Couple gets nasty surprise during move

Nina Pineda reports on a couple who were surprised by extra moving fees, and offers tips on how to avoid a similar situation.
Alisha and Red Martinez were furious after they said a moving company demanded five times more than an initial agreement stated after their furniture was loaded onto the moving truck.

"I was so pissed off I was so mad I even told him not to pay," said Alisha Martinez, who hired moving company

The retired couple said that only after the contents of their three-bedroom apartment on New York's East Side was loaded onto trucks on moving day were they told pay $5,000 in cash or else. The sum was five times more than an initial binding agreement of $1,035 showed.

Martinez said the movers threatened not to move the furniture to the storage space unless they received the money, so the couple got the cash together and paid up at the storage unit in New Jersey.

"At that point, I had no choice," she said.

But the Martinez's mover, Excel Moving, disagrees, saying the couple had a choice to cancel on their move day.

"We actually refused the move in New York City because when the guys got there, there was one truck and three men and once they opened the door, they were overwhelmed," said Anthony DelGuidice, owner Excel Carriers, LLC.

Although the Martinezes got a binding estimate from the mover, the couple did it over the phone instead of in person. As a result, the mover said the couple underestimated the amount of items to move.

It was close to 100 boxes, but the original invoice said 20. DelGuidice said during the move, his foreman properly itemized additional charges, which included another truck and six more men and packing services. The new signed contract, a bill of lading, supersedes the original estimate.

The moving company said the couple signed off on the change before the move.

The company does not owe the couple, but as a courtesy DelGuidice agreed to give the couple a $1,000 refund and $600 once the couple returns the moving blankets.

"To end on a good note, I don't want to fight with 70- year- old people," DelGuidice said.

The couple said they were grateful for the refund. "We got $1,600 which was not expected. We were giving up!" said DelGuidice.

HELPFUL MOVING TIPS FROM 7 ON YOUR SIDE:


-- Get three estimates in writing from movers. Make sure they're binding - and get them done in person.
-- Check for licensing and insurance. Make sure the mover you're using is licensed either by the state or federally if you're moving out of state. And get a copy of its insurance certificate.
-- Read the fine print. And - most importantly before you sign - read the fine print. The devil's in the details when it comes to the contract with the mover.
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business new york city consumer consumer concerns new jersey 7 On Your Side New York City Upper East Side
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