B.C. movers sue and win, but court still finds they overcharged | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. movers sue and win, but court still finds they overcharged

Image Credit: TWITTER: 2 Burley Men Moving

A B.C. small claims court has found that a moving company that threatened a client with a $300-a-day storage charge if they didn't pay the bill, isn't entitled to the full amount it billed.

The case involves 2 Burley Men Moving who moved Lucero Bermeo's belongings from Vancouver to Edmonton in November 2021.

According to a Feb. 13 B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, Bermeo signed a contract that the move would cost $1,079 provided her belonging weighed less than 1,000 pounds.

"Bermeo says that Burley said her goods likely weighed less than 1,000 pounds based on her description of them. I accept this as the contract below shows the parties proceeded on this assumption," the Tribunal said.

However, when Bermeo's belongings arrived in Edmonton a week early 2 Burley Men Moving said the price was now about $1,600 as her belongings weighed over 1,000 pounds.

"And that if she did not accept the goods and pay Burley, she would be charged $300 per day for storage," the Tribunal said.

The Tribunal found that text messages between Bermeo and the driver confirmed this.

2 Burley Men Moving is a familiar face in the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal and regularly goes after customers in the online small claims court. This is their fourth appearance in the small claims court this year alone and in 2022 the company took 22 customers to court over unpaid bills and was sued by three customers. It also had half a dozen cases in the B.C. Provincial Court small claims division.

In a recent case, the company was sued by a couple after it charged for eight hours of travel time for a one-kilometre move. It lost the case and was ordered to pay back $1,200

READ MORE: B.C. mover sued after billing for 8 hours travel for 1 kilometre move

In this case, Bermeo ultimately paid the $1,618 bill.

However, some time afterwards she contacted her credit card company which charged back the amount.

2 Burley Men Moving then took her to the online small claims court in order to get the $1,618.

In the decision, the Tribunal weighed up whether 2 Burley Men Moving had overcharged their client.

"Ms. Bermeo signed a written contract so I find it was binding," the Tribunal said. "I find that Burley agreed to move Ms. Bermeo’s belongings for $1,076.25, provided her items weighed 1,000 pounds or less... I also find the parties agreed Ms. Bermeo would pay a reasonable extra amount to move goods in excess of the weight limit."

The Tribunal notes that the written contract does not specify a rate per pound or another formula to calculate the final price.

The Tribunal looked at the evidence submitted by 2 Burley Men Moving as to how much the belongings weighed.

"Burley wrote that the goods weighed 1,543 pounds and wrote a final price of $1,618.25 on the contract," the Tribunal said.

READ MORE: Litigious B.C. movers sue customer for $800; ordered to pay $1,800

The decision said 2 Burley Men Moving provided a weigh scale slip as evidence.

"However, I find that overall, the slip does not support Burley’s submissions," the Tribunal ruled.

The Tribunal said the slip didn't include a date to show that the weight station staff created it in connection with Bermeo’s shipment.

The Tribunal went on to criticize the paperwork 2 Burley Men Moving had submitted as evidence.

"The slip shows that Burley’s truck had an entry weight of '5,968,' presumably in kilograms. It shows another weight of 10,260 kilograms. There is nothing to show how a reasonable person could conclude from the slip that Ms. Bermeo’s goods weighed 1,543 pounds," the Tribunal ruled. "Burley did not elaborate on the slip in submissions.

"Given this, I find it unproven Ms. Bermeo’s goods weighed over 1,000 pounds," the Tribunal ruled.

Ultimately, the Tribunal ruled that Bermeo pay 2 Burley Men Moving the agreed amount on the contract of $1,076, but not the $1,618 they were after.

Bermeo will also have to pay the company fees of $125 and $17 in interest.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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