"I feel like Iíve been robbed. Even if I wanted to pay them this outrageous amount of money, nobody will answer me, and thereís just no end in sight," Townsend said.

Townsend said she believed that after loading her possessions in Regina the movers would head straight to Westlock, Alta, so she took almost nothing extra with her other than what she and her two daughters would need for a day or two.

She said she put all kitchen utensils, towels, bedsheets, makeup, work clothes and shoes in boxes because she thought she would be unpacking them a day or two later.

"It feels like Iíve had a fire almost. You try and figure out what you can replace and what you canít," she said.

Townsend, who moved to Alberta to work as a social worker, broke into tears when the owner of a local second-hand store offered to set up a donation jar for her.

Townsend said Atlantic was one of several companies that bid online to move her. She said the person she spoke to gave her confidence and appeared thorough. She said they discussed what was in every room of her one-bedroom apartment, as well as the floor it was on and how the movers would get access.

The two men who showed up with a tractor-trailer gave her far less confidence.

She said they complained about the stairs and the size of the load, but by then she had only another day before she had to be out of the apartment.

The movers charged her an extra $250 because of stairs, $120 to wrap her two TVs and a mirror, $75 for a destination fee and $45 for a scale fee.

When contacted by telephone, Atlanticís general operations manager, Anita Kleitz, declined to be interviewed, but did answer some questions by email.

Kleitz said the company gave Townsend a quote based on the information she provided and that she "provided misleading information about the size of her load and the amount of goods."

Atlantic Van Lines insists itís operating within industry standards and the laws of Ontario, where it is based.

Ontario law, where Atlantic is based, prohibits a moving company from charging a customer more than 10 per cent above the contracted amount unless the customer agrees in writing.

Kleitz indicated Townsend agreed to the higher cost when she signed the bill of lading the mover filled out.

The bill of lading states the "actual weight charges will apply."

When Townsend signed the bill of lading it only included the extra $490 the driver added.

After thetruck pulled away ó and after Townsend had signed ó Atlantic added more fees that almost tripled the bill again.


Atlantic Van Lines tells single mom to pay 4 times quoted cost - Edmonton - CBC News