If I have a payment dispute with a moving company, how doI get my personal items released?

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If I have a payment dispute with a moving company, how doI get my personal items released?

Movers came to my house and discussed all the terms that we agreed to over the phone. They asked me to sign a contract, however, I was in a rush and could not read it. They told me that it was just to protect themselves for any damage. However, there was a clause providing for $90 per item to wrap in plastic (never requested). They wrapped every single item despite my resistance. They said that they have to follow company guidelines. The move is inner city move – 8 miles and they tool around 4 hours to complete the job. Now they are demanding $3,000 (original demand was $5200). They are holding my stuff “hostage” until they are paid.

Asked on January 15, 2011 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem and I think that you already know what is coming: you signed the agreementand did not read the fine print.  You are going to be held to its terms and negotiating a lesser amount may be the best thing.  But no one can really tell you what is what without reading the contract on your behalf.  Holding your things hostage, though, is no the appropriate remedy for the moving company.  Are they licensed in the state?  Then I would call the state agency that licenses movers and I would call the state Attorney General's office and file a complaint.  Legally they could possibly be sued for conversion of the property and you can consult with an attorney about that should you get no help from the other agencies.  Good luck.


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