Movers attempt to hold items ransom while asking for thousands over quote price

A North Carolina-based moving company, Public Moving Services, apparently gave a family a low-estimate over the phone to make a cross-country move, and in turn demanded big bucks to finish the job. (Photo: KATV)

A recent move is described as a mover's nightmare. A North Carolina-based moving company gives a family a low-estimate to make a cross-country move, and in turn demands big bucks to finish the job.

Allison Roberts, a school principal, said she thought she did her due diligence when researching movers to help her family move from Parker, Colorado, to Conway, Arkansas.

"We had five or six estimates, and we picked this particular company because they gave us a really great estimate and they had a good spiel on the phone," said Roberts, the day her movers finally arrived nearly two weeks after her items had been picked up.

Roberts claims a spiel was all it was. The company, Public Moving Services, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, had initially quoted Roberts $8,000 for the 915 mile move. Roberts said that number jumped the day before their items were picked up to $9,100, an amount she paid, trying to complete a quick move.

But it's when a sub-contracted mover, ITX LLC., finally arrived in Conway that Roberts felt taken advantage of. The movers informed Roberts she would have to pay an additional $7,300 in cash for them to unload the truck, or the items stayed with them.

"So what went from roughly $8,500 was up to like $15-16,000," lamented Roberts.

According to a Conway Police incident report, Roberts's husband would block the truck from moving while the couple waited on a court order to demand the truck be opened and unloaded. They ended up hiring new movers to help unload the truck.

Roberts showed KATV a copy of a contract she said she was forced to fill out and sign at 1:30 AM the day the items were picked up from their house in Colorado. She claims workers later filled in the information detailing the additional charges.

KATV contacted Public Moving Services, a company per its website that lists an address at a suburban-Charlotte apartment. A customer service representative told KATV the initial quote was for 2,300 cubic feet, but movers moved 3,500 cubic feet. Charged $4/cubic foot, the customer service representative said other additional charges were for other services rendered. Roberts said those other services were promised to them over the phone.

When the move was completed, Roberts realized nearly a dozen items were damaged during the move. Nearly two dozen items were discovered to not even have arrived.

"So had we paid them the extra money they were demanding, we still wouldn't have had the things that now we're missing," said Roberts. "Almost a third of a truck full of items, and some are irreplaceable family heirlooms."

There are dozens of reviews online, the majority positive for Public Moving Services. But when taking a closer look, many of the positive 5-star reviews for Public Moving Services appear fake and to mask the other 1-star reviews claiming similar "scam-like" stories.

KATV reached out for an official statement from Public Moving Services, told someone would call back, but no one officially returned the call.

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