Wednesday, December 21

The Least Smooth Move Ever!

Since we are in the military, normally the packing and physical move are the lesser concerns. You set dates and the military contracts and pays a local mover to do and/or coordinate your move. In the past it has been relatively easy. The moving company comes in and estimates how long it will take to pack your household goods. They tell you what day they will start packing and the day the truck will take your items away to your destination. In previous moves, at least 8 that I can name off the top of my head, the schedules were met and we have had relatively event free moves. They have been fairly smooth on the part of the moving companies, even those that where cross country.

Our packers were due to start Monday, December 5. It was estimated that it would be a 1 day to pack. Maybe a few hours on the second day depending on how many packers they were using on the first day. The truck was scheduled to pick up our items Wednesday in Vegas and deliver in Tucson on the following Monday. I should have known we were in trouble when the two packers didn't show up Monday until 11 AM with lots of excuses. I learned more than I wanted to know about the moving business.

The company who was hired by the military to do our move, Apex, subcontracted out the job to another company, Southern Nevada Movers, who doesn't want the liability of employees moving people's items, so they subcontracted the job out to an individual contractor. That individual did not have the extra resources to buy the materials needed to do the job. The check Southern Nevada Movers wrote to pay him for previous work couldn't be cashed. He could only cash the check at Southern Nevada Movers bank. I guess Southern Nevada Movers has a very poor reputation in town because they bounce checks, even payroll checks. So the individual contractor had to wait for their bank to open before he could buy packing materials like boxes, tape and paper. Once he had the cash, he then had to go buy all the materials himself and that is why it took him until 11 AM to arrive. He then discovered that Southern Nevada Movers underestimated how much weight and boxes we were needing for moving, so he ran out of materials around 3 PM. He had come with an assistant, someone he was paying to help him pack our belongings. The two of them had only packed about 1/3 of our items in those 4 hours.

I feel bad for the individual contractor that due to the economy he has to accept less than ideal terms and horrible treatment from a company. What happened was that the military awarded the job to the lowest bidder, based on the maximum weight we are allowed to move based on my husband's rank, Captain. Apex won the contract hypothetically for $8,000 they then turn around and awarded the job to Southern Nevada Movers for say $5,000 and then they turn around and tell the individual contractor they will pay him $3,000 to do it. However, out of that money he has to pay for all the materials, truck, gas, weight station costs and anyone he needs to help him meet the schedule Apex has set up for the contract with the military. All of this he has agreed to before seeing the house, the items of how much weight it will actually be and the conditions. Then he has to deal with a company that doesn't pay and customers that are unhappy.

Our packing wasn't done until Wednesday. The truck came Friday in Vegas to take our items to Tucson. Our truck full of household items didn't arrive at our home in Tucson until 12:30 PM Tuesday, December 13. It was pouring down rain all day and night Tuesday. It was a mess. Since we have retired, I am so glad this is our last military move. I hope we don't have to move again anytime soon.

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