Sam’s Moving, from Central Point, Oregon, packed and loaded all of our belongings for our move from Ashland, Oregon to Illinois. Every now and then you have a story to tell, and it’s just a bit too long for a Yelp review, so you decide to blog about it. This is such a story. And it has to do with Sam’s Moving from Central Point.
My family and I were moving to Illinois from Ashland, and decided to move with PODS. It was a bit of a last minute decision to go with PODS, and so we needed to find a local company who could pack up our entire home and load the PODS for us. We have been professionally moved twice before, both with Bekins, and have had very good experiences with everyone involved. We have had Bekins come in with 2-3 guys, and pack up our entire 3 bedroom home in about 4-6 hrs from start to finish. We have had our furniture carefully moved and arrived with no nicks or scratches.
We cannot say the same about Sam’s Moving. Our experience from start to finish with Sam’s Moving from Central Point, was unprofessional and I could not in good conscience ever recommend Sam’s Moving to anyone else.
While we were getting quotes from various moving companies, those companies did thorough inventories of all our rooms and belongings. When Sam’s Moving came to our house, Sally and Mike (the owners) came with another guy, and did a very cursory look at our stuff. They didn’t seem to know if they had the right type of boxes to use, and were just counting up how many furniture pads they thought I should pick up for our stuff. We had called them to come out and give us a quote for a full pack and load, and yet they seemed a little surprised when I told them we weren’t planning on packing anything. In the end, Mike gave me an estimate of $1000 for the full pack and load of our belongings into two PODS. He said that he always estimates very high, and that there was no way it was going to be close to $1000 for our bid, but he just wanted to estimate that amount.
We had all our boxes from our previous move to Oregon, but they said they’d bring some others with them. We set up the date, and then assumed that everything was going to be okay. There was a question of whether they’d need 2 or 3 people to do all the packing, but Sally assured her team that she was fine with 2 people, that she actually worked better if it was just her and one other person.
On the morning that they were supposed to come pack us up, Sally and her daughter showed up at our house. They had a few rolls of tape, two small boxes of U-Haul packing paper, and a pack of small U-Haul boxes. And that’s when the packing began. At around 9am. I showed them were all of our old boxes were, pointed out the extra-sturdy cardboard boxes that were meant for kitchen appliances (they were even labeled “Kitchen Appliances” on the side) and said I was around if they had any questions.
And then the packing began.
It seemed that it was taking them a very long time to pack, but I tried not to say anything. A few times I popped in to ask a question about what they were packing, or why they were packing something a certain way. Sometimes they’d ask us questions about how we wanted certain things packed that made me question how professional they actually were.
Then I saw some of the boxes that they finished. Some of them were bulging and not even fully closed. Most just had 1 piece of tape closing them, and sometimes I had to add a few more pieces of tape just to make sure they stay closed. A few boxes collapsed because they hadn’t packed enough stuff in them, and so had to be repacked.
And they were slow. Very slow. In the end, it took them almost 12 hours to pack our house, and they didn’t even get to the garage by that point in the evening. They also forgot about certain cupboards in the kitchen.
The next morning when the loaders came, they looked at our stuff and said “OH, there’s NO WAY that’s going to fit into 2 PODS.” That was reassuring. Sally showed up that morning, along with Mike (who just sat in the truck), and Sallie and the movers started to work on packing the garage. However, it was going so slowly that my wife had to come out and start packing up boxes as well. I’m only mentioning that because we were paying them to fully pack EVERYTHING of ours; we weren’t planning on helping out, and we had to pitch in to help them finish their job. 12 hrs of packing the day before and they couldn’t pack all of our stuff.
The guys who came to move our stuff were actually very friendly, and overall, I think they did okay. But they didn’t bring any tape or boxes with them (to pack up the rest of the garage stuff) and they hadn’t brought any of the shrinkwrap that I was told they were going to use to cover all of the dressers, and wood furniture. Eventually they got some, but did not cover all of the wood furniture, which caused some damage to our furniture. They just wrapped a few pieces around the middle section of the furniture item.
The first POD was packed solid with our washer and dryer and boxes.
The second POD was packed horribly. Stuff was just thrown in, and when I questioned whether things were really secure when I saw the finished product, they said they would be fine. They were really rushed by the end because apparently some of the guys weren’t supposed to be working that day (then who did they have planned to come and load our stuff??).
I was frustrated the whole time with Sally and her husband, and was increasingly irritated by the packing job they had done.
And then the bill came. It was over $1000. Of course, we were charged for the full 12 hours of packing, and even then, it seemed like it was more than it should have been (since it wasn’t supposed to cost over $1000). Turns out it was a fee that I wasn’t told about ever before in our conversations. They use a Square card reader to accept credit card payments, and they add in the 2.75% fee that Square charges to your bill. And their Square card reader wasn’t working, so they had to manually enter the credit card in over the phone, which increases the fee, and they were charging us for that increase in fee. After paying it, I called to tell them that I thought it was inappropriate to charge a fee they hadn’t told me about before, let alone to charge me MORE because THEIR card reader was busted. They did refund me the money for that fee, and I will give them credit for that.
