What can I do if a moving company that I used threatened retaliation against me if I don’t withdraw a complaint that I made with the BBB?

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What can I do if a moving company that I used threatened retaliation against me if I don’t withdraw a complaint that I made with the BBB?

Movers who we recently used broke and lost some of our things, and possibly stole items as well. We filed a Better Business Bureau complaint, and the company owner called and threatened retaliation if I don’t withdraw. He says I underpaid because he gave me the move at a very low price. I have a handwritten contract stating the amount he and I agreed that I would pay. It says that I paid him $1200 in cash, owing $550 cash at the end of the move, and I did pay (but no one gave me a receipt). Is there anything I should be worried about legally here? Can he sue me?

Asked on June 12, 2011 under General Practice, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) IF you paid the agreed-upon amount AND can prove it, then they would seem to have no grounds to sue you for nonpayment or breach of contract. Not having a receipt, however, can be problematic, because you have no evidence; it's your word vs. their word. That doesn't mean you'd lose, if they sued you (especially because the burden would be on them, as the party suing, to prove their case), but understand you're not in a particularly good place, not having an proof of payment. In the future, ALWAYS get a receipt, or better yet, pay by check or credit card.

2) "Underpaid because he gave me the move at a very low price" is not something you can be sued for--if the mover agreed to a price and you paid it, that's all they get. (See point 1.) It's their problem if they now feel they should have charged more.

3) If you are making complaints against them that contain factual assertions and those assertions are not provably true, it is *possible* they could try to bring a defamation claim against you.


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