Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Discount movers - a nightmare?

A friend of mine recently hired a "discount mover" to move her stuff and it was a nightmare......or was it?

Maybe it's the down economy, but it seems like so many "discount movers" are popping up all over the place. The concept of "discount movers" seems to make sense for people with small 1 or 2 br condos since they don't have a lot of "stuff" to move; so the prices these "discount movers" charges seems reasonable (company my friend (we'll call her Sarah) hired a company that charged $65 per hour for a two person crew in DC). Unfortunately, Sarah's specific experience with a discount movers was a nightmare. Sarah scheduled a"discount mover" to arrive at 6pm, which she thought would give her plenty of time to move all her things into the storage by the 10pm storage closing time. Sarah's plan was folied when the "discount mover" showed up two hours late, at 8pm, then told her that the loading alone will take 3 hours! OMG!!!!!! The movers wanted to re-schedule for two days later, but my friend had to be out of the house that night! Unfortunately, the "discount mover" said it could not perform the move and she was left high and dry.

Sounds like a nightmare experience right? or was it? I was helping her move, and, at the time, I agreed with her. But after thinking about the situation for a few hours, she (and I) realized that the mistake wasn't hiring a discount moving company but was not understand the discount mover's "system." If understood how "discount movers" business model worked, then I wouldn't be writing this blog - thank godness she didn't!

What do I mean by this? Well, let's think about this for a second. How can you have a "discount mover"? How does their business model differ so much to charge their customers so much less? It's not because of their low overhead (although I'm sure it helps); it's not because their labor hours are lower (maybe a little....but not 20-50% lower); then what????? After spending an hour with them deliberating various options on moving, I realized that these people just work a lot more than "regular movers." These "discount movers" try to accomplish 150% of what a "regular movers" accomplish. Discount movers know that they don't work for a big company and they need work harder to ensure they always have a job. And it's not like moving is a great science (no offense).

Knowing that, the mistake was scheduling the final shift with the moviers - when they're tired and not as motivated considering they worked much more than a "normal" mover can handle. Not only that, because they are trying to accomplish as many tasks as possible, their schedule is crammed and it's guaranteed that they will be two hours late to their day's final job!

The lesson learned is not that "discount movers" are bad, actually, I think they are just as good as "regular movers"; rather, the mistake was scheduling the "discount movers" for it's final job. - Real Video Tours; not just flying photos.

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