Part 2: The Movers

One doesn’t have to hunt for movers.  They find you.  It sucks.  If you provide your contact information on one website, it’s passed around like, um...there’s just not an appropriate reference.  Let’s just say, one website submission caused 23 incoming phone calls.  I returned only one message.  I called ASAP Relocations because the message left didn’t sound like a script, but it didn’t sound like the guy didn’t care...he just sounded easy, breezy.  
The price was the same as all the other movers - so it really did come down to how comfortable I felt with the sales guy.  
Imagine my surprise when I start telling prospective movers that I was going with ASAP Relocations, and the movers I chose NOT to go with tell me that ASAP has an “F” with the Better Business Bureau. I knew that, but at the same time their local references all gave them okay reviews.  
Here’s the deal - with movers...  1) just like with your car mechanic, doctor, or need to be aware of what’s going on.  2) You have to be willing to be in the mix, so you know what’s going on.  3) Movers, car mechanics, doctors, in-laws...are all imperfect people just like you and me.  I’m usually of the optimistic mind-set that if you keep dialed in on what’s going on, you can avoid a bad situation.
Now - to be completely fair - I read through the BBB reviews, Yelp, and all that.  I saw the bad and ugly.  So, I called into ASAP and asked them to explain what happened.  I felt reassured that my sales guy didn’t try to avoid talking about it, or avoid implying one thing or another.  His tone of voice left me with the impression of recognition of the past, and a desire to do right and fix things.  I stuck with my order - but ended the call with a “Things better go well, I blog you know”.
Then, things in our house changed...we went from a “move” to a “pack and move” after we realized that we didn’t have enough time to get the house packed up by ourselves.  ASAP accommodated our last minute request (who wouldn’t...) to up our order.  
The guys showed up at the time they said they would.  Mauricio said it would take 10 hours to get the job done, and I was a bit caught off guard.  10 hours seemed like a really long time.  At the same time, I had to remind myself that it was a “pack AND move” not just a move.  If I would have done the packing by myself - it would have taken  me over 10 hours...and I would still have to have movers to move the stuff.  So - it made sense. Ultimately - it took 9.5 hours.  
They were professionally dressed, very polite, and fast.  I was there packing up as well, available to answer questions.  These guys moved. There was only one casualty in the move - one drinking glass.  But, to their credit...I left it on the kitchen table mixed in with their it is hard to say it was the mover’s fault.  
Next time - here’s what I would do:
  1. Still do a full “pack and move”
  2. Get an on-site pre-job estimate days before the move
  3. Your estimate will come in writing (if your guys are legitimate and on the books), so you will know how much you are about to spend.
  4. Plan to buy lunch after the house is packed up, but before it is unpacked.  
  5. Remember the cash.  Estimate on the high end (the full 20%) and be able to scale back as needed.  
I’ve already recommended ASAP Relocations to friends.  You know it is that time of year.  If you do use ASAP sure to ask for Wayne...but more importantly - you want Mauricio as your move-leader.  The guy knows how to move, keep his team motivated, and keeps a smile on his face.