Moving is hard, but sometimes making the wrong choice in a moving company can turn into a nightmare.
These moving nightmares can happen to anyone, even people who seem to have it all figured out. The same people we look to for advice and inspiration have to move too.
Here are some reportedly true stories from public figures who had horrible moving experiences, and simple ways to avoid these common mistakes. Tips from these experts will help you have a smooth move!
Finance Expert Nicole Lapin Warns Against Using Budget Movers
Nicole Lapin is a finance expert, TV & Podcast host, and author.
Nicole has been a correspondent on multiple news shows including the Morning Joe on MSNBC and the Today Show on NBC, is the author of New York Times bestselling books Rich Bitch and Boss Bitch, and is the host of her own podcast called Money Rehab.
Nicole is incredibly successful and has 402,000 followers on Instagram who look up to her for financial advice. She still had to learn the hard way how to move efficiently.
In an article she wrote for Forbes, Nicole recalls her painful experience using a portable container company to move across the country:
“This summer, I moved from New York to Los Angeles. To make things easier on myself, I tried using PODS, a moving and storage company that markets itself as being cheaper than traditional movers and having great customer service. Boy was that wrong. The company misquoted the size of trailer I needed, which left me stranded on the sidewalk with all my belongings on a weekend and s*** out of luck until Monday when the business reopened. I ended up on the phone for hours with their reps and almost in tears.” – Nicole Lapin
In her article she lists 5 moving tips she learned from her experience:
- Choose a trusted company with a good track record for your move.
- Move your own boxes if you want to make sure they’re taken care of properly.
- Make sure you account for local COVID restrictions and the possibility of COVID pricing from your moving company.
- It’s better to order a larger truck if you’re unsure of how much space you need.
- Remember to take food, lodging, and gas costs into account if you’re moving far away and driving across the country.
Famed Home Decorators’ @ChrisLovesJulia Belongings Held Hostage by Movers
Julia Marcum, known by her 700,000+ followers on Instagram as @chrislovesjulia, and on their website chrislovesjulia.com was the victim of a scam by her moving company. Julia and her husband Chris have made a living off documenting their life via their blog and social media accounts. They are home decorators, DIY renovators, and loving parents.
In their own words, “We’re a couple of progress-embracing home renovators, bloggers, brand ambassadors, and educators. We love: modern cottage design, s’mores around the fire pit, and our three cute kids (but not in that order).”
When Chris and Julia decided to move cross-country to North Carolina, they never expected to have so many issues with their moving company. According to their social media posts, their movers kept doubling the cost for their move and demanding cash up front. When their movers finally showed up with their belongings, they stopped unloading the truck until Chris and Julia paid them cash to continue working.
Unfortunately, many people have had issues with moving companies and/or their employees demanding more money while holding their customer’s belongings hostage.
In July 2021, 5 people were arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada and West Palm Beach, Florida for partaking in scams similar to what Chris & Julia experienced.
According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, these individuals would force customers who had signed low-cost moving contracts to sign contracts with higher rates by threatening to keep their belongings. “If the victim did not pay the new price, the employees would in some cases steal the victims’ household goods and sell them,” Metro said.
In Chris & Julia’s case, not only did the movers extort the couple for extra money, but they also left a large portion of their belongings behind. None of their TVs nor their dining room table made it to their new home on the first moving truck. They estimate that they are still missing about $40,000 worth of their belongings, including a priceless family heirloom piano. They’ve paid the moving company over $80,000 over the past few months and they still don’t know if they’ll ever see the rest of their belongings.
Chris & Julia decided to share their nightmare experience on their social media specifically so that other people can learn from their experience and avoid this kind of behavior.
Their two major takeaways from their moving experience are:
- Don’t hire movers through a broker (because you won’t know exactly which company is moving your stuff)
- Don’t pay anyone until you receive your stuff (moving companies shouldn’t need a deposit as collateral, they already have all of your belongings)
Art of Happy Moving Author’s Car Left Behind by Movers
Ali Wenzke is the author of The Art of Happy Moving. She became an expert at moving after many moving mishaps. She moved 10 times in just 11 years and lived in 7 different states. Now she helps teach people the best ways to declutter their homes, prepare for moving day, and settle in a new city.
In an article for Reader’s Digest, Wenzke recalls how a moving company held her car hostage:
“When my husband and I moved from California to Illinois, we shipped our car across the country. The company touted its tracking system, which as it turns out, was none other than the truck driver’s cell phone,” Wenzke said. “To make matters worse, the company told us at the last minute that they couldn’t bring our car into Chicago because the truck was too big. Instead, the company left our Honda Passport in an undisclosed location.”
The company demanded that Wenzke wire money to them before they would disclose the location of her car. Instead, Wenzke drove around Chicago with a co-worker until they found her car.
Now she warns people to do thorough research into car transportation services.
Her tips include:
- Get at least 3 estimates.
- Check references.
- Get the terms of delivery in writing.
Avoiding a moving nightmare starts with being informed. Check out our free moving resources.