All of your worldly possessions are in boxes, the keys to your new home are already on your key ring and you are pacing up and down an empty hallway staring at your watch. Or worse, you have taken possession of your new home and are stuck there without even a couch cushion to sit on while trying to get a hold of someone at the moving company.
In either scenario, waiting for the movers to arrive can be a nail biting experience. But how late is too late, and what recourse do you have if that line is crossed?
There could be any number of variables holding up a moving truck on its way to your soon to be old house. Traffic could be bad, they could have a flat tire, or maybe breakfast just ran a bit longer than usual. While it is unprofessional to be late for a scheduled time, give the movers an hour before going into a frenzy.
First double check the contract to see if the time stated was an estimated time. You don’t want to get on the phone only to find out that you signed a paper giving them the liberty to arrive between hours A and B. Once you determine that they are indeed late for the scheduled time, call the company and politely ask for an explanation and estimated time that you should expect to see the truck in your drive.
When the movers finally do arrive, resist the urge to verbally bash them for not being on time. Just be happy that they are there and getting busy at getting your boxes onto the truck. Make a note of the exact time that they arrived, and if your contract was specific about the time, use their lateness as a bargaining weapon when calculating your final bill with the moving company.
Being late delivering your household goods is more stressful and more expensive. If this is a long distance move and you are patiently waiting at the receiving end with no furniture or other home comforts, you may need to spend nights in a local hotel.
Again, check you contract carefully. Most movers are going to give you a two day window to expect delivery, allowing for any unforeseen delays while on the road. If they are on the third day with no word, it is time to call the company to see what has happened to your truck and belongings.
Calling the company will not make your truck get to the house any quicker, but it will give you a new estimated time and some peace of mind. Let the moving company know at this time the extra charges that you are incurring for the delay to find out how you will be reimbursed. There may be no recourse if the contract does not guarantee a delivery date beyond within a reasonable amount of time.
In most cases, your movers will be on time and moving day will go as planned, but do have a certain amount of patience reserved for unexpected surprises. If you are able to remain calm and take late movers in stride, your chances of receiving a financial discount or reimbursement will be greater.