I had over a month to prepare for a move and, diligently, I procrastinated until the Friday afternoon before VERY last week of my tenancy to find and call the movers.
~What can I say? I HATE moving! Besides, I still had 7 days, right?~
I found out about Public Van Lines through a co-worker who recently moved and called the first 800-number that was listed on their website--Bad sign #1, the number was busy. Hang up, redial just in case I mis-dialed--hmm, same recorded message [*jot number down for future reference*]. Desperate, I took urgent action--I immediately decided to wait until Monday to call again.
Fortunately, whatever phone problems they had were resolved when I called on Monday, and I was immediately redirected by their operator to Shannon. Shannon set me up for a move on Thursday. He informed me that someone would call the day before to confirm and show up between 8 and 9 a.m. on the day of the move.
As promised, they called to confirm on Wednesday AND promptly showed up around 8:30 the next day for the move. I was, predictably, COMPLETELY packed and ready to go...well, except for the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom. I called a couple of friends, who ended up spending the whole morning helping me pack, supervising the movers, unpacking, complaining...uhh, wait, that last one was me, and patiently waited on empty stomachs for them to finish.
If it wasn't for Public Van Lines, I'd still be packing and moving (even with the mover's help, I had to move 3 carloads after everyone left).
The details: $88/hour for the 1st three hours for three movers, then they bill in 15 minute increments. All packing materials are an additional charge (they didn't have specific amounts, but I'm sure I paid a premium for the boxes I did use), but they provide garment/hangar boxes gratis for the duration of the move. They also charge a vehicle/fuel fee of 10% (5% if you only moving within a certain distance). Efficient and friendly, they kicked almost as much tail as my friends did on moving day.