Budget Movers / Careful Carriers

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HOUSTON, TX -- My Fellow Houstonians,

I and many others have been ripped off by the scam artist Anthony Fanelli and his scam moving company. Just google their phone number and you will find many reports (phones used: 832-452-3336, 713-822-2950). Their ads are all over Craigslist, backpage, and other free advertising websites. BEWARE! They keep changing the company name as people recognize them. And at least in one occasion they have changed their phone number. But the same scam is done over and over again. Here is how a typical instance occurs based on my own personal experience and what I found from other people's complaint about this company on this and other websites:

You need to move. You search the internet and find their ad. You call. They give you a quote for ~$200 flat in CASH OR MONEY ORDER ONLY. You accept (please don't!!). They come and start the carefully designed and well practiced plan as follows.
Usually there are 4 people:
- a young white guy, Anthony Fanelli the owner of the company and the mastermind of the scam,
- a young big African-American guy who is the muscle for intimidating you later on,
- and a couple of most likely illegal immigrant workers who will actually do the job and quite possibly don't even get paid by the scam artists.

Anyway, they come and load all your stuff in the truck. Some time during loading Anthony gives you a multi-page contract to sign. You do not read it or do not understand it and end up signing. It is also possible that they downplay the contract or intimidate you to sign it quickly. So you sign it. They finish loading your stuff in the truck and lock its doors. Then they give you an invoice for several times the quoted price. You are surprised. You ask them WTF? They show you the contract you just signed that says they charge you ~$40 a piece for "shrink wrapping" your items, $5 for each foot in excess of 20 ft, so much for stairs, and so forth. And they tell you that if you do not pay them, they will take your stuff to a storage and then you will have to pay for the storage too. They also tell you that they will charge you $100 an hour for each hour you wait before paying them. Simply put: they have taken your stuff hostage and you have to pay the hefty ransom or you will NOT see all your stuff again!

I am warning you! Be careful! They keep changing names and phone numbers but their practice is the same. If you need to move, check Better Business Bureau or somehow get recommendation/reviews before you agree. I would stay away from someone who says they only accept cash unless I have had good reviews on them. And the obvious advice: DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING BEFORE YOU READ IT AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND IT!! I do not know what would have happened if I had read the contract and had said no. Because they gave me the contract when most of my stuff was already loaded. I'm sure they would not just let me go!

Like I said search for yourself and take lesson from other people's misery.

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MSCANTBEWRONG on 09/23/2009:
It's imperative to read all contracts prior to signing them. You should report the company's business practices to your state and local authorities. I'm not sure what can be done since you did sign the shady contract but at least there would be a record of their tactics on file.
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Cheated while Moving
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- It was a traumatic and unnerving moving experience that I will never forget. It started with contacting Budget Movers on Craigslist (The add mentions Careful Carriers) and getting a quote for moving a one bedroom apartment from close to 77082 to 77056, 7-8 miles. The quote given on phone was 125 dollars, a flat rate independent of time taken for move.

The movers from Budget movers showed up and started the move after I signed a 5-6 page contract (without completely understanding all the clauses and reading the fine print). At the end of the move the charge for moving was quoted to be 1150 $ (nearly 10 times the original quote and several times higher than any other moving service charge). There were exceptional clauses in the contract stating that for every foot moved beyond 50 feet from the apartment a 5$ charge would be added. Since the loading truck was parked 202 feet away, this long walk alone cost me 750$. I was taken aback by the charges. The police informed me that it was a civil dispute and that they could not intervene. The movers further informed me that the since the office was closed today non payment would amount to my belongings being put in a storage incurring additional charges.

I wanted to talk to the management and take up this issue further. I decided to let the movers put my belonging into storage and stop negotiations and wait for the Monday morning to get in touch with management. But, after some time I got threatening calls saying I should negotiate other wise my belongings would be sold off.

The next day the movers called me presented me with a proposition which involved them keeping my TV and DVD player and returning the rest of my belongings. When I called back again they said that the charges for delivering all the belongings would be 1625+250 $, 250$ for driving from storage to my apartment. Some time later they refused to deliver my belongings and asked me instead to come to a location north west of Houston with my own transportation arrangement. I found that there was no storage and all my remaining belongings were piled on top of a pick up truck. The movers threatened me to sign a buyer’s agreement saying I was gifting them my DVD player and TV in lieu of the moving cost.

