An Aussie woman says she's been forced to live in a "mouse-infested" tent after the man she contracted to "move her home" 250km from one location to another has allegedly avoided doing so for over a year.
Queenslander Laura Creswell said she's been left homeless, shivering through freezing conditions and $15,000 out of pocket after paying a deposit to Kerry Ryan of Quality Homes For Removal — a service that appears to both sell prefabricated homes as well as transport them around the country.
Ms Creswell has now accused the business of pocketing her deposit, while delivering no results.
What's more, she is not alone. Mr Ryan, 73, has been accused by a number of his clients, who all shared similar stories that include signing a contract and paying a large sum for a home, that allegedly then vanishes and fails to arrive by the agreed upon date.
Customers claim removalist pockets cash, doesn't deliver
Since February, Ms Creswell has been living in a tent on the vacant lot where her home should have been delivered, about half an hour north of Gympie in Queensland. She said she'd shivered through an ice-cold winter while her repeated attempts at having her home delivered returned no results.
"I'm supposed to have a nice little cottage with a lovely front deck," Ms Creswell told A Current Affair.
"It's freezing cold out here in the middle of winter, you're down to like three degrees and here I am in a tent when Kerry and Lorena (Mr Ryan's wife) are in their nice warm house,
"He's made me suffer severely and I'm not the only one out there."
Ms Creswell says she contracted Mr Ryan in August of last year to deliver her home, and though some 13 months had passed since she paid the deposit, it's still sitting 250 kilometres away in Ipswich.
While council approval landed in May, and despite Ms Creswell "repeatedly asking for her home", Mr Ryan has thus far given no indication of when it will be delivered — providing "nothing but excuses".
Accused responds, claims he's 'very busy'
"I am not the king of excuses. We are in an industry where it's busy. If it rains, it holds things up for months," Mr Ryan said in response to the accusations. "Anybody is welcome to come in here and read my files. I've got nothing to hide."
Mr Ryan provided no direct excuse for what exactly has caused the hold-up.
A clearly agitated Mr Ryan can be seen in video footage rebuking claims pedalled toward him by his disgruntled customers. At one point, a heated verbal dispute erupts between Mr Ryan, Ms Creswel and another dissatisfied customer.
"He doesn't answer the actual questions, he just skips around them," Ms Creswell said. "He could've been a politician".
More alleged victims come forward
At least four other customers have since come forward with similar accusations.
One Queensland woman claims she has been waiting 18 months for her home to be delivered by Mr Ryan, but has only received "excuse after excuse".
A northern NSW couple allege they've been forced to wait two years for their home from Mr Ryan despite paying $40,000. Their house currently remains in Mr Ryan's holding yard.
Another Queensland couple claim that though they did get their home delivered after a year wait, they were forced to cancel their wedding to cover the unexpected cost.
A spokesperson for the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) said "confidentiality obligations" prohibit them from "disclosing information about any licensee" that "does not appear on the QBCC's public licence record."
"It would therefore be inappropriate for the QBCC to provide advice on this matter," the spokesperson said.
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