It’s really nice when things go according to plan, and that universal truth is especially true during a house move. The process of moving from one home to another is a notoriously stressful life event when things can go wrong in the blink of an eye.
If you’re moving home soon enough, then it’s important to remember that, more often than not, it’s the little extra efforts that you invest into keeping things organized that should pay off handsomely in the end.
Unfortunately, some things will always stay out of your direct control no matter how hard you try to keep your house move smooth from start to finish. Like the exact time (or day!) your hired movers will show up.
Read on to learn what to do if your movers are late to arrive either for pick-up or for delivery. Stop looking at your watch nervously and follow the steps below to take the best action under the newly-presented circumstances.
Are movers always late?
Of course not.
If you’ve done your homework right and have researched various movers well before agreeing to use their services, then you’ll know that you’ve chosen a top-rated professional moving company that won’t let you down. And if such a reputable moving company is late, either at pickup or at delivery, then there must be a good reason for that delay.
Anything can happen on the road: from your movers getting stuck in traffic (this excuse never fails, does it?) or going to the wrong address, to the moving truck having a flat tire or suffering some technical issues. Moreover, severe cases of understaffed crews, family emergency situations for any of the team members, possible mix-ups in the moving company schedule, or even traffic accidents of various sorts are never out of the question either.
Whatever the reasons for your movers not showing up on time, the result is that you find yourself stranded and your household items do not get picked up or delivered at the pre-arranged time or day.
See also: What’s the worst thing about moving home?
Movers are late for pickup: Steps to follow
It’s move-out day and there’s no trace of your movers – they should have been at your home to pick up your items a long time ago. What should you do?
Step 1. Do not panic. Even in the worst case scenario when your moving company won’t show up at all, your prized household items are there by your side – safe and sound. You do not know yet why your movers are late, so until you learn of the actual reason for the delay, you’d better stay calm.
Step 2. Call the head office of the moving company. You should have their phone number at hand, but if you have misplaced it, then find in the moving contract or do a simple Google search with the company name to access their webpage, then look for the Contact Us section.
Step 3. Once you get in touch with their head office, explain your situation and demand concrete answers as to why the moving crew is missing. Be firm about requesting specific information. Once you get confirmation that the team will make it eventually, request an estimated time of arrival (ETA), so that you can organize your time in-between.
Step 4. If the delay will be only a few hours, then you can still make it all work. Use that time to make sure everything is ready – you have packed all you can by yourself, you’ve labeled the boxes, you’ve disassembled partly some of the furniture, you’ve prepared the essentials boxes, and you’ve kept all valuables separate from the rest of the boxes. On the other hand, if you are informed that the movers won’t be at your address before the next day, then you’ll need to make a major re-arrangement of your own schedule.
Step 5. If you fail to reach your moving company on the phone, then go through their website and look for an alternative phone number, like a mobile phone number instead of an office number. Either way, keep trying to reach them until they pick up the phone, which eventually they should do.
Step 6. If, for whatever hard-to-explain reason, you don’t succeed in contacting your movers for an explanation, then you can choose to wait and see how the whole story will unfold in the course of the day (especially if you’ve already paid them a booking deposit). Or you can look for so-called same-day movers (especially if you haven’t yet paid any money to the missing company).
Step 7. Most of the times, such last minute movers will be able to accommodate your house move despite the short notice. Fill in a quick moving quote and you will be contacted within minutes by emergency home movers that will actually help you resolve the unfortunate situation you’re currently finding yourself in.
Read also: What’s the single best advice when moving home?
Movers are late for delivery: Steps to follow
Avoid hitting the PANIC button if your moving company did not deliver your household items on time. As explained earlier, there are many reasons why a professional moving company may be late for delivery, so you shouldn’t automatically assume that the worst has already happened.
Yes, a moving company not delivering on time could spell TROUBLE, but until you have more information about what actually happened, you’re strongly advised to stay calm, or at least do your best.
Your movers didn’t show up at the new address, so what should you do?
Step 1. Again, it’s all about contacting the head office of the company in order to learn the reason for the delay. In the majority of cases, it’s just that – a delay that can range from a few hours to even a few days.
Step 2. The moment you get in touch with your movers over the phone, it’s vital that you understand how bad that delayed delivery will be.
Step 3. If you’re only going to wait a few hours, then you should use that time to do something useful, like running some errands within the new home. Isn’t it much easier to clean up the new place when it’s empty, with no furniture to get in your way? However, it’s not a great idea to leave your house or apartment in case your movers do show up earlier than expected (factoring in the delay, of course).
Step 4. If you’re going to have to wait a day or two, or even more, then things can get rather complicated. Is there even a bed in your place? Where will you sleep? You can always purchase an air mattress or a sleeping bag to survive until you get reunited with your furniture. Maybe you can rent a local hotel room until your movers do show up? Staying with a friend in that new town or city is a great option, provided that you do have a friend there. And, if you need to go to work, then that’s your number one priority – after all, bills will still need to be paid, including the dreaded relocation bill. It’s all about finding a temporary solution that will work for you.
Step 5. If you are unable to get through to your moving company for a long time, then you might have become a victim of moving fraud. First of all, contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888- 368-7238) Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, as they will give you the best possible advice on what you should do next.
Step 6. If your movers do contact you and demand more money (aka ransom money) to deliver your household items, then it’s a good idea to call the local police first, and then get in touch with the FMCSA (see Step 5).
What are the red flags of moving fraud?
How to avoid moving scams?
Protect your move (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)