Florida Movers Retained $3,000 in Fake Charges. They Then Took A Woman’s Clothes and Furniture and Hid them

Everyone knows moving is a headache, but according to a report, a Florida woman’s move turned into a nightmare after a moving company told her she owed $3,000 more than the agreed upon cost and then fled with her belongings until she paid the inflated bill.

Miami-Dade District Court Judge Michael Barket wrote in his summary judgment for victim Nicolette Gonzalez, who sued the moving company, Thompson Nation Holdings (TNH), also known as Small Move Movers (SMM), and the man who operated it, Shawn Thompson. Miami Herald reported.

According to The Herald, Gonzalez was awarded a total of $7,619.81 in damages.

A staffer for Thompson said he had no comment and his attorney did not respond to an email from The Herald, the source reported.

“TNH and SMM materially breached contract by failing to provide moving services for the price agreed upon in the Binding Moving Estimates from Miami to Gainesville,” Barket’s ruling said, according to The Herald.

“Ultimately, TNH and SMM refused to unload Ms. Gonzalez’s belongings; refused to pay the price reflected in the Signed Binding Estimates; demanded more than four times the agreed price; and took all her belongings to an undisclosed location for weeks. TNH and SMM also failed to comply with the agreed timeframe for the move.”

The saga began in May 2022, when Gonzalez moved from Miami to Gainesville for graduate school and agreed, with a binding estimate, to pay Small Move $1,146 for its services. He also made a deposit of $330.

Small Move states on its website that its employees are drug tested and that customers will not face any “surprise bills” because “unexpected or additional expenses must be approved in advance by the customer,” according to The Herald.

But on move-in day July 23, 2022, not only did the movers arrive an hour late, they also smelled of marijuana, according to the summary judgment.

Thompson later said in a deposition that none of his employees or contractors were “certified, drug tested or background checked,” and did not deny that the movers smelled of marijuana, The Herald reported, citing summary judgment.

A moving truck
A Florida woman’s belongings were detained by her moving company after she refused to pay a $3,000 surcharge.Getty Images

On the day of the move, Gonzalez signed another binding estimate of $1,146, which included labor costs; It took movers about 11 hours to arrive at his new home, about 330 miles away, and it still “smelt of marijuana,” the summary judgment said.

The movers also gave Gonzalez a new invoice “in the amount of $4,389.25 for 25 hours of work … and included fees that were never stated or requested.”

The decision stated that when Gonzalez refused to pay the new bill and said he would only cover the agreed upon amount, the movers “threatened to break all his belongings if he did not pay.”

“Gonzalez then called the police because the movers refused to unload her belongings, but they left with all her belongings before the police arrived, leaving her with nothing but an empty apartment,” the ruling said.

When Small Move contacted the moving company, it demanded not only $4,389.25 but also a “redelivery fee” to get its items back, according to the summary judgment.

“It is also undisputed that Mr. Thompson had a telephone conversation with Ms. Gonzalez shortly after the defendants took it (her belongings), rejected Ms. Gonzalez’s attempt to pay the amounts in the signed binding estimates, and blackmailed Ms. Gonzalez by simply agreeing to it. “Payment of the inflated invoice and the inflated invoice with a discount,” it was stated in the summary of the decision.

Gonzalez had to spend $479 for hotel accommodation and $5,596.38 for clothes and household items.

After filing the lawsuit in August of last year, Barket obtained an order demanding the return of Gonzalez’s property.

“When you get your things [Thompson’s] According to Barket’s decision, some items were missing, damaged and moldy in the warehouse, the Herald reported. “He paid $788.44 for the lost items, which were brand new.”

The Herald also published a list of many other companies registered in Johnson’s name.

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