Moving company accused of emptying woman's bank account - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Moving company accused of emptying woman's bank account

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

We've all had points in our lives where we feel things can't get any worse, but few have had as many hits as the woman you're about to meet.

Struggling with health issues and already coping with financial strain, she says a moving company cleaned out her bank account with unauthorized charges.

She says she was getting no response until she called Help Me Hayley.

"Last year, I started getting really sick," said Melissa Tomlinson.

Sometimes life truly is not fair.

"They told me I had lung disease which was a shock," she said. I ran marathons for 10 years."

She's also never smoked.

"They called it a fluke," she said.

The diagnosis was so devastating, Melissa could no longer work. She packed up her son and home, moving from southern Idaho to Spokane County to be with family.

"I felt like this was the lowest I've ever been," she said.

Moves are always stressful, but Melissa says this one was a nightmare.

"I get here, return everything, and they suddenly start clearing out my bank account," she said.

Melissa provided records showing she took care of her bill with U-Haul.

"This is the initial amount. I paid that in full on the second of June," she said. "That was it. It should be over."

But it wasn't. In fact, Melissa said she then got an invoice for a return that occurred in Salt Lake City. She said she was told she still owed hundreds.

"I've never been in Utah in my life," she said.

She even showed us a doctor's note proving she was in Spokane the day she supposedly earned this new charge.

"I don't know how i could have been in two places at one time," she said.

And she claims the hits just kept coming.

"Then they tell me, if I don't (pay the bill), it may be sent to collections agency or an attorney to secure payment," she said. "Eleven days later, they emptied my bank account for the first time."

Melissa said she tried everything to get in touch with U-Haul to straighten out the mess.

"No one had responded," she said. "Not a single person. I left multiple messages."

So she called Hayley Guenthner, and Hayley got right to it, reaching out to the company's media relations team.

"After (Hayley) got involved, all the sudden someone was responding," she said.

And not only that, but also finally making it right with a refund.

"I never would have received a resolution if you would not have responded," Melissa said. "I am 100 percent certain of that."

We did reach out to U-Haul for an explanation of how this happened.

U-Haul had this to say about the matter: 

"A member of our network regretfully made a clerical error by not entering a piece of returned moving equipment back into our available inventory following Ms. Tomlinson’s transaction. This human error led to her account being wrongly billed for an ensuing rental of that equipment.

Once we were alerted to this matter, we tried to reimburse Ms. Tomlinson for the mistaken charges, not knowing the card she used for her transaction was canceled and her account was closed. We have since been informed by Ms. Tomlinson that her bank finally placed the funds we have been trying to reimburse into her new account.

We are genuinely sorry for the inconvenience this error caused a valued customer. Self-move customers have been the lifeblood of U-Haul for 72 years, and we take pride in offering our customers unmatched quality, affordability, convenience and service. We will work hard to try to earn back Ms. Tomlinson’s trust."

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