7On your side: Paying cash to mobile home movers - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7On your side: Paying cash to mobile home movers

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Whether it's home repairs or another costly service-- never pay in cash and never hire someone without a written contract.

A couple from the Topsy area did and now they're paying the price.

"I bought my wife a double wide trailer for Christmas," said Eric Doty.

Doty says he verbally agreed to pay $4000 to have the trailer brought to his land in Topsy Ranch Subdivision. Yet, upon arrival he says the mover demanded another $3000 due to the flood elevation and he wanted cash.

"He said I need the $7000 to pay the hands and to get the blocks so we can come tomorrow and block and level it," said Doty who said he was going to write him a check, but... "He said can you just go to the bank and get cash.  And I said will I have no problem giving you cash if you give me a receipt.

But after giving the cash, Doty says the man took off without giving him a receipt.

"He took the paper he had written the estimate on and said he'd write the receipt on the back.  He went and got in the front seat and drive off," said Doty.

He says the mover said the ground was too soggy and they've gone back and forth for four months.

"Won't return my texts or calls,"laments Doty. 

It's been heartbreaking for his wife Amber, "I'm very upset.  I want to cry about it every day, really."

Carmen Million with the Southwest Louisiana Better Business Bureau says before doing business with someone get reviews and check their rating with the BBB.

"First of all they need to contact law enforcement and notify them that this company took $7000 and they haven't really received the full services. Of course they need to file a complaint with the BBB," said Million.

She advises, always get a detailed contract in writing and give cash or pay up front.

"Even when you build a home you don't pay a third until after the slab is poured. And usually at the completion, closing you'll pay the final third. We never recommend that you pay cash," said Million.

At it stands, Doty's new home sits damaged and deteriorating.  He hopes to find a new job and save enough money to get his new home livable after learning a very costly lesson.

"I don't have any money.  That was all the money that we had and I was thinking I was doing right by getting the house done.  Now that we're completely out of money we don't have the money to pay somebody else.  We're just at a loss," said Doty.

"You want to trust people.  You want to trust people's word of mouth," said Amber.

The BBB also recommends getting at least three bids to compare prices and ask each company for references.  million also says ask for proof that your mover is properly licensed, bonded and insured.
   At this point, Doty is trying to find work as a quality control inspector and hoping that will allow him to eventually save enough money to get their new home properly set up.

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