Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Move Is Done

I don't know what's worse: the stress of moving yourself or the stress of wondering if your mover is going to screw you. Compared to horror stories on the internet we got off light; one of the doors in the old place had the paint scratched to shit ("See? I told you I could get your couch through the door without taking it off its hinges.") and the mover more or less extorted us for money on this end ("Well, I dunno if my truck can make it around this tight turn. It'll be a risk, and if we get stuck it'll cost a lot of money, but tell you what, for $200 we'll give it a shot, and that way you won't have to pay the $780 for the shuttle.") I talked him down to $150. Woo. Bill said, "I can't believe you paid him! You're part of the problem!" Well, I didn't want to get into an adversarial relationship with the guy who had ALL OUR STUFF. I was pretty sure if I called him on it, or called my rep at Allied it would just piss the guy off and then he'd "accidentally" damage all our crap. End result was, as far as we can tell, none of our stuff is lost, and it looks like we've gotten away with under $100 worth of damaged stuff. The way I figure it, the movers just prenegotiated themselves a nice tip, and then did a pretty good job earning it.

Now we just have to unpack.


JJacoby said...

I relocated to Denver a few weeks ago, and my experience with National Van Lines has been horrendous. We were given an estimate of $1800 to move our things from Florida to Colorado, and a week later, when it was on its way, we were told the final price was $4300 because the actual weight exceeded the estimate. We were told it would have to be paid in full before they would unload. Bear in mind, this was for a small console piano and a bunch of boxes with no furniture at all.

It looks like they low-balled our estimate to get us to go with them, and then when they had us at their mercy they went for the throat. Or, errr, the wallet.

Battle ensued, and we emerged partially victorious when I cited the law that states they must relinquish our goods upon payment of 110% of the estimate and give us 30 days to dispute the rest. I've already had a huge chunk removed for services we did not use or ask for, and I am awaiting the response about the rest.

Sigh. Sadly, U.S. law is so weak in this area that it is almost entirely ineffective if you choose to go after a crooked mover. Caveat Emptor my ass.

Gregory John said...

I've used movers (Elephant Moving in LA) a few times and they've gone above and beyond w/o ever extorting me. I was generous with the tip after they struggled to get my stuff moved in.

I would write a letter to Allied telling them about it. It's not good PR for them that their drivers/movers are "negotiating" on the side. I would never use them, now.

Did you tip them further?