I had to sign the paper and take whatever was remaining of my belongings. Since no inventory list was made I observed that there were several items missing which I could not complaint about. After coming to my apartment I saw that all the boxes had been ransacked and nearly all the electronics was stolen.

This has been an extremely traumatic experience for me. I understand my mistake in singing a document without reading through the fine print, but the following events have been very close to cheating. The company address on the legal agreement could not be traced.

I would to make sure this does not happen with anyone else.
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MSCANTBEWRONG on 08/06/2009:
Good grief...what a horrible experience. You should report this company to the police. They blackmailed and coerced you. I moved from Raleigh NC to Charleston SC and was only charged 1500. Thanks for the post.
Anonymous on 08/06/2009:
So you thought that they would move you for a little over a hundred bucks? Good luck but it sounds like you handled this all wrong. When you are not sure you ask questions and when signing a contact you should read the fine print.
Craigslist? What, you couldn't find a "reputable mover's" number on a street sign?
Doctor Charlie on 08/06/2009:
You need to report all of this to the State's Attorney General's office. Unfortunately, not much hope for it helping you. But, they need to be shut down.
Doctor Charlie on 08/06/2009:
They recently deleted their Craiglist ad.
Doctor Charlie on 08/06/2009:
The phone number listed is a cell phone.
(713) 822-2950
Type: Cell Phone
Provider: New Cingular Wireless Pcs, Lcc
Location: Houston, TX
PepperElf on 08/06/2009:
to be honest the second quote sounds more realistic

when I called multiple companies for a quote on moving the contents of an 8x8x10 storage unit a few hundred miles it was around 1000-2000 dollars
Soaring Consumer on 08/06/2009:
There have been quite a few similar complaints about this company.

You could easily win a small claims case against them for fraud, extortion, theft, and blackmail.
Doctor Charlie on 08/06/2009:
Check out their BBB entries - they have an "F" Rating

BokiBean on 08/06/2009:
I know people don't give the BBB much credit these days, but with a rating like that, I'd steer well clear of them...
ticia232 on 08/07/2009:
I'm with ZZ. If a professional company that you find on Craigslist costs less than any move it yourself company (and yes I am reminded of the U-haul 19.99 rental fee than it charges by the mile and most people end up paying more than what the OP was quoted. (and sometimes ends up above what it cost the OP.) Any repetual company move it yourself just charges a flat rate that is around or above what the OP was quoted) then I would be leary about additional charges and I would have gone over the contract with a fine tooth comb before I signed anything.

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Moving Day
Posted by on
ARLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Careful Carriers moving company Arlington, MA

I scheduled a move from my home in Lexington to Melrose
a month ahead of time, reserving the date with a $100. deposit. I contracted
for 3 men at $135./hr. These were advertised as professional movers. I was
also told that free moving boxes would be delivered to my home a week before the move. I contacted the company to
have moving boxes delivered, and was told that they never promised them, and
would be charging me for boxes. I decided to get them on my own. A few days
before the scheculed move, I was called by the owner, Pat, and told that the men
would arrive between 12:00 and 2:00 on July 2nd, and that she''d call an hour
before they came. On July 2nd, I called her at 1:30, when I still hadn''t heard
from her, and was told that it would be at least a couple of hours more until
they arrived, since they were running late on another job. When I called her at
4:00, I was told that she had heard from the man on the other job that he should
be leaving in a half hour to come to my home, and that she''d call me. At 5:00,
when I still hadn''t heard from her, I called again, and was then told that they
wouldn''t make it that day after all, since they were too tired. I told her
that that was unacceptable and that I expected her to figure out a way to move me out. I was legally obliged to leave my old home by 5:00 that day.
She said that she''d see what she could do and would get back to me. Again, she
never called back, and I called her at 6:00, and it was finally determined, with
the okay by my realtors, that I''d be moved at 6:45 the next morning. At 6:50
the next morning a rental truck and 4 teenagers showed up at my home to move
me, not the professional movers which I was promised. I had no choice by that
time, but to allow them to do the move. They proceeded to spend a good amount
of time looking around for a phillips head screwdriver, asking me if I had one,
and never finding one. The move out took 2 hours. One of the movers spent some
of that time removing an air conditioner from a window, which I told him he
could have, smashing a glass light fixture above it during the removal. He said
he''d clean it up, but was called away to another site, and left it behind for
me to clean. The trip to Melrose took 20 minutes, and the move in to the new house took a little over an hour. I didn''t notice until after the
"kids" were gone that they had scratched my hallway walls moving furniture in.
It will have to be repainted. Professional movers, who I thought I had hired,
would have been more careful. At the end I was given a bill for two hours of
time with 4 movers at $165/hour, and 2 hours of time with 3 men at $135/hour. I
never contracted for four men to begin with, and they sure didn''t do the work
of four men anyway. I noticed after the fact that the amount was added up wrong
on the bill, and I ended up being given 50% off, but still paying $385, plus
another $90 in tips for the three "movers". The only time the owner called me,
as she kept promising she would, was on the morning of the move, probably with
the hope of getting paid. I''ve never felt more ripped off in my life, and I
regret giving them any money in the end. I am pleased to know that my realtors
have put them on the blacklist, and informed all of their agents to make future homebuyers aware of this companies incompetence and lack of
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grandma005 on 07/27/2007:
I would of canceled when they refused to provide the free boxes as promised. If they can't keep promises -then that is an example of things to come. Sometimes it is better to lose your deposit. Next time get all things promised in writing. If you can't trust them in the beginning, how could you trust them to move your furniture?
Anonymous on 07/27/2007:
Granny hit the nail right on the head. You knew up front that they weren't reputable, you should have quit while you were still ahead.
rose007 on 05/01/2012:
Awful Job. Movers put boxes up to the ceiling so I couldn't get to my tv even though I told them not to. Packed boxes in a storage cubby hole which I can't get to. Told that they can't come take them out for another week. I was forced to pay before I found out the boxes in gubby, Also, no boxes were labeled and I can
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Careful carries are scammers
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Hello all -

