I don't normally like to call out individual companies and the bad service they give, but I had to do it with Jordan River moving who recently handled my move from Seattle to Los Angeles. For anyone even considering using Jordan River moving, I hope this helps you.
I had several companies give me estimates for my move to California. Although my new job was paying for it, I wanted to save my company money if possible. Jordan River's estimate came in the lowest, and so I went with them. Big mistake. I should have just paid more money to get movers that would have done a better job. I wasn't too worried because I really don't have too much stuff, and the stuff I have isn't too expensive, but the extra cost would have been worth it to avoid the headaches.
The estimate I got was a "not to exceed" estimate. Basically I had a cap on the total cost that I would be expected to pay. I was told they usually estimate conservatively and I would likely not have to pay that much, but that I definitely would not have to pay more than this. I made sure to clarify this several times.
Jordan River showed up in time. That was about the only good thing that happened. I paid for a full move. That means they come in and pack everything up as well as move my stuff down to California. They rushed through my packing. I and my girlfriend sat there while they packed my stuff and I never felt like they were really trying to pack my stuff to ensure it stayed safe for the move. Even this didn't bother me too much because, like I said, I don't have really delicate or expensive stuff. But it got worse.
It really started with trying to get my stuff down to California. I didn't have a place picked out yet, so my stuff went into storage first. After I got my place, I called to arrange to get my stuff delivered. From the time I called, it took two weeks to get my stuff out of storage. It seems I just missed the truck that went down one week, and my stuff was behind some other people's stuff the next week. I'm a patient guy, so this didn't bother me too much. I had to sleep on the floor for a while, but I dealt with it.
However, when trying to arrange my stuff, they attempted to charge me more money because my stuff weighed more than their estimate. I told them they gave me a "not to exceed" estimate and that I wouldn't be paying them any more money. They said they would look into it. They came back again and said I would have to pay the money. I told them I had the contract in hand, and it clearly said on it that I had a not to exceed estimate. They finally relented and agreed. Later, when the stuff was finally on its way, a different person told me that I owed them money. I couldn't believe I had to go through this again. They figured it out eventually, but it upset me that I had to even talk about it again.
The day my stuff arrived, I got the call that the mover would be late. I said fine, I just want my stuff so show up l ate if you have to, but just get my stuff to me. The driver shows up with one other guy to move all my stuff into my place. The other guy was somebody they had picked up from a temp labor agency down there. That kind of miffed me that they would just hire some random person to move my stuff but I let it pass. What happened next though was pretty much unforgivable.
The driver realizes he underestimated the amount of help he needs. I have more stuff then he thought and without help, he won't finish till well after midnight. So he ask the temp guy if he knows anybody who would want to help. The guy says no. Then, he decides to ask some random guy walking down the street if he wants to help out for a few bucks. The guy declined. Hiring a temp guy from a labor agency is one thing, trying to hire someone off the street is quite another.
I was fully aware that these guys would not leave until very very late if I didn't help, so I decided to just start moving boxes for them. That's right, I hired movers to move me, and I ended up doing the work. Now to be fair, they didn't ask me to, but without my help, they would have been at my place past midnight. As it was they were there till 11:00 p.m. I also didn't feel comfortable having my stuff sit outside the moving van late at night on a relatively busy street, so it was in my best interest to make sure the stuff got moved quickly.
It gets better though. My stuff was strewn all over the van. It was clear they didn't transport my stuff with care. It was completely disorganized, and the driver spent all his time trying to find my stuff and sort it out with another person's items. Luckily, I had the full shipment list and was able to match everything, but I'm certain if I hadn't done this I would have either ended up with someone else's stuff or without some of my own. To exacerbate things, I noticed that several of my packages had water damage at the bottom. Probably because the movers in Seattle had let the box sit in some water before they moved it to the van. (it was raining the day of the move). As if adding insult to injury, as they moved my mattress, they dropped the mattress onto a freshly watered lawn. Luckily it was covered in plastic, so the damage to it was minimal, but still, it was clear to me that they didn't care much about my stuff.
So in short, don't use Jordan River moving. Perhaps my experience was isolated, but with all your options, why take the chance?