Movers damage yard, leave customer with repair bill
Posted February 13, 2013
Anytime you hire movers, you know things won't be perfect. That's just the way it is.
But when your yard is torn up and your well is smashed by the truck, you expect the company to fix it.
Sharon Mollender contacted 5 On Your Side after she hired Do's and Dont's of Moving last October to take her belongings from Durham to her new home in Raleigh.
Mollender found the company's ad on Craigslist. It boasts they're "one of the most trusted companies serving North Carolina" and promises a 100 percent Customer Satisfaction Guarantee.
Mollender called owner Genevieva Salas, and asked the important questions. "I said are you insured? And she said "yes"... and bonded? ... "yes"... Licensed? "yes."
Mollender says the packing went fine; the problems came with the delivery.
The movers tried to back up to the front door, across her yard, to unload. The ground was soft and they got stuck. While struggling to move out, they ripped the top off of Mollender's well.
"There was water just shooting out of my well and there was mud all over," she described.
And it was 1 a.m., when the move wrapped up.
The crew called Salas, who came out right away. Mollender said she was crying. "She said, 'This is all I need.'"
Mollender says Salas signed a note acknowledging she'd pay for repairs. "She promised and promised she was going to take care of it."
So that night, Mollender went ahead and paid the $915 moving bill, plus gave the crew a $185 tip. The emergency and permanent fixes totaled more than $1,600.
Mollender kept trying to get a hold of Salas. When they finally talked, Mollender says she heard excuse after excuse.
"She said, 'Well, we're not going to cover it. It's water damage.' and 'you shouldn't have let them drive in your front yard.'" Mollendar said. "She just eventually said, 'I can't come up with the money.'"
5 On Your Side found out Genevieva Salas is operating illegally.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission, which regulates movers, has repeatedly warned Salas to stop. Spokeswoman Carol Stahl told us so far Salas has not been reported to the State Highway Patrol because of limited staffing and resources, and because officers can only cite her if they catch her doing an illegal move.
Stahl added that because Salas uses rental trucks, her moves are difficult to track.
In our search, 5 On Your Side also found Salas was convicted on theft charges in 2011 and that Do's and Dont's has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Salas agreed to meet with us, twice, but canceled both times. Over the phone, she said she doesn't feel she should be responsible for the entire bill.
Mollender wants her money back. And just as important, she says, "I don't want her to do this to somebody else."