They got the job done, but...
Submitted this review about AAA InstaMove
Review made Live: 1/6/2010 2:37:00 PM
We hired InstaMove to move heavy items only from our apartment to our house. I hired them because they had a number of positive local reviews and seemingly no negative stuff. The movers were right on time, and started off courteous. They arrived in a very old 26' UHaul truck, which was fine but not exactly what I imagined considering that other companies in the area such as All My Sons or Two Men and a Truck use professionally painted moving trucks.
The movers did an excellent job padding and securing our items and loading them into the truck. My only big issue was their speed - they were extremely sluggish in loading and unloading the items. It took from 8AM to 1PM to move this handful of items 6 miles away. Maybe that is normal. I don't know. If I had done the job myself, I definitely know I could have done it in 1/2 of the time they took. I only had 2 beds pre-disassembled, some bedroom funiture, some TVs and bookcases, so it was not like there was a huge amount of stuff to do. But, to err on the side of caution, perhaps they were slow to prevent personal injury or damage to the furniture. At any rate, they did take a more than ample number of breaks to smoke / drink fluids. It is a fine line, but I would classify them as "deliberately slow."
Toward the end of the move, one of the guys did get a little cocky with me/us about a bed that we accidently had them misplace in the upstairs bedroom versus the downstairs. They are hourly, so I did not know what the fuss was about..I hired them and they should have moved the bed wherever I wanted, period. But the one guy definitely made it clear that he had an issue with moving this bed.
Anyway, he moved it and we got the bill, along with a comment about us "paying up with a good tip." Based on their speed, and the bed issue, I did not tip them as much as I would have normally. Perhaps I tipped too little, but the past is now the past. Would I use them again? I am not entirely sure I would. I think I might consider other options for the price and time they took. They definitely inflated the bill by $100 or more by taking their time. I might suck it up and do it all myself next time around.
They did not break or damage anything, and they were very professional about what they moved and how they moved it. I give them kudos for experience and for being very careful.
Their quoting mechanism is to charge $237 for the first two hours and $79 each additional hour. This open ended quote keeps them out of trouble, and also allows them to stretch the time to get more money out of you. Technically, it keeps their quotes honest such that you cannot come back and say "hey, you quoted me X and charged Y." It is a technique, so watch for it.
My advice is to do considerable research up front. This site is a great resource, but some companies are not listed, prompting you to do other research. Just keep in mind that it is not surprising that some companies might actually seed reviews or review sites with favorable reviews to drum up business...so watch out for 100% positive reviews or things that go against your gut. I'm not saying these people did that, but watch out for it. Also, my personal advice is to beware of testamonials on ANY website, as these can be written by anyone.