I have recently employed the services of Careful Carries also known as Budget Movers in Houston, TX. I have never been so disappointed in myself for making such a wrong decision. They offered a flat move rate of $150 for my apartment and were very friendly until they got the furniture loaded onto the truck. But once they got the furniture loaded they gave me a receipt for $1500 and threatened to keep my furniture hostage until I paid in full. Never even think of employing the services of these people. I am about to put sue these people in Small Claims court. If any other victims are interested, I strongly encourage them to do so.
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Anonymous on 07/24/2009:
And you paid their ransom? I'd have shot them.
Soaring Consumer on 07/24/2009:
You should have called the police on the spot. At this point, small claims court is indeed the way to go.
bcd on 07/24/2009:
An honest moving company will always offer a written estimate prior to taking custody of your property.
Anonymous on 07/24/2009:
Not a police matter Soaring.
Anonymous on 07/24/2009:
Something is missing from this story. 150 to 1500? Nah.
Didn't you get a written estimate BEFORE they packed up your stuff?
Soaring Consumer on 07/24/2009:
It could have been a police matter, as the property was being held hostage. Charges could be filed if the property wasn't released. The OP agreed on one quote and the movers were committing extortion and potentially theft.
Anonymous on 07/24/2009:
Nothing in writing. If there was, this wouldn't have happened.
Eloise on 07/24/2009:
ZZ, I'm with you. Something is lost in translation. I have a feeling someone didn't catch that last zero. It would cost more than that to rent the truck. Not to mention the OP apparently didn't call the police. I'd have dialed 911. It would be grand theft. Something is fishy here.
Anonymous on 07/24/2009:
suecarefulcarries on 07/25/2009:
This is the original poster of this thread. Yes I have called the cops not once but twice but they could not do anything about it. The big mistake that I did during the move was to sign a contract which had some additional terms snuck in between. When I spoke to the movers about these additional charges, they said none of those charges apply to me. I took their word for it and signed the contract. As you can guess, once they had the furniture loaded they flip flopped and said you signed the contract so you have to pay. The cops came twice but they left saying its a civil issue and you have deal with it in the court.
suecarefulcarries on 07/25/2009:
Hope you got the complete picture now. FYI, these people have been doing this for years and now came to know that the lead guy by the name Anthony Fanelli changes the company name frequently so avoid bad reviews. They used to go by the name Minuteman movers, Half price movers and now Budget Carriers and Careful Carriers. Pretty soon he is going to change the phone number, business name and ofcourse his name. So please be careful before you sign any kind of contracts with movers. Read it thoroughly, don't take any verbal commitments, document everything in the contract before you sign it. I also came to know that this Anthony Fanelli is a convicted scammer in Harris County and now is on probation.
Soaring Consumer on 07/25/2009:
Thanks for coming back and filling us in. Next time read the contract thoroughly and if it seems suspicious don't sign it or make sure they write on it that the charges do not apply to you.

