Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Chalk one up for the consumer!

A couple of months ago, I moved into a new apartment. I did all the packing and hired a local moving company to transport my belongings to the new place. This is not the first time I've ever moved. In fact, I've moved more times than I cared to think about. I've hired a moving company once before but other than that, it's always been a UHaul rental and my friends who have done the heavy lifting.

I'm getting too old for that crap.

So I thought it would be a good decision to hire some movers. After all, I don't need to waste the time it takes to pick up the UHaul truck (wait in line forever because everyone else is picking their truck up as well), drive the behemoth to the old home, carry stuff down three flights of stairs, back up two flights at the new apartment, and then quickly gassing up the truck and returning it before the UHaul office closes. All that needs to be factored in when calculating the true cost of hiring a moving company versus hiring a UHaul and friends.

I've got enough moving experience under my belt to know that it takes less time to unload a truck than to load it and, considering that the loading side involved three flights of stairs and the unloading side involved only two, I knew for sure it would take less time for this move.

Not.

It took the movers three full hours to load the truck and three and a half hours to unload it. Often times I had to go see where they were when several minutes went by without anyone bringing in some boxes or a chair...and generally they were taking a cancer smoking break. The next business day I called the company and registered a complaint not only about how the movers clearly padded their time but how they also put on a massive squeeze to try and wring a tip from me. Please. If they'd accomplished the move in three hours total, that would have been tip-worthy! And since when are we required to pay tips for every stinkin' service anyone might provide?? But I digress.

The manager who took my complaint verified that it typically takes half the time to unload as it does to load. I didn't hear back anything for a week so I called the manager again. He said that the charges were in order because the movers used a dolly on the loading side which is why it took them longer to unload. Horse hockey! The movers out and out lied; I told the manager that they did not use a dolly and he said he would take that information to the review committe. And again I didn't hear anything. This time I decided to file a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau but at this point really didn't expect that I would get any satisfaction.

Well, two months after the fact, I got a letter in the mail from the BBB with a copy of a letter from the moving company that I would receive a full refund of the two hours extra the movers spent unloading the truck! Woohoo! It's exactly what I asked for. Lesson: trust in the power of a negative report on a company's BBB file.

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I didn't make much progress knitting on Birch last night. I completed just four rows but I did attached the final ball of KSH. Only nine more days left till casting on for the Knitting Olympics!

Monday, January 30, 2006

In Training

Thanks to the Yarn Harlot, I've finally went and got my own blog after spending about a year and a half of reading several others! All because of the Knitting Olympics...

I, like so many other mentally questionable folks out there, signed up for the Knitting Olympics. I selected a GarnStudio sweater that is challenging because 1) I work a full time job with various mommy-duties and am time- challenged, and 2) the sweater must be knit exactly to gauge in order to get the crossover pieces in the front to fir properly. I've done my swatching, I've got my materials (have yet to wind the hanks into balls -- I consider that part of prepping the equipment) and I am taking my lunch break at 2:00p, Friday the 10th. Torino, here I come!

Until then, I am knitting as bionically as possible on a Birch shawl for my MIL, which needs to be finished prior to casting on for the Olympics. My fingers hurt. ;-)


And I'll be playing with my blog to get it looking just the way I want it to.