I have been a mover for most of my adult life. I started at the bottom as a helper, worked as a warehouse man, advanced to management and even owned a small one truck moving operation, so I think that I know what I am talking about when it comes to getting value for your dollar. More importantly though is getting a professional mover when it comes to moving your personal possessions and I do not mean a mover who gets paid and therefore considers himself a professional. What I do mean is that you will want and deserve a person, or company that is honest from the beginning to the end; a company or person who treats you with respect and carries themselves with respect from the 1st phone call, until they shake your hand at the end of the job. What you do not need in this time of belt-tightening and stress is what just happened to my daughter with her move and her mover.
I have just had my prostate removed, or I would have offered to move her myself, because I know that moving for one thing has become very expensive even in the off-season. The cost of fuel and labor has forced big and small mover alike to raise the hourly rate of moving through the roof and has unscrupulous movers low balling the bid then charging for unspoken costs. In my daughter’s case she called several local movers getting over the phone estimates before getting one who would do a walk through. The movers seemed reluctant to actually come to her apartment and give her a visual estimate and I had told her to avoid these companies. With no physical walk through the mover can claim they did understand you, or could not have known the situation and the estimate, or quote is not binding. The gentleman who answered the phone at Service Direct B N Transport P, was the only mover who agreed to give a visual estimate, but also agreed to give a written estimate and a binding no higher than $490.00 cost for the move. The owner, salesman, driver in this case are the same person in my daughter’s story, so there is no chance of the salesman telling the company something wrong, or forgetting to check truck and moving access which could drive the cost of a move upwards if it a difficult access, or a long walk from house to truck. At any rate the mover shows up the Friday, March, 9, 2012 and does his walk through, tells my daughter that the more she moves on her own in terms of small things will keep the cost of her move even lower, because he charges $120.00 per hour and he does not charge a minimum amount to come and do the move. He advises her to have beds broken down and anything else that can be dismantled and made ready for transport done, so that his men do not have to waste time doing that sort of thing when they could be moving. He checks the access, gives her the written estimate of the total cost of the job to go no higher than $490.00. My daughter’s new place is located directly in back of her old place, perhaps 1,000 feet away. The only downside was that he had to go out of town and could only move her on Sunday, April 1st 2012. They agreed that he would be moving her and he left. The mover, went away saying he would call 48 hours, before, just to let her know that nothing had changed and see how she was progressing.
My daughter had heard so many horror stories about moves gone bad, but she felt confident about hiring Service Direct B N Transport P, because she had done her homework and had a binding written estimate, but here is where things started to go bad. Her children and her gentleman friend helped her to move 80% of her boxes and she was confident that she had done all she could to prepare for the move, but it is Saturday and there is less than 48 hours left before her move and the mover has not called her and she starts to worry. When the mover has not called by noon she decides to call him. The first thing this guy does is start to whine about the size of his truck being 30 feet long and the dumpster positioned at the turn leading to the garages will not allow his truck to turn into the best access point causing a long walk. Remember that this is the owner, salesman and driver of the truck, he did the visual estimate. I would never have known about it except that my daughter had bought a new bed and had it delivered to her new appartement and was having trouble assembling the frame. I went over to take a look at her new apartment and put the frame together for her and overheard her talking to the mover. Less than 48 hours before the move the mover was telling her to have the dumpster moved, or there would be cost increases, knowing full well that she needing to move would have no choice but to pay, or so he thought. After some discussion I told her to tell him to forget it and that I would rent a truck from UHaul and move her myself and the cost would be what she had agreed to pay, Service Direct B N Transport P, because of truck rental costs and paying the men, because I could not physically lift anything, because of my post prostate removal instructions. My daughter was so relieved and called him right away to advise him that if he was not comfortable with his estimate and felt that the dumpster would cause her to pay more for the move that she would have no choice, but to not use him, because as a single mother with three kids she was on a tight budget and would not be able to pay any extra charges.
This owner, salesman, driver of Service Direct B N Transport P, started off their conversation by reaffirming that she would have to get the garbage container moved or there could be additional charges due to the long walk. My daughter informed him that the dumpster had been there when he did the estimate and that the dumpster had been there for the 5 years that she had lived there and that there was no way to get it moved on a Friday, for Sunday. She also told him that she could not afford to pay anymore so if that was the purpose of the dumpster conversation then she could no longer afford to move with him, so he need not bother to show up Sunday April, 1st, 2012. It was then that he started cursing and swearing at her just before slamming the phone down. I did move her and everything worked out fine in the end, but what about all those people who do not have a dad that just happens to be a mover?
The moving business has such a bad reputation already, that honest movers just trying to eek out a living do not need this kind of thing going on. It is so bad for business and makes it tough on everyone involved. It is such a stressful time for the client and costs are so high that it is imperative that the mover get the estimate right and once the price is given to stick by it unless something that is not under their control alters the estimate, but such a thing should be mentioned in the estimate and talked about at the time of estimation.(elevator breakdown, client not packed or ready to move as agreed) In my opinion Service Direct B N Transport P tried to take advantage of my daughter after agreeing to a price and tried to use the dumpster as an excuse to drive up the cost of her move unfairly. Price gouging, bad estimates and over charging clients does not get better as we move closer to July 1st moving day in Quebec, it gets worse, so be on the lookout for these types of rip off artists and unprofessional ruffians, who would curse you, hold your furniture hostage for payment and try to low ball the estimate and then add-on fabricated unforeseen charges. Watch out for the $30.00 an hour guy, this price often does not cover the moving helpers and this mover may be expecting you to help with the moving.
I have been in the moving business for most of my adult life in every capacity that you can imagine and I know that there is just no place in this service industry for unprofessionalism, bad estimates whether intentional or not and shoddy work ethics. Service Direct B N Transport P, has in this instance done this business a disservice and I can only hope that this is not the way they do business every move. My family and this life time mover would and could not recommend them, in fact I would advise anyone moving to steer clear of them after the way they treated my daughter. This is a perfect example of why people do not trust movers and how one movers bad judgement and less than honest business ethics can sour a moving experience and the opinion of a client towards all movers, honest and dishonest. Since a client has no way of knowing how good their choice was in picking a mover until after making the choice, it is a trust in you the mover and what you tell them that they base their choice on. Every lie, every unscrupulous act by the mover hurts the moving business and honest movers and trying to move a client, or negotiate and estimate for a move where there is no trust is not easy, or desirable.
This type of behaviour is becoming more frequent and except for making a few quick bucks for a greedy mover, does this whole industry great damage.
- How to Find a Reputable Moving Company (apartmentguide.com)