Please let us know how it goes in small claims. Good luck.
Eloise on 07/25/2009:
As with most things in life if it seems to good to be true it probably is! A hard lesson learned.
Sharif890 on 07/31/2009:
Today (July 31, 09), I've been burnt by the same moving company. They provided me with a quote for $200 and ended up providing me with a bill over $2200. By the time I ended up paying and thereby releasing my stuff, I had to pay $2470 (sounds riddiculous, but it's true). I'd certainly like to take action againsts these guys, so if you (suecarefulcarries) are interested to team up, then please do let me know.
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False Advertising
Posted by on
CYPRESS, TEXAS -- Careful Carriers of Houston, located in Cypress Texas turned out not to be as advertised. Their web page says "We offer flat rates! No hidden charges!!! No trip charges!!!
THEY LIED!!!!!!!!!!! They offered me a flat rate of $199 for the move of one bedroom of furniture from my house to my daughter-in-laws house. Once the truck was loaded they said that it would cost $60.00 more than what was quoted for the trip fee and that the fee would change when they got to the apartment. We refused and wanted them to unload the funiture and they closed and locked the truck and just sat there holding the furniture hostage until we came up with $60 more dollars. Oh, and it's all cash so there is no record of it. This is a very DISREPUTABLE company.
My daughter-in-law just called and they are charging her $100 dollars to get carry her furniture up the stairs and if she doesn't give it to them they will leave the furniture at the curb. So this one bedroom of furniture is now going from the quoted "flat rate" of $199 to $360.
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Anonymous on 07/11/2009:
Sounds like they're extorting and pocketing the money. I would have called the police as soon as they locked up my belongings in their truck.
BokiBean on 07/11/2009:
Hostage movers. They are getting to be a terrible problem.

You might list your complaint on movingscam.com too. They have helpful links for the consumer who has been hit by a hostage mover, and can tell you where else to complain about them.
Principissa on 07/11/2009:
I would have called the cops as soon as they refused to remove my belongings from the truck. They had no right to charge you extra after you were quoted another price. It sounds like they just wanted to pocket the money.
yoke on 07/11/2009:
If you had it in writing that it was a flat rate of $199 I would have called the police. Did you have it in writing?
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Rude Worker from Careful Carriers in Houston, TX
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- We used Careful Carriers moving service today, and we are very unhappy with the attitude of one of their workers. The job was completed in Bridgeland in Cypress on Sunday afternoon (June 28) between 5-6PM. The rude worker is short and fat compared to the other two workers and can be distinguished by the large tattoos on his big belly. This worker complained throughout the job and presented a very rude demeanor to us, the customers. He was very careless with our furniture, thereby causing some damage to our much-valued leather coach. He was insistent on leaving the job site before we have determined that the job was completely done. It is up to the customer to determine when a job is done, and not by a rude worker.

We highly recommend that the company get rid of this worker, as he projected the worst customer service we've ever experienced in a moving service. Although we have need for moving service, we do NOT intend to use their service ever again.

Very Unhappy Customers
Cypress, TX 77433
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Skye on 06/28/2009:
I get the feeling you didn't like that one guy, because, as you say, he was "short and fat".
Anonymous on 06/28/2009:
Leather coach?
Anonymous on 06/28/2009:
I think she was just trying to describe the worker to the company so they would get the right one, Skye. The fact that they were exposed to belly tattoos by a "professional" is a little disgusting in itself. Who needs to be confronted by that?

Leather couches can be expensive so I don't blame you for being angry, eseraphin. I have had movers like this before. They actually complain that something is heavy--and, gee, I thought I had hired "movers". I wouldn't use any company like that again either. Sounds very unprofessional. People in Houston take note.
BokiBean on 06/28/2009:
Wouldn't it be easier just to call them?
Anonymous on 06/28/2009:
Boki, when you call, you have no written record of your complaint. Moving is expensive. If I'm paying, I want them to at least be professional, do their job and not cause unneeded damage to my stuff. I think that's all most people would want. The guy should at least be told to stop complaining and cover up (ick).
jktshff1 on 06/29/2009:
good points kia
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