A “Simple” Move Goes Awry

published by on November 3, 2014Before You Move Tips


Sometimes there’s no such thing as a “simple” move.

Just Five Days To Find A Mover And Move Out

When Heidi Weclew hired local moving company, Mr. Mover, based in Orlando, to move her out of her two-bedroom apartment into a new one just 15 minutes away, she had no idea it would become one of the worst consumer experiences of her life.

Weclew, a real estate agent, has several moves under her belt and has had generally positive experiences with movers in the past. But when her job transfer unexpectedly fell through last Spring, she only had five days to hire a mover before she had to be out of her apartment.

So she went online and searched for local movers, checked out reviews and ratings and requested quotes. Mr. Mover quickly became the frontrunner because of their reasonable hourly rate, availability and temporary storage options.

“There were no red flags I could find online or from my conversation with them during the estimate process,” Weclew said. “Everything checked out and they seemed pretty straightforward with what they would and wouldn’t do and how much it would cost.”

$2,000 In Damages And $120 In Protection

On her scheduled move day, Weclew recalled the movers showed up on time, but the crew was unkempt, had no uniforms and showed up in an unmarked truck. They also immediately hit a pipe while backing into her apartment’s loading dock.

By the end of the day, her estimated four-hour move took twice as long to complete, resulting in a higher move cost.  She also said she sustained nearly $2,000 in damages to her belongings, including a new 50” flat screen, dresser, mirror and leather couch.

Weclew also did not see a contract until the end of her move and despite the company’s assurances that she would be fairly compensated for the damage, she was only offered $120 based on the mover’s Released Value Protection policy, which makes them liable for no more than $0.60/pound per item.

“In hindsight, I would have purchased supplemental insurance or moved delicate items myself,” she said. “I figured if I needed something extra, that would be told to me. I put too much faith in the moving company.”

To help others learn from her experience, Weclew has posted reviews on consumer advocate sites like MovingCompanyReviews.com, Ripoff Report and through word of mouth with her local Realtor groups.

More Tips To Help You Avoid A Move Day Nightmare
  • Find a reputable mover that has been independently vetted.

A great place to start is by hiring a certified Pro Mover, administered by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). Some states like Florida also have their own Promo Mover program, administered by AMSA and the Florida Movers and Warehousemen’s Association (FMWA).

“It’s very easy for companies to misrepresent themselves online, through fraudulent reviews or by faking their license and insurance coverage,” said Andy Newitt, FMWA Chairman. “This is why we highly recommend that consumers get in-home estimates and review the documents given to them by the estimator. Florida law requires that movers provide all of the paperwork prior to starting the job.”

MovingCompanyReviews.com also shows whether a mover has the proper licenses, with links to the state authority to make sure they’re up to date.

  • Good movers book fast so start researching movers and requesting written quotes at least four weeks before your desired move date.
  • Be prepared for anything. Even when you book a great mover, stuff happens.

Look into affordable move protection for extra coverage of your belongings and make sure you understand what your mover is liable for (and if you’re willing to take the risk). Many movers also offer additional valuation coverage; so don’t hesitate to ask for more info during the estimate process if you prefer this option.

Remember, reputable movers are behind many happy moves. Check out more tips on how to find a trustworthy mover.

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