When my Mom moved the other day, nothing went right. The movers were supposed to be there between 7 and 9am, and did not show up until 3:15. Then, they began racking up the extra charges ($4 per ‘extra’ item that was not on the initial list she gave them beforehand). They also broke her entertainment center (not badly, but still, it’s the principle of the thing) and were generally inept. I was furious and raging by the time I was able to drive over to her new apartment after I got home from work. I looked up the moving company, found that they had terrible reviews everywhere and no BBB listing and I was so angry with myself for not researching the company beforehand. My mom told me who she was using, and I really could have looked them up and headed off these problems. I guess I just got distracted or something. I still feel bad. She might not know to look companies like that up and get all the facts before hiring them, but I do. Sigh.
The worst part is that I was very close to talking down the whole extra-charge thing when I called the company, but I failed at that for two reasons. One: I was told by the regional manager that if I called him while I was at the location, with the movers and my Mom, we could ‘get it all sorted out’ at the same time. So I did call, and twice the phone just hung up on me. Ah-ha. Nice tactic. Two: I counted the number of ‘extra’ boxes and, for the most part, it did add up. I tried to talk down the $4 charge to a $2 charge, but it didn’t work. My Mom was totally resigned to paying the $450 by that point, and I had little recourse because she had already signed the mover’s agreement to pay that amount.
I can’t believe it cost my mother $450 to move a one-bedroom apartment; the last time I moved, which was from a two-bedroom house (complete with outdoor and patio items), it cost me $200 and then a tip. But, again, I did due diligence before I picked a moving company. I feel like such a shithead for not doing the same for my Mom, damn it! We should have used that same company I used! D’OH!
Well, I am still bad-mouthing this company; and this weekend, one of my goals is to post as many negative reviews on as many websites as possible. And file a form with the US DOT’s National Consumer Complaint Database. What they did was not right, and I wonder how many other people they regularly get a chance to rip off like this because the customer doesn’t know any better. It sucks.
On a positive note, my Mom does love her new apartment and we were able to get a lot of stuff unpacked the night she moved in (her kitchen, for instance, is almost done). She is also getting rid of the huge couch that no longer fits in her living room (this new apartment has a tiny living room, which is really the only negative aspect) as well as some extra furniture we realized she doesn’t need. We’re selling it to a friend of the family for a super low price just to get it off her hands and out of her apartment. The guy who’s taking the furniture has almost NO furniture, so he’s excited to be getting this stuff. Helping two people at one time = awesome. I’m so glad my sister remembered that guy and arranged the whole thing.
So, here’s to a fresh start for my Mom. A new place, less clutter and junk, and she has even lost some weight through this whole process! My sister and I are so hopeful and optimistic that her life is going to get so much better and more vibrant now. Sometimes, it really does take a change of scenery, a change of routine, to kickstart positive new patterns. 🙂