winning or advise you of opportunities to collect additional damages. For example, in certain consumer and landlord tenant disputes you can recover three times your damages. A local attorney may be able to advise you about these particular state laws.
To find an attorney to assist you, talk with relatives and friends to see who they recommend. You may want to contact local referral services, or call the Texas State Bar referral service at 1-800-252-9690. Low income individuals may also be eligible for free legal assistance from local legal service offices or law school clinic programs.
If the amount involved is significant, or if you are not comfortable representing yourself, the assistance of an attorney may be a good idea. In other cases, you should be able to competently represent yourself in small claims court.
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