Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

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Glad2BDone
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:56 pm
Location: CT

Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby Glad2BDone » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:36 pm

I won't bore you with the melodramatic backstory, but I was recently forced by circumstances to move Me Sainted Grey-haired Muther across CT in about the worst possible set of circumstances with essentially no time for preparations. Kids don't try this at home...

If I hadn't I stumbled across MovingScam.com and gotten a crash-course in the moving biz, I am sure it would have been an unmitigated disaster. But it wasn't anything like that, thanks to the efforts of those behind this website, the very helpful comments from the mov-ees who have gone before, and Joyce Van Lines. Much obliged to all.

The task was to move about half of an 8 room house 50 miles within CT. With only 4 days notice. My mother's possessions are largely antiques she'd been collecting for most of her 85 years, so even if could find a mover in time, I was resigned to having some losses or damage to the many fragile items. After blindly calling a few movers in the yellow pages, I realized I didn't even know what I didn't know, and I began to read through this website with interest. Among the great advice and the horror stories, I found some discussions of Joyce Van Lines under the Connecticut section, and it sounded as though they were at least probably not voracious crooks, so I gave them a try.

I called their office and they put me in touch with Bill Adams, the district manager. I described my situation over the phone as best as I could, and he made an effort to try to at least ball-park an estimate over the phone, but we both quickly realized it was too complex a situation for that and offered to meet me the next day. Good thing.

Bill was prompt, friendly and professional, which basically set the tone for whole experience. The onsite estimate was about twice what the over the phone number was, but as I said- this was a very odd situation, and I don't think a meaningful estimate was possible without a visit. (I think this is true with any company, btw.) Even though I had a very good "vibe" about working with Bill, I really didn't have any choice or even time for other estimates. He said they could have a crew available on the target date a few days later, (luckily this is a slow time of year and not early summer....), so I signed up. I assume that it might have been possible to negotiate a better price, but since there wasn't time I ended up just hoping I wasn't being charged _too_ outrageous a sum.

That wasn't the case. They tried to keep costs in line where possible, and as it was the final bill was about 20% below the admittedly tricky final estimate. I am sure that I could have found a cheaper mover, but to be honest, I really didn't want the low bidder in my particular situation. I don't mind paying a premium for premium service, which is what I got. (I hesitate to quote actual prices here, because I think my particular situation was so unusual, I'm not sure it would be representative.)

So last Friday, Al and Ric arrived to start packing things. We had tried to tag large items with post-its as much as possible so they knew what to move, but there was still a lot of "pack this but not that" all day. The guys worked straight through, kept a sense of humor, and were the fastest careful people I ever saw. By 4:00 they were done.

Saturday morning they returned with the meticulous crew chief Tom Hortzman and Carl, the laughing load master. The van was packed up, and by about 3:30, they were done and my mother was ensconced in her new digs amongst her things- feeling a bit lost, but it was not nearly as traumatic an experience for her as I feared. Everyone treated her (and me) with absolute professionalism and courtesy, which was a critically important requirement. We are still unpacking, but so far we have found no damage of any kind to anything.

I know this is running long, and that this site has tried to not be a place for overly flowerey praise for movers, but as I write this I realize just how stressed out I had been, and what a relief it was to find not only a good moving company, but an absolutely outstanding one. After seeing so many horror stories here, I guess I expected that the best I could hope for was a company that actually did what they agreed to do without breaking anything major. The people from Joyce not only did that, but were genuinely helpful at ever step of the way. Will every Joyce crew be this good? Will your move go as well as mine? Your mileage may vary, although I did get the distinct impression that much of what I saw was due to the company's culture, not just the specific team who schlepped our stuff around.

Interestingly, when Bill Adams asked where I had heard about Joyce, he was familiar with MovingScam.com, and spoke well of it. I don't think we got preferential treatment by mentioning it, but I would suggest anyone hiring any mover mention this site to them (nicely) early on and see what kind of response you get. Sort of like walking into a car dealer with Consumer Reports under your arm. ;)

So that's it. I am going to pour myself two fingers of Rye tonite and raise a toast to thank the Moving Gods that it all came together somehow. May all your moves go as well as ours. Only slower.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:07 pm

Thats a good story, I wish more people would post their good stories here, it helps morale.

Mark Johnson
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: **Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby Mark Johnson » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:56 pm

Well I have some good stories Archie.

farrah7031
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: **Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby farrah7031 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:58 pm

Thanks, I'll add your review to the Superlist later tonight.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: **Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:02 pm

I have some good ones too....Did I ever tell you about the time we went out to move a ladies stuff, and about halfway thru the job, the ladies husband came home, pulled a gun on our crew and told them to unload his stuff back where it was? She was leaving him, and he didn't know it, until he got wind of a moving truck parked at his house.

