Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Another Moving Day

If you ever have moving needs, and you see me coming your way with a recommendation for a moving company, you would best be advised to cover your ears and run as fast as possible in the opposite direction.  At least, that is what I felt like last week on the day of my big (albeit local) move.

As long-time readers may recall, I have not had very good luck with movers.  At least not when I pick the moving company.  My move back to the Midwest from Texas, while stressful, was fairly uneventful since my company picked and paid for the moving company.  However, I've been living here for over a year now, and as my employer just signed a 25-year lease on our current office building, I thought it was finally safe to buy some property again.  Also, I needed more space, wanted a washer/dryer, and I was tired of paying rent.

The whole process of my finding a place, securing a loan, and agreeing to a closing date has been recounted here but I'll just say for now that it was a quite lengthy process that seemed to have minor complications occurring right up to closing day.  On a positive note, I found out I needed far less money to close than I had originally planned for, so I used some of that leftover money to pay off my car.  Anyhow, after closing on Thursday, June 27, I was scheduled to move on Monday, July 1.  My apartment building had agreed to give me a couple days to move at the start of the month since the end of the month occurred on a weekend.

For this move, I had picked a moving company that had a Daily Deal with Amazon.  I saw the deal, and I had an upcoming move, and I figured that hey, Amazon surely wouldn't pick anyone disreputable to deal with, would they?  You've probably already figured out the answer to that question.

I got up early the morning of the move to finish getting my apartment ready.  And by "finish" I mean "do everything I should have already done over the weekend."  Still, I labored away, throwing away a lot of trash and moving kitchen items and clothes down to my car, until I reached the end of the time period "window" in which the movers were supposed to show up.  I tried calling the number on the voucher - no answer.  I looked up the company online and called that number - which went to an answering machine.  The answering machine gave me another number to call if you were calling about a move in progress.  I tried that one - disconnected.

At this point it was about an hour after the movers were supposed to show and I was panicking.  I then made my best decision of the day and went to the concierge desk at my apartment complex.  The guy working the desk has worked there for decades and knows a lot of people.  I told him, hey man, I'm desperate here.  Do you know anyone that might be able to handle a last minute move?  He did have a guy for me to call, who was available to do the work.  The guy's quote was not cheap but it wasn't highway robbery either, so I gladly accepted.

The mover and his crew arrived a few hours later and began moving stuff downstairs via the freight elevator.  While I had a nice view in my old apartment, I had known shortly after moving in that it really wasn't a big enough place for me and I didn't want to stay there long-term, so a lot of boxes (books and things) I had never unpacked.  They did have to pack up my kitchen dishes and such but that didn't take too long.  I arranged to meet the movers at my new place around 6 PM.  

When we got to the new place and they set up and began unloading, we were greeted with severe frowns by the building residents.  I was soon met by the condo association president who seemed very flustered and informed me that the movers had to come in through the garage, not the reception area, and that we needed to put pads up in the elevator.  Evidently, I was also supposed to have scheduled my move time in advance and paid a $250 deposit.

I assured the building president (who seemed like a nice enough guy, to be fair...and I ended up never having to pay that deposit) that the movers had been very professional, and that I didn't have a huge amount of stuff and that we would be finished soon.  I also told him that I had no knowledge that scheduling the move in advance was required, and at any rate, my original move company had done a no-show that morning.  He did set up the pads in the elevator for us and let us continue the move.

The movers finally finished about 9 PM and I did give them a tip on top of the original charge.  I also invited them to have a beer if they wanted and two of them did.  They did a really good job, no paint damage or walls run into (I did some of that myself the next day inside my unit, but such is life.  I've got touch-up paint.)  

On a semi-positive note, the original move company did call me and apologize the same day, although it was after I had hired the new movers.  Evidently they had had at least one person (maybe more?  I wasn't quite sure) quit over the weekend and that had thrown their schedule into chaos.  I thanked them for calling but told them I had already called Amazon to cancel their voucher and found a replacement company.  I also told them that if they knew in advance there would be issues, they really should have let me know before the day of the move.  They apologized and said the owner would be calling me in the next day or two (which so far, he has not.)   I also got an email from the property management company of my new condominium building a couple days after I moved in asking me to fill out a form with my planned moved date which I thought was amusing (I did reply to that one saying it was too late, but the management company didn't have a problem with it once I explained the circumstances.)

The day after my move, I had hired a cleaning service to come and do a move-out cleaning for me.  They showed up right on time and did an excellent job.  I then turned in my keys and wrote my final check for the utilities there before heading back to my new place to unload all the junk that was still in my car.  I finished that and due to having an extra bedroom at my new condo, I already feel more moved in there than I ever did in my apartment.  Of course, I have a lot of boxes to unpack and go through, but I'll get there.  

I don't want to include a link with my exact address but I will share a picture I took from the courtyard of the building outside my back door.  I think I will like living here.  At the very least, I am looking forward to not having to move again for a very long time.