It was a traumatic and unnerving moving experience that I will never forget. It started with contacting Budget Movers on Craigslist (The add mentions Careful Carriers) and getting a quote for moving a one bedroom apartment from close to 77082 to 77056, 7-8 miles. The quote given on phone was 125 dollars, a flat rate independent of time taken for move.
The movers from Budget movers showed up and started the move after I signed a 5-6 page contract (without completely understanding all the clauses and reading the fine print). At the end of the move the charge for moving was quoted to be 1150 $ (nearly 10 times the original quote and several times higher than any other moving service charge). There were exceptional clauses in the contract stating that for every foot moved beyond 50 feet from the apartment a 5$ charge would be added. Since the loading truck was parked 202 feet away, this long walk alone cost me 750$. I was taken aback by the charges. The police informed me that it was a civil dispute and that they could not intervene. The movers further informed me that the since the office was closed today non payment would amount to my belongings being put in a storage incurring additional charges.
I wanted to talk to the management and take up this issue further. I decided to let the movers put my belonging into storage and stop negotiations and wait for the Monday morning to get in touch with management. But, after some time I got threatening calls saying I should negotiate other wise my belongings would be sold off.
The next day the movers called me presented me with a proposition which involved them keeping my 42 inch LCD TV and DVD player and returning the rest of my belongings. When I called back again they said that the charges for delivering all the belongings would be 1625+250 $, 250$ for driving from storage to my apartment. Some time later they refused to deliver my belongings and asked me instead to come to a location north west of Houston with my own transportation arrangement. I found that there was no storage and all my remaining belongings were piled on top of a pick up truck. The movers threatened me to sign a buyer's agreement saying I was gifting them my DVD player and TV in lieu of the moving cost.
I had to sign the paper and take whatever was remaining of my belongings. Since no inventory list was made I observed that there were several items missing which I could not complaint about. After coming to my apartment I saw that all the boxes had been ransacked and nearly all the electronics was stolen.
This has been an extremely traumatic experience for me. I understand my mistake in singing a document without reading through the fine print, but the following events have been very close to extortion and robbery. The company address on the legal agreement could not be traced.
I would to make sure this does not happen with anyone else.
The person whom I contacted was Steven Hawker and the company was Budget Movers/ Careful Carriers.