TULSA, Okla. — A family from Minnesota dreamed of the day they would move to Oklahoma, but 2News Oklahoma found out their move turned into a nightmare.
Weeks after moving from Minneapolis to Broken Arrow, most rooms in Ya Vang's new home, were bare, "I'm very angry, I cannot sleep, I cannot work."
Vang and her family moved to Oklahoma to escape the Minnesota winters, to be closer to their relatives, and to open a daycare. "I'm good with kids, I love kids, I've been doing it for 17 years."
The move though, Vang says, ran into trouble almost before it began. The company, which she found on-line, quoted her $2580 for the move. They emailed her the contract. But when they arrived to load up, Ya says they jacked the price up to $4700.
"I said I disagree, that's too much I cannot pay, but they said 'we already have your stuff in our truck, what do you want us to do now?'" Vang said.
Feeling cornered, she agreed to pay the extra $1720 by check.Then, she said when the truck finally arrived in Broken Arrow several weeks late, on a holiday, the driver wouldn't unload or accept her cashier's check for the balance due, as was requested earlier.
Vang says in a mean-spirited way, they said they wanted a postal money order instead, which, she couldn't get until the next day, since the post office wasn't open on a holiday. And for that, she would be charged another $800, for the overnight delay.
She refused to pay that $800. She felt everything they owned, was seemingly held hostage in that truck. Family photos, life insurance policies, items to open her daycare.That's when she says the movers took their belongings to a Chicago warehouse, and eventually, Vang was told they'd be auctioned off.
"I said, please don't do that, don't do that, that's my life, everything I have, I was scared."
After she contacted the Problem Solvers several days later, 2 News touched base with the company, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees and investigates interstate movers. She says after that, it wasn't long until their tone changed. "They responded very friendly, very calm to us, that's amazing."
After working out a compromise on the balance due, Vang's belongings were finally delivered.
"I'm just so grateful, my husband and I, we just jumped for joy, and tears, we were on knees."
As they unpack those boxes, they promise themselves not to move again, for many years, and keep calling Broken Arrow, home.
Since moving can be expensive, it's important to get all agreements in writing, and understand all the fine print, getting help to do that, if necessary. Here's more information you need to know.
- The FMCSA says movers can charge for an overnight delay, but that needs to be stated in the contract.
- They can also require certain types of payment, such as check, money order, or even cash, but again, must be stated in the contract
- If you do pay cash, absolutely make sure you get a receipt.
What do you need to know about hiring a mover?
- Be careful if they refuse to do an in-person, in-home cost estimate, and be wary of seemingly too good to be true low-ball estimates.
- Experts say first determine what you need. Are you leaving the house as is for movers to pack and transfer, or do you just need help with a few heavy items.
- Shop around. Prices can vary widely. Try to get 3 to 5 estimates.
- Get everything in writing and be sure to read the fine print about extra services and add-ons.
- And look beyond the price. The least expensive mover may end up being the best for you, but price shouldn't be the only criteria.
- Check reviews and with websites like the Better Business Bureau.
WATCH THE FULL STORY MONDAY NIGHT ON 2 NEWS OKLAHOMA
Contact the Problem Solvers:
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --