5 On Your Side

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.'"

5 on your side Movers damage yard, leave customer with repair bill

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."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • superman Feb 19, 2013

    She is not likely to get much if anything if she sues. Filing a small claims case cost about $350 and you cant get money out of a turnip. Dont understand all the damage they did and she gave them a tip. She should get someone next time to help you with any contracts.

  • mandrew7 Feb 19, 2013

    The sad thing is that this company continues to advertise freely on craigslist every day. It seems like the utility commission or other powers that be would be able to set up a sting to put this woman out of business. If the problem is that they cannot catch her in the act, it does not seem like it would be too hard to do that.


  • oleguy Feb 15, 2013

    Just remember, the three types of work, Good ,, Fast,, Cheap.
    You can get any type or Level,,, When you start to combine the types Look out,, If its good, it will not be fast and cheap.
    If it fast and cheap it will not be good..
    If you want good and cheap it will not be fast,
    You can carry this on but you get the drift.

  • Scubagirl Feb 15, 2013

    I wouldn't look for ANYTHING on Craigs list...

  • Stormy13 Feb 14, 2013

    First of all, Craig's List is NOT the place to look for a mover. Check with the Consumer Protection Division of the AG's office and also the Better Business Bureau. They can't recommend one business over another but they can tell you what their ratings are. Good luck to this lady getting ANY money back without taking Ms. Salas to court.

  • superman Feb 14, 2013

    I wouldnt look on Craigs list for a mover. Many people who advertise there are just "jack legs" People are always trying to find the best and cheapest price. Sometimes it is better to pay more and have a job done right. I have a company that does all my repairs-painting/construction. Never even get a second estimate. I pay what he charges and he does everything possible to please me and get the job done. We dont haggle on the price and he doesnt haggle on what I want done--even if it is extra. You always come across something that needs to be done that neither one of us anticipate. Everything we find extra he does without extra pay. I tip each worker $20 each day they work. Keep them happy and they they bend over backwards to do a terrific job. If you hire someone you should at least check the BBB if you dont know anything about them.

  • tarheelgrad1998 Feb 14, 2013

    She asked all the right questions...to the wrong person. What do you expect them to say?

    And I agree, to still tip after all of that??? Crazy.

  • Terkel Feb 14, 2013

    I was thinking the same thing about the tip, wow. For any move, I make sure I have plenty of McD's coffee, juice, breakfast biscuits, etc., and I have them sit and eat - on the clock - for 15 minutes. I want everyone fed, coffee'd up, and happy, and let's face it, these days especially you don't know if they ate that morning. At the end, if it's a local move, maybe I'm cheap, but I give $20 to everyone and twice that to the lead.

    OK, back to this. Why didn't the Commission put this woman out of business? I just had the same slap-on-the-wrist-in-the-crony's-favor treatment by the Real Estate Commission. Why have these so-called commissions if they WON'T do anything to protect us?


  • airbornemonty Feb 14, 2013

    She should have gotten a hint when she saw the name of the moving company, "Do's and Dont's. They Do screw up and they Don't pay up when they do.

  • baracus Feb 14, 2013

    I feel bad about what happened to this lady, but that moving crew must have been awesome to have earned a 20% tip even after trashing her yard and damaging her well.