How much do I tip the movers?
I have to admit, I was a little confused by the question.
The first email I received from this lady had “Move from Hell” listed on the subject line.
Based on the number of favorable comments she gleaned from a popular anti-mover venue, she originally decided to use a well known do-it-yourself mobile/portable container shipping option to handle her move from New York City down to Florida's Gulf Coast .
When advised that the freight company didn't service her address in Brooklyn, she then contacted a small locally based mover recommended by the site. The owner told her their schedule was full. Besides they didn't handle interstate jobs going that far south.
Her third call to a well-respected agency of a large national van line resulted in a estimated price that, according to my new visitor, was “completely ridiculous” compared to her DIY container quote she arranged online. She wrote asking if the moving and storage company was a 'scammer' after seeing the RELORT piece on shuttle service in NYC at another website.
I told I'd been doing business with them for almost four decades and left it at that. It seemed rather pointless to show her that the cubic feet listed on the in-home estimate supplied by the real mover indicated she probably would have needed four or five 'cubes' to relocate everything in her apartment, instead of the two the container company's automated estimating tool indicated. Then I decided what the hell! I mentioned it anyway.
That was in April. She was picked-up last week. Despite the driver arriving a day late and then having some logistics problems because of New York's finest parking police, the gal was absolutely delighted by the level of communication and customer service she received from both the sales and operations departments. Good enough, in fact, that she wanted to tip them.
Afraid to upset the apple cart, I pulled out an old post, copied the content and pasted it into my reply.
A tip or gratuity should always be a reflection of your level of appreciation for a job well done.
Most professional movers are thankful when a customer simply has cold water, hot coffee/cocoa, or sports drinks available throughout the job. They feel fortunate when invited to use the restroom or sink to clean up. One couple instructed their driver that the hose was still turned at the bottom of the porch and that the crew could use the bathroom at the gas station on the corner. Wanna guess how that move went?
I've received grateful hugs, home-baked cakes and cookies, $2.00 coins, and five hundred dollar checks. Ten to $20.00 per laborer, however, is typically what’s offered.
Some customers provide light snacks or a lunch if the packing, loading or unloading activity extends past five or six hours. Eating refreshments provided in the residence not only expedites the job but allows the homeowner to keep track of the crew's activities.
A mover should never be given any property (however small) without an accompanying release signed by the homeowner. Over the years I’ve seen numerous police complaints and claim disputes where it's alleged that items were taken from the home without the shipper's knowledge.
Hope this helps. Good luck with your move. ~ Eric
The latest note was a thank you. Her shipment is arriving tomorrow – two days past her agreed delivery period of time!
Despite the late arrival, she said she's so happy with her van operator's service that she's planning to give each worker a gift certificate along with a tip.
And she already told her driver's wife that she giving him extra money to pay their $115 parking ticket.
More "How to…" move tips – RELO Roundtable
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