Things You Shouldn't Say to Movers

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What Not to Say to Movers

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The mover-customer relationship is a complicated thing.

These people are paid to enter your home, handle your things, and drive them away. It takes a lot of trust that is usually aided by spending money on an insurance plan. You may need to be firm with them in order to make sure you understand what they're doing and what you are paying for. Still, it is best to keep your movers happy. A confrontation with them on moving day is best to be avoided.

With that in mind, here are some things you shouldn't say to movers.

"Take as long as you like"

You don't want to say this to movers because they may take you up on it. Many moving companies charge based on the time it takes for the move to happen. It is a common scam that movers will move extra slowly in order to drive up the price. Telling them to take as long as they like also could be construed as a sarcastic accusation that they are scamming you in this way. That could get awkward.

"Why are you loading that first?"

You are well within your rights to supervise the movers and how they handle your belongings, but the one thing you probably don't know too much about is how to load their truck. The loading process can be a complex spatial puzzle. Movers know their truck and how to weigh it. They also know where restraining straps are. In the scheme of things, the order that they load or unload your belongings really won't matter much, so it is best to let them do their thing as long as it doesn't look like they're damaging your items.

"Can you take this, too?"

Movers should not have to pack and load last minute items. First of all, asking them to do so will give them an open invitation to charge you much more than the initial estimate. Also, new items are not accounted for beforehand so the movers may be unprepared to move them. There is only so much room in their trucks, and maybe they took a smaller truck in anticipation of the load being what they thought it would be.

"I know you said you couldn't move this, but please..."

If a moving company tells you that they can't move an item, you should be convinced that they can't move it. Some items are unlawful to move and some moving jobs are simply beyond the capabilities of some moving companies. Asking a mover to do this puts him in a compromising situation and he should say no. If the mover says yes, you're probably not working with a very reputable moving company.

"Don't try anything funny, I'm watching you"

Do you not trust your movers? You probably should have screened the moving company better. Even if they make you nervous, you should not create an atmosphere of distrust by basically telling them that you think they're criminals. Don't make the situation uncomfortable for them even if you find it uncomfortable for yourself.

"Your bosses on the phone really made me mad."

If you had a problem with some of the other people at the moving company, it is best not to take it out on the movers. For one, the movers you are dealing with could be contracted by the moving company, so you may not be talking about anybody they know. If you are talking bad about their boss it creates an awkward situation for them. Movers don't really have much say in the company's policies, so don't take out your frustrations on them.

"How do you like this weather? What's your story? Here's the story of my life.."

Movers are there to do a job and leave. A little small talk is nice, but trying to have full conversations with movers who are carrying heavy items is probably not the best idea. Most movers want to get the job done and be on their way, they're not looking to make friends. Being polite and nice is one thing, but avoid crossing that line into annoyance by trying to talk to movers too much.

"Be careful with that!" 

If you are looking at the movers, they probably are already being careful with your items. Usually your noted presence is enough to keep the movers from being careless with your belongings. Yelling at them to be careful is almost always unnecessary and could create resentment. Resentment could lead to surprise hidden moving fees.

"How much should I tip you?"

Whether you are asking this to a mover or a server, it is always an awkward question. If you don't know how much to give them, either do what feels right or use the 5 percent rule that seems to be something of an industry standard. That means you tip them 5 percent of the total cost of the move. Or don't tip them anything if they did a bad job -- they do get paid by their employer. Long discussions about tips will make movers uncomfortable and sometimes a refusal isn't just being polite, but is because they aren't allowed to accept tips according to their company's rules.

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on September 2, 2014 - Moving Expert
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