We take a short break from these NBA playoffs to discuss a personal matter in the life and times of Sports Chump….
I received a call from Helping Hands late Saturday night, only hours before my scheduled move.
I had initially contacted Jim at Helping Hands in Ocala, Florida weeks earlier to load up a truck and help me move from Gainesville to Tampa on April 19th. At least that was the plan.
When I told Jim what I had to move, the standard amount of furniture for a two bedroom/two bath, he quoted me a price of $600 which included movers, as well as truck and fuel. Despite my numerous requests, he refused to send me an estimate in writing, saying he preferred to do business over the phone. Red flag number one.
The weekend before I was scheduled to move, he called me on Saturday to confirm the move for Easter Sunday, April 12th. I should have known something was amiss as the move was scheduled for the following Sunday. Red flag number two.
So last Saturday night at about 10:00 pm, only hours before the movers were scheduled to arrive at my front door, I received a call from Jim’s secretary. She told me they were going to have to charge me an extra $200! The transmission on their truck had suddenly gone out and they needed to rent a truck through U-Haul. I asked her why I was being held responsible for the inconvenience. I even offered to split the cost, but certainly they couldn’t call me hours before the move and increase my cost by a third. Or could they?
Frustrated, as I’ve been living out of boxes for over a week, I immediately called the owner, who sounded as if he was on a Saturday night bender. I asked him if that’s how he conducted business, calling someone the night before their scheduled move, then raising the agreed upon price. In what turned out to be a brief, forty-three second conversation, he told me in no uncertain terms to f*ck off and if I didn’t like it, I could f*cking move myself.
Shocked and under the gun, I immediately ran over my options, the first of which was to have a drink and calm my nerves. Fortunately, I still had time to get out of my current apartment. I’m also a firm believer in karma as well as the Better Business Bureau. I was eventually able to find local movers to do the job for cheaper than the original Un-Helpful Hands quote.
So let this be a lesson for those of you about to relocate. Get something in writing. Know who you’re dealing with. And always have a backup plan.
Oh… and I have Jim’s office and cell phone numbers if anyone wants to drop him a prank call.