Houston family's items stuck in storage after moving company unknowingly increased charges

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, February 23, 2024
Family unable to access belongings after moving company raises charges
A price discrepancy has a family battling with the moving company Vanguard for their belongings left in storage after a move from California to Texas.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston family says they are being denied access to souvenirs, furniture, and clothes in a storage unit after a moving company charged them thousands of dollars more than they agreed to.

The Hubbards told ABC13 they're at their wit's end. After agreeing to pay about $4,000 for a California-to-Texas move, they learned Vanguard, the company they worked with, contracted the job out and are now charging them $7,000 after movers picked their items up.

"He loaded everything on the truck. He shows us this contract, and there's like an extra $4,000, and we're like, 'Wait,'" wife, Jamie Hubbard, said.

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The movers who picked up the items told ABC13 the Hubbards went over the square footage they were allowed, which brought on additional charges. However, the Hubbards said when the movers told them that back in California, they agreed to leave furniture behind.

"There were a few things we had to leave behind because they said it wouldn't fit," Erwin Hubbard said.

Thinking they could work it out with Vanguard, they let the movers take their belongings and head to Texas, but the Hubbards said the drama continued.

The movers showed up days early.

The Hubbards couldn't move the items into the house yet, so the moving company said they could either put it in a nearby storage unit or pay the rest of the moving expenses and get their belongings.

"He said, 'I can't open this truck until you give me $3,983,' and we are like, 'No,'" Jamie Hubbard said.

The items are now sitting in a storage unit. Vanguard told the Hubbards the price discrepancy was an error, but the movers said they had never heard from Vanguard and told ABC13 that they owed them because the Hubbards signed their contract.

"You just feel like you're handcuffed, like you can't do anything," Erwin Hubbard said.

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The Hubbards said if they had known Vanguard was contracting out the work, they would never have worked with them. ABC13 reached out to Vanguard and is waiting to hear back.

To avoid issues with movers, the Department of Motor Vehicles says not to work with a company with an unmarked truck or with too-good-to-be-true prices that rarely work in your favor. They also emphasized seeing a contract before letting the company load your belongings. That's a point the Hubbards and movers disagree on.

The Hubbards said Vanguard failed to notify them of the price increase after everything was loaded, but the movers emphasized they always provide paperwork before loading.

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