How bout the time we moved a lady and she said some stuff was missing, and she wanted us to pay for her and a companion to go to Paris, to rebuy the stuff, and it would take 2 trips, as one trip would be too tiring. She insured the stuff for $10,000, but filed a claim for $155,000.00.

Mark Johnson
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: **Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby Mark Johnson » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:14 pm

Uhhhhhhhhh Archieeeee,

I thought they were supposed to be feel good stories. Not gun toting husbands and people filing claims LOL.

I want something that will boost morale. Something like the one where the people called several movers to move ten million cash in a safe from miami to las vegas and they were looking for the lowest quote. Alas the sales rep and some friends did the job themselves and were never seen again.

This is a feel good kinda thing.

Glad2BDone
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:56 pm
Location: CT

Re: Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby Glad2BDone » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:35 pm

LOL, yes I'm sure the movers posting here have some remarkable stories to tell! :P Bet you've found some odd things hidden under various beds. :shock: In fact, a "Bloopers" thread might be very amusing, as long as the guilty are preotected. :D

I know this website serves more as a place to warn others about bad movers than to praise the good ones. That's an incredibly valuable role to play, and probably much less prone to abuse. Aas Gary Larsen pointed out in his famous cartoon, "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog." I could be anybody. I could be a mover trying to drum up business, or worse still, I could be an Evil Mover fabricating great reports about my service just to find a few more suckers.

That's the crappy part about any public internet forum. They can be incredibly useful for sharing important first-hand information among people with a common interest. (Which in my case, saved my bacon.) But they can also be manipulated, and it can be hard to identify people who want to plant false information without the administrators getting into a whole user validation thing. (I've run web PHP forums like this, and that approach can become an very time consuming task. )

So while my story is extemely, (and deservedly), complimentary about Joyce, and stories here that praise excellent service can be helpful to others, (and help morale as ArchieWhite says), I can see where this approach could also be abused by exactly the kind of sleazy movers we are trying to watch out for.

So before you scoundrels in the audience get started on that, you should know that the site administrators DO have the tools to record the IP address of everyone posting here. For example, they could identify posts made under various names describing several great moves by Shifty Movers Inc. from "happy customers" all over the country, but that all actually originated from a single IP address in another state. (In fact I'm sure that must have already happened at some point in the past.) So abuses CAN and almost certainly WILL be detected, but it's time consuming for the poor admins.

I dunno. I guess I'm just saying that people who do a great job at anything deserve to be publicly complimented. But if anyone was ever going to abuse this site, it would be to place false good stories about bad movers. (Or perhaps fake bad stories about a competitor.)

So I hope folks will take my comments on this thread as a single data point, but by all means do not use me as the only deciding factor when choosing a mover. I got lucky in a situation where I was all out of options, but ideally people facing a move should follow this site's excellent advice and do it methodically and thoughtfully. But I would encourage other folks to post both their good and bad moving experiences, becasue there are lessons to be learned in both situations. Admittedly, that can be difficult. It may take several days to find the computer....

Good luck to all!

farrah7031
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby farrah7031 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:57 pm

Thanks, the Moderators DO look at the IP addresses of the posts all the time to detect malicious posts - and they are removed when found.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:28 pm

Yes, and these moderators are a tough bunch too, I would never even attempt to hold their goods hostage, it would be a bloodbath, mostly mine.

blue
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:51 pm
Location: USA

Re: Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby blue » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:21 pm

The onsite estimate was about twice what the over the phone number was


Wow, that's never happened before. :roll: Hello!! Based on your post, you seem to be someone of integrity...however, many potential customers often times think by short-selling to the phone estimator, the ultimate price will be less. Reputable company's will insist on visual survey.

How bout the time we moved a lady and she said some stuff was missing, and she wanted us to pay for her and a companion to go to Paris, to rebuy the stuff, and it would take 2 trips, as one trip would be too tiring. She insured the stuff for $10,000, but filed a claim for $155,000.00.


Archie, I've heard that story before. I laughed again anyway.

Glad2BDone
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:56 pm
Location: CT

Re: Complex, short-notice, successful move within CT with Joyce Van Lines

Postby Glad2BDone » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:57 pm

You're right, blue. After a few minutes on the phone, I realized I couldn't really even accurately describe what needed to move by using the standard ballpark metrics of how many rooms or square feet. It was an odd situation requieng a partila move, and both Bill and I were uncomforatble about trying to do numbers over the phone.

I bet customers do tend to understate their needs over the phone, even unintentionally. But I agree an onsite estimate is absolutely essential.


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