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Buyer beware: Family experiences moving nightmare as they come to Lynchburg

The contract between the McGinniss family and Public Moving Services (Photo: Kari Beal)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- For the last two weeks Kara McGinniss and her family have been sleeping on air mattresses in their new home in Lynchburg.

“She cries almost every night because she wants her bed,” McGinniss said of her daughter who is now in Kindergarten.

She recently moved to Lynchburg from Pennsylvania with her husband and three children who range in age from five-months to five-years-old.

They hired workers from the company Public Moving Services to help move their items because they say their son has a seizure disorder and they knew they’d be busy caring for him.

“It was supposed to save stress for me, but it actually just made it worse,” McGinniss said.

That’s because instead of the one to five business day estimate they thought it would take for their items to be delivered, it’s now been 16 days.

Recently, they read the fine print of their contract.

“We guarantee delivery within 30 business days of the first date available,” McGinniss read from the fine print. She explains that they were never verbally told this and when her husband was signing the papers everything was already loaded in the truck. “Technically, it says 30 business days so isn’t that more like six weeks.”

And that was only the start of their headache, because initially they were estimated for $4,532.85, but then, they say, that priced surged.

“They called me the day before {moving} and he wanted to know specifically, does your husband have tools? I said 'yeah,' I told Carl that, he said well how many tools? He then said that is more space and then he said well what about rakes and shovels and things? I said yes, and he said well that is more space so I have to add that on,” McGinniss said.

Their new estimate came to $7,439.

McGinniss said that estimate changed again when the movers arrived on August 9 in person.

“The truck driver said there is way more stuff here than you have purchased space for so it is going to be well over $10,000,” McGinniss said.

The family knew they couldn’t afford that so they told the movers to fit what they could for the quoted $7,439 price and they would move the rest themselves.

“Who would knowingly pay about $8,000 for movers who aren’t going to give your stuff until six weeks later,” McGinniss said.

A customer service representative for Public Moving Service Company said a manager would call back after a request for comment, but as they day went on, no one called. Then no one answered the phone at the business after a second and third call.

“This is ridiculous, they shouldn’t be able to do it,” McGinniss said. “Even if they are not doing anything illegal they are definitely taking advantage and being dishonest. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it.”

The Better Business Bureau said they found some shocking information about this company. They said Public Moving Services is doing business as Your Moving Company LLC and in less than four months of doing business, they've had 39 complaints.

The BBB said this is basically unheard of and the company has an F rating, which is the lowest a business can get.

The McGinniss' found the company just searching the internet. The Better Business Bureau recommends people always get written estimates and make sure someone comes in person to make those estimates.

They say a person should never take an estimate over the phone and also suggest that people do their homework on a company and search on the BBB website for reviews.

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