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Moving Postscript

August 3rd, 2007

Just one last note on the whole moving process that I have neglected to mention until now. It has to do with the variety of levels of service you can get. Sachi and I both used movers to move stuff from our old apartments and bring them to the new place. To get a bit of a discount, we used the same company to do both jobs–to varying results. Sachi’s movers were cheerful and helpful from start to finish. My movers, despite being from the same company, were far from that. The lead guy was, if anything, sullen. As if he resented having to do the move. Granted, I did kind of push them on cramming stuff into the truck, and I did have them move a ton of stuff downstairs to the Sodai-gomi area–but all that was part of the contracted service, and it happened near the end of the loading time, when the team’s attitude had already been long expressed.

But there were lots of small details which kind of caught my attention. One was when one of the movers damaged the new apartment. He was hauling in part of a bookcase when he hit a doorway with it–denting the door frame and chipping off an edge of the bookcase. Rather loudly, too. Knowing this could cost us from our deposit when we move out, we asked that the moving company’s insurance take care of it. Last we heard–quite some time ago–the moving guy claimed that the company didn’t carry such insurance and that if we pressed it, he (the moving guy who did the damage) would have to pay for it out of his own pocket.

This is unacceptable on at least a few different levels. First of all, any moving company worth its salt would have either insurance or some system that could handle such damage. It’s not like this is an unexpected occurrence, after all–this has to be the #1 or #2 problem in the service part of the process. If the movers cause damage, they should be prepared to take care of it, seamlessly and without fuss for the client. But worse than that is to have the mover himself tell the client that he’ll be punished financially if we press them on it. That’s unprofessional to the point of scoundrel behavior–like they’re going cheap on us and playing on our guilt. Either we pay for damage we didn’t cause, or make this poor slob who probably gets paid a pittance shell out more than he can afford for us.

But it wasn’t just how the company itself dealt with the issue, it’s also about how sloppily the work was done. Case in point: when they moved my washer-dryer to the new place, they had to disassemble it. The dryer sits upon a brace that is attached to the back of the washing machine; it is attached to the framework with four bolts and nuts. Without them, the dryer would only loosely sit atop the frame, and would quickly nudge itself off and fall to the floor if operated.

After the movers finished up in the old place and I was getting ready to shut it down, I noticed the four nuts and bolts sitting on the floor near where the washer and dryer had been; they had left them behind. I picked them up and gave them to the chief mover, who did not apologize for having made such an oversight.

When they moved the stuff into the new place, they did not put the washer and dryer back together again, because the drainage tube was on the wrong side. Another bad point about the company: movers should be aware of basic installation of such stuff, washer-dryers in particular. Instead, they left us with the washer in the nook designed for the machine, and the dryer sitting on the floor nearby. What’s worse, the chief mover completely forgot about the nuts and bolts–again. He left the job with them in his pocket. That left us unable to put it back together, even if we did manage to switch the drainage tube in the way the movers should have done themselves.

We called the company the next day, and they said they’d send the parts to us as soon as they could. We expected them to arrive the next day by express mail or takkyubin, seeing as how we could not do our laundry without them. Instead, we got them more than a week later. Even by regular mail, it couldn’t have taken more than two days, usually just one–meaning that these guys took about a week before they sent them to us, with the brief note below:


By this time, it was meaningless anyway. As I described in a post about a month ago, our problem was solved by the Internet guy. That is, the guy who came to set up our fiber-optic Internet connection for the phone company. On his way out, he noticed that our dryer, which still sat on the floor (which is probably why he noticed it) was a model that required a part to be replaced due to a recall. I then asked him if he knew about washing machines, and he said he did–and the telephone company guy then proceeded, in just a few minutes, to switch the direction of the drainage tube. I then asked him what we should do about the missing nuts and bolts–and he simply opened up his small tool case and produced exactly the nuts and bolts we needed. Like magic. As if every Internet installation guy of course carries a set of nuts and bolts to fasten a drying machine to a washing machine frame.

That’s what really put the movers to shame: when the phone company guy can do the mover’s expected work ten times better. Yes, I know the phone company guy was unrealistically helpful and prepared, but still, that’s exactly the kind of work the movers should have been prepared for–instead of not doing their expected work and losing the same essential parts twice in one evening and then taking a week to return them.

Yeah, I know… whine, whine, moan, moan. I’ll shut up now, and maybe try to get back to political issues and and social commentary.

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  1. August 3rd, 2007 at 19:06 | #1

    It may be helpful to mention the name of the mover so others are warned not to use them. If it makes you feel any better, people who install stuff in our place seem to always damage it. The refrigerator delivery guys scarred the new kitchen floor and took a chunk out of the wall. The air conditioner installation guy left drill shaving dust all over the ledge under the air conditioner and broke a wooden bookholder frame (which he didn’t even need to touch but moved in anticipation of changing the location of the installation before he even discussed it with us).

    Also, please don’t forget to post pictures of the areas you didn’t get to before (particularly your computer set-up).

  2. August 4th, 2007 at 01:00 | #2

    You forgot to tell us of the company name, so that other people can avoid them in the future. :-)

  3. Luis
    August 4th, 2007 at 01:28 | #3

    Details, details… but you’re right. I was avoiding saying the name, actually. As I mentioned, Sachi’s movers were good, mine not so good. Depends on which team you get, I suppose. Still, the washer-dryer installation thing was not so great, nor the insurance thing.

    To those who are looking for movers, the “Heart” Moving Company may or may not be the one you’re looking for….

    Though keen observers would have picked this up, both from the (admittedly tiny) “signature” on the letter pictured above, plus the moving company’s name on the boxes pictured here when I was moving.

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