Howard’s Appliance TV & Mattress is suing a key delivery provider, claiming it overcharged for services, threatened to halt deliveries without notice and tried to force the company to pay fees it didn’t owe.
In a lawsuit filed Dec. 20 in Orange County Superior Court, the La Habra-based business — listed in the complaint as Howard’s Appliances — alleges the problems began when another company took over its delivery contract.
Howard’s initially signed DSI Logistics Inc., a Nevada corporation, on April 1, 2015, to provide delivery service haulers for products sold to Howard’s customers. But Pilot Air Freight LLC took over DSI’s delivery contract in 2021.
The complaint alleges Pilot breached the contract by overcharging Howard’s for what is described in the agreement as “complex” and “regular” deliveries.
The complaint says Howard’s has suffered damages of at least $1 million as a result, which includes injunctive relief, the cost of filing the lawsuit and attorney fees. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The action further claims Pilot threatened to cut off all deliveries without proper notice during Howard’s busiest season of the year in order “to extort or force” the company to pay additional fees it didn’t owe, while also asking for a $500,000 security deposit not called for in the contract.
Those actions occurred despite the fact that Howard’s was current on all payments and had paid all obligations owed under the contract, the lawsuit claims.
Representatives with Pilot Air Freight could not be reached for comment.
“Pilot also failed and refused to give an accounting or back-up documentation or audits of the charges,” the lawsuit says. “Pilot repeatedly breached the contract by refusing to make deliveries, despite the fact that it had been paid in full, and had in fact been overpaid, to make complex and regular deliveries.”
The complaint says Howard’s has suffered damages of at least $1 million as a result, which includes injunctive relief, the cost of filing the lawsuit and attorney fees.
Howard’s operates stores, outlet locations and “experience” stores in 17 Southern California locations, including Agoura Hills, Corona, Covina, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Tustin, La Habra, Torrance, Riverside and West Los Angeles, among others.