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I used Hometown Moving Services on my 7th time of moving house, and I now regret that I didn’t use another mover just because of a mere $100 difference.

I chanced upon icompare.sg, a website that promises to offer multiple quotations for 1 enquiry. I signed up and asked it to recommend a moving company. Strangely, it only recommended me one, and that was Hometown Moving Services. When I requested for more through the website, I didn't receive any more replies or recommendations. It was only later that I learnt from the mover boss, Jeffrey, that he is on very good terms with the staff in the referral company, sigh.

I went ahead with Hometown Moving Services since it was recommended and the price was right. Jeffrey assured me that they are an established company since 1984 with a Facebook page. I went into their Facebook page and thought I hired a cheap & reliable company after reading it. The moving plus miscellaneous charges (excluding deposit for boxes) would work out to be $900 for up to three 14 footer containers.

That is where my nightmare started. On 8th January, the Hometown movers came late by over one and half hour, attributing it to a CBD jam. Unluckily for me, it rained heavily in the afternoon. As mine is a condo, moving has to be finished by 5pm. My husband pleaded with the condo management to extend till 6.30pm for us. Hometown managed to move two containers of stuff to my new house.

When I came back from work to my new house, I was horrified to see my coffee table and two of my cabinets scratched. These were bought and moved into the original house two years ago at a cost of close to $5000. When they were relocated by Hometown’s movers, they acquired long scratches at the sides and front which were very obvious. These didn’t look like accidental bumps; it was more like the furniture had been roughly dragged across a surface. It really made my heart ache as these are my prized pieces that I took a long time to hunt for. Naturally I started complaining and making noise while the movers were still fitting the furniture; because it wasn’t just one piece, three of my precious wooden furniture got scratched. I unwittingly uttered a word ‘stupid’ in a fit of anger. Suddenly, one worker confronted me and yelled at me “why you call me stupid?”. I was in shock, I never expected a worker to shout in my face, when the word wasn’t directed to anyone in particular (I was just expressing my dismay at the unfortunate situation). My usual way of letting out frustration is uttering words like s-h-i-t, stupid, seow, faint ah, goondoo etc. I believe most of us have this habit. But he insisted I called him stupid, he turned very aggressive and kept scolding me, in the end, we ended up quarrelling. He also accused me of calling him ‘bastard’ when I actually said ‘basket’ (another reflexive swear word). He stormed off and told his supervisor. His supervisor wasn’t any nicer, he told me I should say sorry; he even rudely asked how a mother could behave in this way in front of her children, telling me he was a father and he would not show such example. Well, this time round, I did ‘apologise’, but in an angry manner because I can’t believe that I was being featured as someone bad in front of my child. I just wanted to end the episode of senseless squabbling … I shouted ‘sorry’ a few times back to the worker with my hand waving out to him. Suddenly the supervisor shook his fists several times right in front of my face, and shouted at me, “Is this the way you say sorry?”. My god, I shook my hand at a distance at the worker, he shook his fists right in my face, almost hitting me and yelling at me at the same time.

I was very angry, my furniture had been damaged and the workers were close to physically assaulting me. I called up the boss, Jeffrey, and said I was not paying till Hometown finished moved the third container on the next day. I was worried they would mess up my things or cause further damage as we were now in conflict with each other. Jeffrey promised he would get his carpenter to restore the furniture. I seriously doubted that they can look as good again, but is there any choice? Jeffrey said the workers were hired on a daily rate, so they need to be paid on the spot after moving. He promised me he would give me a new team the next day, thus I paid. I was told to pay cash to the workers, but I was not told earlier by Jeffrey so I had to make a trip to the ATM to withdraw cash. That has never happened in any of my previous moving, where I had just issued cheques. Despite the damages caused by Hometown and the conflict that had just transpired, I paid as I would not short-change the other workers due to the bad attitudes of the two that quarrelled with me. I began to suspect that Hometown uses ad-hoc workers that are inexperienced in moving, as I have never suffered so badly damaged furniture before in my previous seven times of moving house.

