Vega Line Moving denies holding items 'hostage'
The Frys claim moving charges more than double the quote to move from Alberta to Cape Breton
A moving company denies holding a Sydney Mines woman's household goods "hostage" as she claims, in a dispute over the final price for a move from Alberta to Cape Breton.
Darlene Fry and her husband Gordon sold their house in Lac La Biche, Alta., last fall. They needed to return to Sydney Mines, N.S., quickly to care for Fry's 87-year-old mother.
Fry said she found a moving company online that looked professional and was offering a promotion of $1.15 a pound, which sounded reasonable.
Fry said Vega Line Moving and Storage of Richmond, B.C., quoted her a price of between $2,000 and $3,500 to move her things to Cape Breton.
But Fry said when the shipment arrived, the company demanded $7,878.80 before it would deliver the goods.
She said Vega Line told her the shipment was heavier than first thought.
Vega Line Moving told CBC News the shipment contained 136 boxes, or 5,580 pounds, for a total cost of $7965.05, including all fees.
The company said it adjusted the weight to 4,094 pounds, and the charges to $6,000, in an attempt to satisfy the customer.
In an email to CBC, Vega Moving Line said Fry was offered "rescaling" or re-weighing before the goods were shipped and that Fry "said 'don't bother,' just bring my shipment."
The company said it "did everything we could for her to be satisfied ... we did follow the standard procedure and even our contracts show everything clearly under the terms and conditions."
But Fry said she hasn't been able to get the company to send her any of the paperwork to prove that.
"I've been trying to get them to send me the waybills — and they just say it's going to be emailed, but they never email it," says Fry.
"And when I call them now, and start talking to them, they say, 'Just a minute, I'll get someone for you,' and they just leave me on hold and won't come back."
Fry said she managed to talk the company down to $6,500. She said she paid the bill, even though she believes it was still inflated, because the company was threatening to put her things in storage, at a cost of an additional $100 per day.
"It's already a stressful situation when you're moving and I just felt overwhelmed. I just thought, I have to pay and get it in the house, and then deal with them afterwards."
Fry said she thinks a refund of $2,000 would be appropriate.
An official with Vega Line emailed a copy of Fry's waybill to the CBC which says the net weight of the Fry's shipment was 5,580.
The company also said that customers can have their shipments rescaled if they dispute the charges.
Fry said she agreed to do that, but was told rescaling equipment was not available in her area.
Fry said if she had done more research, she would not have hired Vega Lines.
The company gets a rating of "F" from the Better Business Bureau, with more than 80 complaints.