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What to Do If Movers Are Late

November 10, 2023

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Moving can be stressful, and late movers make the process even worse. If your movers are late for pickup or delivery on your move day, your plans can be thrown off. However, knowing how to handle such a situation can lead to a calm resolution. man waiting

If your movers are late for pickup or delivery, follow the 3 C’s: Calm, Contract, and Call.

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Check your move contract.
  3. Call the moving company.

Why Are My Movers Late?

Late movers are usually the result of bad traffic, technical troubles with the moving van, or incorrect information about their destination, picking up, or dropping off. More often than not, it’s a reasonable explanation, and they’re on their way. 

However, the important question isn’t why your movers are late — instead, it’s when will they arrive and what can you do in the meantime. 

What to Do If Movers Are Late

The good news is that you can take control of the situation, even if it doesn't feel that way initially. First, let’s go through the 3 C’s in closer detail.

Losing your temper won’t solve the situation or get the movers there faster. Remember that this is just one day, and soon, you’ll be settled into your new home or commercial space. 

Leading up to Moving Day, keep your moving contract and other essential papers in a convenient, hard-to-lose place. That way, you can quickly check details or contact information if needed. 

Before you panic that your movers are never coming, check the times listed in your move contract. They may not be late—many times, moving contracts will list out a window in lieu of a specific time. It could be that they’re still within the agreed-upon timeframe. Many companies also build a grace period into their contract verbiage to cover last-minute emergencies or hold-ups like the one you’re experiencing.

Say you’ve checked the moving contract and determined they are indeed late. Now, it’s time to call the moving company and inform them of what’s going on. A professional moving contract will list the company’s name, address, and phone number, as well as the contact info for your coordinator.

Call the company or your coordinator. Calmly let them know you’re dealing with late movers. Be polite yet firm in requesting specific details about the arrival time. Their response will shape how you react.

15 More Minutes: If they say the movers should be there in the next 15 minutes, continue to wait or finish up last-minute cleaning.

An Hour or Two: If they say it will be an hour or longer, use the extra time to double-check that everything is ready — boxes are labeled, you’ve safely packed items you are taking in your vehicle (i.g., valuables, etc.), and you have finished cleaning.

The Next Day: If they say the movers will not be able to arrive until the following day, you may have to rearrange your schedule, including making alternate sleeping arrangements.

What If I Can’t Get Ahold of the Moving Company? 

If you cannot get a hold of your moving company (i.e., no one answers the phone after multiple tries), you have a decision to make. You can continue waiting and hope they arrive soon or reach out to a competitor for a last-minute move.

Pro-Moving Tip: Have the contact information for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) handy in the event of a worst-case scenario. If your movers do not arrive with your possessions at your new destination and you cannot reach anyone at the company, you may be the victim of a moving scam

You can then submit a claim through FMCSA or file a complaint to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

You can contact FMCSA at 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. They will give you advice on what you should do next. 

When late movers finally arrive, check in on their behavior and attitude. Are they apologetic, or do they act as if nothing happened? Did they or the company attempt to contact you to let you know what was going on?

If you’re unsatisfied with their service, let the moving company know! Often, they can offer a discount for your troubles. Your other option for recourse is to leave an honest review about your experience. An honest review is a powerful response that can help other customers avoid a similar fate or even elicit a response from the company. (If everything else about your move went smoothly, mention that so people get the whole picture.)

Are Movers Normally Late?

Moving companies don’t set out to be late, but it happens more often than you think. Logistics and external factors can lead to schedule delays. Before hiring a moving company, do your research! You want to hire a company that prides itself on timeliness, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. After all, they are moving your entire household or companies—that’s a big responsibility and not to be taken lightly! 

Stacked moving boxes.

Hire a Trusted Moving Company

You can avoid late movers by hiring a well-respected moving company. At AAA Movers, we work to ensure our customers have the best possible moving experience. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, get a free moving quote

We look forward to working with you and providing a streamlined, stress-free experience for all of our customers.

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