On the next day, Hometown Moving Services caused another horrifying experience. This time, the new parquet flooring in my children’s room was badly scratched in a few areas, one of my fan’s blades was broken, my storeroom shelving was left outside my house, and my small cabinet was missing. The Hometown movers did not heed my maid’s instructions to move the boxes to the right places. In fact, they put some in wrong places and we have to carry and move the heavy boxes to the right rooms. Out of plain laziness, they didn’t dismantle the two metal shelves in the rental house; they just carried and moved them to my new house and then said one could not fit into the storeroom, so they put one shelf inside the store and left one in my corridor. That night, my hubby and I had to dismantle it and then reassemble it inside the storeroom. It took us a whole morning as we are not apt in handling such work. I called up Jeffrey and asked why he given me the same team, he told me the other team cannot find available time to move house. He complained one of his men got badly hurt while moving my bunk bed. Gosh, it is as if my furniture is to be blamed for hurting his worker! If I have been informed earlier that day about having the same team, I would have taken a day’s leave and make sure everything is done satisfactorily. Jeffrey was aware of my concern about having the same team, but he still put in the same team without my knowledge. When I complained about Hometown damaging my new parquet, he promised he would get his carpenter to fix my flooring and damaged furniture at one go.

Today is 24 January, it has been 16 days since we moved. Jeffrey has scheduled two appointments for his carpenter to come to my house; for these two times, I took leave because I really wanted to see my precious furniture properly restored and for two times the carpenter didn’t come and Jeffrey failed to inform me. When I sent an angry SMS, he messaged my husband that I threatened him. I admit, I threatened to post a negative review in his company’s Facebook and complain to the referrer (icompare.sg). Unsurprisingly, Hometown Moving Services’ Facebook page has disappeared completely; that is why I decide to post in forums to warn people of this terrible company.

Jeffrey kept saying he is responsible, or else he wouldn’t complete moving my house on the second day. Gosh, I didn’t know I need to be grateful that a mover move the rest of my furniture on the next day if they cannot complete moving in one day due to the rain. It is their responsibility to finish a paid job regardless of unforeseen circumstances! When I told him the moving issues in my house, Jeffrey lamented about Hometown’s problems. If he thinks he is not making money moving my house, then don’t take up the job.

Jeffrey said he can’t give a definite date for the carpenter because ‘it is a favour’ and it is not included in the moving package. Now he makes it seem that I need to patiently wait for him to get a favour to restore the furniture that HIS movers damaged, so again I should be grateful ... even though the carpenter has never come as promised.

Jeffrey said the damages are accidents unavoidable in moving. In my seven times of moving, nothing of this sort has happened before. Only once has my children’s bunk bed not been fitted properly, and even so, the moving company responsibly sent someone to rectify that promptly. If it is damage on one piece of furniture, I could just dismiss it as an accident, but it happened on TWO long cabinets AND my coffee table. There must be something terribly wrong with their moving technique. My master and third bedroom’s parquet were not scratched with the first day moving, but why on the second day, my second room’s parquet had suffered so many scratches caused by the SAME team after the squabbling incident.

Jeffrey kept saying his movers are experienced, but experienced movers would not drag my heavy massage chair to test if it was working. I mentioned I wanted to discard the massage chair, so they could have tested it out to see if it could be salvaged for themselves. That is okay but the way they dragged the chair to the power point left two long lines across the marble flooring of the living room in the rental house. Headache! I requested time and again on the moving day that they discard three big items in the rental house but Hometown did not want to do so as they said they were short of time. In the end, I have to pay much more to get another moving company to remove them 2 days later.

My advice, NEVER get a mover simply because it is cheap. And avoid icompare.sg if you need recommendations. Check if the moving company has insurance. Jeffrey told me it was not necessary to keep cost competitive but I learnt my lesson painfully. My furniture, fan and new flooring got damaged, I had fists flying literally centimetres from my face for the first time of my life and I was accused of threatening when I got angry that he never keeps his promises. Has he realised who is the one being victimised and threatened from the beginning? Where is the customer’s rights? You won’t find it in Hometown Moving Services. Jeffrey hinted that I should have a heart for the underprivileged and he says ‘who wants to be movers’. I do charities, but on occasions deemed appropriate. When I move house, I want professionals; sorry to say, but I can’t afford hiccups and I can’t deal with ‘rough ‘people when things happen. I shiver at the thought of being aggressively confronted by two male workers in my own house. I thought local movers are better, and I have always supported local workers; I was wrong, they are not necessarily better as some lack the right attitude.

If only I knew that Jeffrey is a smooth talker, an ‘armchair boss’ employing underqualified movers that cannot handle my furniture properly. He twists everything I say to make it sound as if I, the victim, is in the wrong. Here is our SMS conversations and photos of my furniture, you can be the judge.

http://postimg.org/gallery/27pcogsas/

Edited by victimahsoh
 

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