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B.C. couple felt like they were 'held hostage' by moving company

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A nation-wide moving company that threatened to drive away with a Chilliwack, B.C., couple’s furniture, has compensated the customers nearly $1,000.

In early May, Kim Jans and her husband hired Let’s Get Moving to help them move from South Surrey to their new home in Chilliwack, based on excellent feedback on the company’s website.

“The reviews were absolutely fabulous,” said Jans.

The couple had already moved a lot of their belongings themselves using a U-Haul, and all that was left were about 30 boxes and the heavy furniture from a two-bedroom home.

Jans ordered a 26-foot truck with three workers, for $229 an hour.

But on a moving day, the wrong truck arrived, one Jans figured was too small to fit all of their furniture.

It took another two hours for the right one to arrive.

“In the meantime, they kept loading up the wrong truck, and I kept saying to the workers ‘please stop,'” Jans told CTV News.

Then she said it took the movers about five hours to load the right truck, almost twice as long as she expected.

“I could just see them standing inside the truck, just standing there chatting,” she said.

But the most alarming moment for the couple, came when the movers got to the couple’s new home.

The workers stopped unloading the truck before it was completely empty, and presented the couple with a bill. The grand total read $3,486.53, and was about a $1,000, or four hours more than they anticipated.

She said the movers wouldn’t unload the rest of the furniture, until they paid up.

“When we challenged the bill, they pretty much said, ‘no this is the bill, this is the amount, and you need to pay it, or we're going to drive away with the remaining items that are in the truck,'” Jans recounted.

“They hold you hostage once they get your property in their truck. You are completely held hostage,” she said. The couple felt they had no choice, and paid the bill on the spot.

They filed an official complaint with Let’s Get Moving, and although the company responded almost immediately, they couldn’t agree on compensation.

But when CTV News asked Let’s Get Moving for comment, Jans heard from the owner of the South Surrey franchise a few hours later.

“I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that occurred,” read the email from Daniil Sychev.

He also followed up with a phone call, and offered to refund the couple $961.80 for a move that he agreed “should've been done a little bit faster.”

Jans found him sincere, and accepted the compensation.

Sychev confirmed some movers will be getting more training, and at least one is no longer with the company.

From the head office in Toronto, Let’s Get Moving representatives told CTV News that it is running a good company with excellent service and that “90 per cent of customers are very, very pleased with us.”

They acknowledged that in order to get paid, movers have refused to unload furniture in the past, but that it is not company policy.

“That should never happen,” said customer representative, Kelvin Anil.

What remains is a settlement agreement that customers are asked to sign when they receive compensation.

It states that they are not allowed to say or post any negative comments about Let’s Get Moving or “the customer specifically and IRREVOCABLY agrees to pay the company liquidated damages in the amount of $5,000.”

In the end, Jans did not have to sign.

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