And that was the end of our face-to-face interactions with Sam’s Moving from Central Point, Oregon. Little did we realize how bad the packing job was until we arrived in Illinois.
Our unloaders in Illinois couldn’t even open the PODS in the beginning because of the way that they had been packed by Sam’s Moving. Things had just been jammed in, and made opening the PODS almost impossible. After about 15 minutes of trying to open the doors, we were able to get the PODS open.
And then the unloading and unpacking began. When our unloaders saw the way they had packed the second POD, they were shocked. That was good to know that other professional movers felt the same way I did. One of them looked at me and said, “Oh my god. They’re monsters!” He was appalled at the way they had packed that second POD.
As we began to unpack the boxes, it was absolutely shocking to see the way that Sam’s Moving had packed our boxes. Here are just a few of the things that we found upon unloading and unpacking:
1. We had one broken lamp. It wasn’t very expensive, just more annoying than anything else.
2. They had used Medium and Large sized boxes to pack stuff that was in our bathroom drawers. And it was clear that they had taken the drawers out, dumped the contents into a large box, and then got on to the next drawer. It was ridiculous, as you can see in the photos below. And it was an absolute mess. I don’t remember how other movers have packed our bathroom stuff, but Sam’s Moving clearly doesn’t have a clue how to do it.
3. I was told that I needed to rent about 80 furniture pads to cover all of our stuff. When I went to U-Haul to pick those up, they said that seemed like way too many, so I picked up 60 instead. In the end, the guys didn’t even use all 60, and we had some leftover. But when we unpacked the PODs, we realized that they hadn’t even covered all the furniture. So our bedroom furniture got scratched and dings, but more annoying was that the really nice furniture that we have for Caleb’s room got some big gouges and scratches on it. Caleb’s crib, which is a really nice piece of furniture, has some huge gouges in the legs and on the crib frame.
This first photo is the part of the crib that is on the inside where Caleb stands up and is very visible.
4. Glass storage containers used in the kitchen were simply thrown into a box, and were not wrapped or packed with any packing paper at all. Somehow, they didn’t break, but easily could have.
5. We had four full-size wardrobe boxes, but in one of them, they took my suit, sport coat, and Sarah’s nice dresses, and just shoved them into the box, instead of using the hangers provided in the box. They also took random stuff like Caleb’s changing pad, and folded it in half and put it in a wardrobe box. It could have easily stood up straight in a wardrobe box, but they folded it in half.
6. Some boxes were not packed appropriately, and simply collapsed in the move. I opened one medium sized box that had just a few items placed in the bottom of it. It wouldn’t have even filled up a small sized box.
7. Sam’s Moving from Central Point, Oregon, did not use the appropriate boxes for certain items. I had pointed out the heavy-duty boxes for kitchen appliances. Those were used for some baby items in Caleb’s room, not for kitchen appliances. They used the wrong sized boxes and some of the boxes weren’t closed properly with tape.
8. It is very easy to professional pack boxes of books, which we have a ton of. I looked up on YouTube how professional companies pack them (standing upright, spines touching, pages toward the sides of the boxes) and learned in 2 minutes. These books were tossed into boxes, no order to them, pages got bent and some books were bent.
9. They didn’t label the boxes correctly. So we had two large boxes marked “Office” but it was all stuff for the living room, with one item from the office in the box. This happened a lot. Which is frustrating when the people unloading your stuff places boxes in the rooms that they are marked to be in.
10. Sarah has a nice wooden and glass jewelry box that was just put in the bottom of a box and not wrapped with anything.
11. Our really nice Kitchen Aid mixer was also just placed into the bottom of a box, not wrapped with anything.
12. They unassembled our bed and Caleb’s crib, and I gave them Ziploc baggies to keep all the hardware and bolts in, and then had them give it to me. However, I found a few screws in Caleb’s room before we left, and found random bolts on the floor of the POD as well. They had just left some of the bolts and hardware in the unassembled crib pieces, and they had fallen out. Luckily, I found all of them, otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to assemble Caleb’s furniture.
13. I have to say, we used to laugh at the stuff that Bekins would wrap; I mean, they would wrap everything. Which is probably a little bit overkill. But there has to be some happy medium between wrapping baby toys and wrapping…well, nothing in some boxes at all.
I will say, that even with Sam’s Moving Company horrible packing job, and the way the second POD was loaded, there really wasn’t much that was broken or damaged en route from Oregon to Illinois. But with the way that they did pack, I am surprised that more wasn’t broken during travel.
If I could separate my ratings on Yelp for the packing services and the loading services, I would (not by much, but I would). But since it just asks for one rating, I will still give it a 1 star, just so that others might know about our story.
I know that other people have had way worse moving stories (please feel free to share below), but the purpose of this post is simply to share our story, and to let others know about the unprofessional move we experienced with Sam’s Moving in Central Point, Oregon.
What’s your worst moving experience?