My Fellow Houstonians,
I and many others have been ripped off by the scam artist Anthony Fanelli and his scam moving company. Just google their phone number and you will find many reports (phones used: 832-452-3336, 713-822-2950). Their ads are all over craigslist, backpage, and other free advertising websites. BEWARE! They keep changing the company name as people recognize them. And at least in one occasion they have changed their phone number. But the same scam is done over and over again. Here is how a typical instance occurs based on my own personal experience and what I found from other people's complaint about this company on this and other websites:
You need to move. You search the internet and find their ad. You call. They give you a quote for ~$200 flat in CASH OR MONEY ORDER ONLY. You accept (please don't!!). They come and start the carefully designed and well practiced plan as follows.
Usually there are 4 people:
- a young white guy, Anthony Fanelli the owner of the company and the mastermind of the scam,
- a young big African-American guy who is the muscle for intimidating you later on,
- and a couple of most likely illegal immigrant workers who will actually do the job and quite possibly don't even get paid by the scam artists.
Anyway, they come and load all your stuff in the truck. Some time during loading Anthony gives you a multi-page contract to sign. You do not read it or do not understand it and end up signing. It is also possible that they downplay the contract or intimidate you to sign it quickly. So you sign it. They finish loading your stuff in the truck and lock its doors. Then they give you an invoice for several times the quoted price. You are surprised. You ask them WTF? They show you the contract you just signed that says they charge you ~$40 a piece for "shrink wrapping" your items, $5 for each foot in excess of 20 ft, so much for stairs, and so forth. And they tell you that if you do not pay them, they will take your stuff to a storage and then you will have to pay for the storage too. They also tell you that they will charge you $100 an hour for each hour you wait before paying them. Simply put: they have taken your stuff hostage and you have to pay the hefty ransom or you will NOT see all your stuff again!
I am warning you! Be careful! They keep changing names and phone numbers but their practice is the same. If you need to move, check Better Business Bureau or somehow get recommendation/reviews before you agree. I would stay away from someone who says they only accept cash unless I have had good reviews on them. And the obvious advice: DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING BEFORE YOU READ IT AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND IT!! I do not know what would have happened if I had read the contract and had said no. Because they gave me the contract when most of my stuff was already loaded. I'm sure they would not just let me go!
Like I said search for yourself and take lesson from other people's misery.