Monday, March 26, 2012

Our terrible experience with movers-part one

We just moved in January and had a terrible experience with our movers. In order to understand the background, I need to tell the story of the first time we used movers, which was also terrible. These posts are in no way directed at all movers, I am simply relating our own experiences.

When we moved from our apartment to our first house, it was literally across town so we used our own pickup truck. We were only in the apartment for a year before buying our house so we really didn't have much stuff either. Nine years later we had a lot more stuff, we were moving six hours away and I was going by myself for a week so we knew we needed to hire movers. We chose a medium-sized, local company. I was off for the summer so I packed everything and they came to load the truck. Everything went pretty well, except for one of the crew who was unfriendly nearly to the point of rude. But I had too much on my mind to care. The next day I headed to Va with my dog Jack and checked into a hotel to wait for the movers.

We'd had a new house built and the driveway had stone but not enough yet and we were concerned about the 18 wheeler getting stuck. Of course it rained the day of our move. I explained my concern to the driver and pointed out the most stable part which Russ had indicated to me. The driver assured me that the truck would be fine and proceeded to drive exactly where I had told him it was the most unstable. You can see where this is going, right? Yep, he got stuck right in the middle of our long driveway. Stuck. Like, wheels not even turning at all stuck. They tried putting boxes and moving blankets under the tires, nothing. They decided to start emptying out the truck in hopes that it would be easier to move if it was lighter. Of course I had arrived before them so my car was at the top of the driveway, which was now totally blocked so I couldn't get out without risking getting my own car stuck. Our house was very remote and cell service was spotty at best and I was literally alone in the woods with a crew of four movers. Awesome, right?

So, they laid plastic runners down and started carrying our stuff in from the driveway. The guys were in relatively good spirits (except for the driver) and I was pleased that the "surly" guy from the crew was not with them. As they emptied the truck the driver made a few attempts to move the truck but it quickly became obvious that it was useless and he was able to call the company and get them to find a wrecker that could pull them out. Yeah, a wrecker. So, they continued carrying things in and my heart was literally in my throat as they carried my china closet through ankle deep mud. I felt so bad for the crew, they were really working hard and doing all they could. They also knew that once the wrecker arrived it would pull the truck back out to the road and they would have to carry things even farther so it was a mad rush to get as much unloaded as possible before the wrecker came. By the time the wrecker came they had emptied nearly half of the truck. They had begun carrying boxes until I suggested that they carry the furniture, which was heavier and therefore would be more difficult to carry from a further distance. The wrecker finally came and everything stopped while he dragged the truck from the driveway back onto the road. That was a unique experience because the truck was leaning very precariously as he hauled it up the bank and they had left the doors open.

It soon became apparent that they would not be able to unload everything that day and it started to get dark and our house had no electricity yet so the movers all had to cram into my car and they had to book a room at the hotel where I was staying. I had been trying to reach Russ all day but had no cell reception at all so he had no idea what had happened so far. The next day we drove back so they could finish unloading the truck and things went as smoothly as possible that day. They finished the unloading and left. The next day the owner called me and said we would be charged more for a "long carry" and an extra day because the crew couldn't finish in one day as planned and he wanted me to pay for their hotel room. Yeah, I don't think so. We argued back and forth over the course of a few days. At that point Russ arrived and I started my new job. We were still living in a hotel because we still didn't have electricity. There had been a hurricane in North Carolina and most of the electric crews had gone to assist with the aftermath so we were bumped way down in priority. I went to work each day and Russ went to the house to unpack as much as he could before it got dark. A few days in he was moving our filing cabinet and found that the bottom drawer was jammed shut. He pried it open and the thing that had been stuck was his state quarter map, emptied and folded and jammed into the drawer. Yeah, someone stole the quarters from his map! It must have been around $3 or so. Really? And, if it hadn't been stuffed into the filing cabinet it would have been months before we noticed it was missing because it was obviously not on his mind. I "knew" immediately that it had been the unfriendly guy who had helped load the truck because the crew that had unloaded us were very nice and I truly don't believe they would have done something like that. So I of course called the owner and threatened to call the police and he of course didn't want that so he stopped pushing for the "long carry" charge and all the other extras he had tried to charge us plus he refunded us a chunk of our bill. Yeah, that made up for the $3 in quarters that we lost. It was a horrible experience and I had hoped that we'd never have to use movers again. When we moved to Pa we rented a truck and moved ourselves because we had family in PA that could help us unload. It was a ton of work and when we decided to move to NJ 2 years later we knew it would be too much for us to do and Russ's parents couldn't help so we knew we had to hire movers again. That brings us to the next part of the saga, which I will tell in part two. Not sure if anyone else will ever read this  but maybe someday John will.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Wow. I have always done the Uhaul thing but when I move again, I will use movers. These stories make me nervous.