I Almost Got Scammed By Packers & Movers

Packers and Movers' business is full of scammers!!

Moving out from one city to other? Need Packers and Movers to move your stuff? Read my experience on how I almost got scammed by the movers and packers!

I have been moving from one city to another quite a lot. And the movements are pretty big, Coast to Coast.

My first relocation was when I had to move from Memphis, TN to Phoenix, AZ. I started looking for Packers and Movers that can help me move my household stuff.

As with everyone, I searched on Google and called a few service providers.

Most of them declined, as they did not service from East Coast to the West coast.

Few did agree and based on their quote, I finalized with NationWideMoving

The booking executive was very friendly and explained the whole process.

I gave my credit card details and agreed to pay 40% to the driver in cash (as they insisted on it) and the remaining will be by card.

On the day of pickup, no one showed up. I called, sent multiple emails, but no reply.

I had to cancel the pickup and I informed the same via email and got a response, "Ok, np"

It may be 'No Problem' for them, but it was a very big problem for me as the next day I had a flight to board My all planning went for a toss with this rather insensitive note "np"

It was good that no money transfer took place, so at least I did not have to chase them for a refund.

I had a flight to catch, so I handed over my apartment keys to my friend and told him the whole story.

I informed him that I will get another movers and packers and requested him to be available when the guys come to pick up the stuff.

I reached Phoenix with my family, stayed in an Extended Stay hotel.

From Phoenix, I booked another packer and Mover named ColonialVanlines.

I specifically asked them if they can pick it up by a particular day and they promised it will be done.

They asked me to pay some advance which I did as I needed my stuff moved quickly (that was a mistake, do not pay till the truck is at your doorstep to pickup)

History repeated itself (if a 15days back incident can be termed as history!), no one came on the day of pickup. Again frantic calls and emails but nothing worked.

It was a really tense moment for me as I had to give my best to my new job as well as track this very important task at hand.

I asked them to cancel and refund the advance.

Surprise, Surprise!! They mentioned it was nonrefundable as per their rules, I pointed out their rules clearly mentioned if they are not able to fulfill their commitment, it will be a 100% refund.

The provider mentioned they will check and come back. 

The next day again I enquired and they mentioned they will deduct $500 and refund the remaining amount.

I got furious! Here I was in a new city, and these guys did not move my goods and they had the courage to not refund the money.

I clearly told them this is not acceptable and I will instruct my credit card company not to honor the transaction.

They tried to counter-argue, but I simply disconnected the call and sent them a mail with whatever discussion we had.

One thing that worked in my favor was that I had written down all the names of people with whom I interacted for this movement and mentioned all the names in the email.

Within one hour they confirmed that the full amount will be credited within 24hr.

Luckily, they kept their word this time and the money was credited back.

Thinking about it, I realized this was a scam!

I started looking for other options, this time I wanted to be sure as we had moved into an apartment and had nothing to sleep on, no utensils to cook food in!

Then I saw the U-Pack containers. I checked with them and the next day they kept a container outside my Memphis apartment.

I requested my friends to stuff the container with the household goods (luckily we packed it ourselves before moving out of Memphis).

U-Pack picked it up on the scheduled day and delivered it before time!

Note: You will have to put your own lock on the container, one container needs two locks.

Make sure you arrange goods in such a way that there is not too much space for items to slide during transportation (UPack do provide rope to tie)

I took a risk with my TV, carrying it with me via air would have been very costly so I carefully packed my 50 inch TV in its original box.

My friends made sure its properly secure with minimal chance of other stuff banging against it.

And it arrived safely!

Who are Packers and Movers?

Packer and Movers are service providers that help you pack your household goods, pick them up from the origin address, and transport + Unpack at the destination address.

They charge you for their services. 

When you call a service provider, chances are they are just aggregators like Uber i.e they may not have their own trucks but have a business agreement with most of the truck owners.

These aggregators do all the initial paperwork, help with complaints, etc.

The person who actually picks up your goods may have a completely different company name and his task is only to pick up stuff and deliver it to the destination.

Can you bypass aggregators? 

Yes, and it will save you 20-30% of the cost but then you directly deal with the truck drivers, make payments in cash, and do not expect a quick reply to your queries as they are actually working at the ground level driving, loading-unloading stuff and may not be prompt in replying to your phone calls.

Cost of Packers and Movers

The cost of the whole movement depends on:

1. Distance between Origin and Destination

2. Services used eg: You can pack yourself and they will do just the transportation or you can pay extra for packing.

3. Number of boxes/items that need to be moved

4. Urgency, if you plan it in advance you will be able to save some money.

5. Brand Name- Some of the well-known movers and packers charge a premium.

How do Packers and Movers work?

Depending on the distance and the load, Packers and Movers may either use a small truck to ship your stuff or may load it in a big trailer that takes it from Depot to Depot.

From Depot, they pick/deliver to your house in a small truck.

Video sneak peek into U-Pack service


Moving from one place is a hectic task, make sure to select good packers and movers to have peace of mind.

I highly recommend U-Pack or U-Haul containers. They are very professional and cater to every location in the USA.

Thumb rules:
i. One-room stuff need one cube
ii. Do not make any advance payment
iii. All transactions should be using a credit card (you will have the flexibility of stopping payment in case of any unpleasant surprise)

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