When I decided that I didn’t want to break my back moving my heavier furniture down one flight and up at least one more, I also decided that I wanted someone else to do that for me. I could have done more research when choosing a moving company, as I was hoping for a recommendation from a friend or co-worker. No one was able to quickly provide any information, so I did what most people do, I checked the Yellow Pages.
I felt I’d be more comfortable going with a national company with name recognition, and my eyes focused on the listing for Two Men and a Truck. I had seen their trucks around before, white with black lettering, and the simplicity of their concept and the student-on-the-cheap attitude invited me to do more research.
Thanks to Epinions, I was able to find out more about the company from past customers’ perspectives. There were, as I would have guessed, many favorable and many unfavorable reviews, with the positive outnumbering the negative. One thing I had to keep in mind is that each office of Two Men and a Truck is independently operated and therefore wildly different experiences would be expected from location to location. There were no reviews for my local office specifically.
I filled out a form online and quickly received a quote. The move would be $120 per hour, plus one hour drive time. They don’t charge by the pound, so there’s no risk of weight fraud. The hourly rate was a little high, but it’s comparable for the area. A move on a Saturday carried a minimum of 4 hours while a Sunday move required 6 hours. To schedule the move on a weekday, the minimum charge would be “only” for two hours. I decided that it would be worth it to work from home a half day and schedule the move on a weekday afternoon.
When I called for more details about the quote, their office manager exteaplained that their crewss were fully booked for the day I scheduled, but they would be able to pull a crew from the North Arlington office — farther away — without any additional travel charge.
On the day of the move — yesterday — I received a call about 30 minutes before their scheduled arrival time. The directions they received from the office were not very good and they were getting lost. I directed them properly and they arrived 15 minutes early. After explaining what I wanted to have moved and filling out the paperwork (liability waiver, etc.), the crew, two men named N. and K., went to work.
They did a decent job protecting my furniture, not that what I have is worth much. I was concerned that they didn’t wrap my mattress in plastic, but once it was lifted onto the truck, they did a good job of protecting it. To my surprise, rather than carrying the lighter items down the stairs outside my old apartment, one man passed items over the balcony to the other.
After the truck was fully loaded, I gave each guy a bottle of water and they followed me to the new apartment. When they arrived, they drove around to reposition the truck and began unloading. During the whole process, the crew was friendly and conversational. They saw my bicycle on the balcony and we talked a little about riding.
As they were finishing up I offered a couple of cans of soda. K. reassembled my dining room table, adding in the leaf, and I did the closing paperwork with N.
The entire process took a little less than the two hour minimum charge, so I’m very pleased with my decision to schedule the move on a weekday, “saving” at least $240. After they were finished, I offered them soda, provided them directions back to the Turnpike, and sent them on their way. The only problem I had was with my entertainment center. I noticed it was scratched up badly after they left. I could just repaint the black shelves, but I probably won’t. The center was passed down to me from a friend, and I’ll likely get rid of it when it’s time to buy a new television.
Here’s the full breakdown of the cost:
|2 hours moving time at $120 per hour:||$240|
|1 hour driving time:||$120|
|Tip for two movers:||$50|
|($360 on cash back credit card, $50 in cash)|
All in all, it was a good move, and I would recommend them to anyone else in the area who needs to move, keeping in mind that any branch of the office — or any crew — might provide an experience that is not quite as good.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 26, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.