Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Florida

Q: Can I sue a Moving Broker for deceptively misleading me and withholding my deposit of $700.

The Broker assured me the space available (291cf) on the moving truck would fit my (12 furniture items). On the day of the move the Movers stated I did not have enough space and would need to purchase more (600 CF). The broker was asked if I had a sufficient amount of space prior to signing the agreement. The transaction that transpired the day of my move was a bait and switch, costing additional funds to personally move my items. The movers never touched or moved any furniture yet my broker states I cannot get a refund of my $700 deposit.

I called the broker to advise him of all the confusion he had caused and was told advising the customer that the Final price of their move is determined by the moving company upon review of my items and the price would change if the items were larger was not something he needed to tell the customer.

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: The broker's liability mainly depends on the written contract terms. If your dispute is over $700, I suggest you first contact a government agency handling consumer complaints, such as the Fla. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services and/or your county's consumer protection office, if it has one. Your contract with the broker, in addition to possibly limiting their liability, might have language regarding procedures and venues for resolving such a dispute, and one thing to look out for is if the contract has an attorney's fees clause with a potential award of fees to the broker if it prevails in a lawsuit (in court) or in an arbitration proceeding (if the contract calls for arbitration instead of lawsuit for bringing a claim). That would create a risk for you if you file a lawsuit or arbitration claim without being certain of its outcome.

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