CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte woman says the mover she hired didn’t deliver! But she’s not the only one making that same allegation.
It was going to be a lot to move: couches, desks, shelves-- several offices in fact. That’s why Caroline McCloud wanted help.
“So we were looking for a moving company to maybe come in and help us move our big furniture items that would be too hard for a bunch of ladies at this practice to move,” McCloud recalled.
McCloud did what a lot of people do these days: she turned to Craigslist, hoping to find someone quick and cheap.
“We found a moving company called Strong Arm Movers for $50.00 an hour to come in and help us move. Sounds like a good deal? It was a pretty good deal, it sounded great.”
McCloud says the owner of Strong Arm Movers, Patrice Johnson, dictated a cash deal, no checks or credit accepted, and there was a contract. Everything looked great, the price was right, and the company said they were licensed and insured. The only sticking point was the two-hour booking window, the movers had to be there between ten in the morning and noon, per McCloud’s request, and, she even specified that in the contract.
“And she assured us, ‘no problem; we can definitely be there and would be able to move all the heavy items in two hours’,” said McCloud.
The NBC Charlotte I-Team asked, “So, on moving day, did they show?”
McCloud replied, “They did not. They said they’d be here by 9:30.”
But McCloud says they weren’t there on time, and over the next 90 minutes, there would be text messages and phone calls back and forth. Then at around 11:30, a call from the movers saying they’d be there in 15 min, which left only 15 minutes to move all of these offices.
McCloud says she told them, “There’s no way to do the move in 15 minutes, so please give me my money back,” and McCloud states that the woman replied, “No, that’s a cancellation, and we do not refund money!”
Janine Hagopian also wants her money back; she booked Strong Arm Movers for a job at her house and paid a $195.00 deposit.
Hagopian says, “I didn’t hesitate to give them the money up-front because I had dealt with them before. So I gave them the money and they never showed.”
Hagopian said the first time she encountered these movers, they were very helpful, which is why she called them again.
The owner of strong arm movers, Patrice Johnson, was scheduled to meet with the I-Team here at the TV station. We wanted to ask her about that contract and her no refund policy, but she was a no show and didn’t return our phone calls and text messages.
The I-Team took a close look at the moving contract McCloud gave us, and it doesn’t say anything about refunds or a cancellation policy, but it does clearly state that they are licensed and insured. We checked with the insurance company listed in the contract, the one up in NJ, and spoke to a woman named Kim. She said Strong Arm Movers wasn’t in their database and she hadn’t heard of them.
As for the license? Nope, no license in Mecklenburg County either.
McCloud says she feels ripped off.
“Yes, I do, I feel like this was a set-up and that’s why she wanted cash.”
Hagopian says she probably won’t see her $200.00 back, even though she’d like to have it.
The NBC Charlotte I-Team also plugged this moving company’s name into the Charlotte Better Business Bureau, and found that Strong Arm Movers has an “F” rating.
Experts say if you are going to book a business on the internet, check them carefully and ask for references. Even a simple Google check might be enough to send you running the other way.