n 3+ years of loyal Yelp'ing, this is the first time I've found service so horrendous that I am forced to give one star. But I'd give zero if I could.
At best, Norman's moving services is grossly, dangerously incompetent. I say "at best" because I have some grave concerns about their motivations, which I will get to later in the review.
I found Norman on Craigslist and called him on a Wed to arrange a Sat move. He said 2 movers would be available. He was quite friendly, though I did find it odd that he asked no questions except where I lived. I figured he was just laid-back. The next day I had to change it to Sun, and he again said he would have movers available without taking even a brief pause to check a schedule. He seemed in a hurry to get off the phone, but I interrupted him to explained the move in detail. He sounded gruff but friendly and lucid enough that I assumed he was understanding me.
I called again the day before to confirm, and he agreed to meet me in front of my house at 9am. 8:30am I pick up my truck and 9:00 I'm waiting with my husband by the truck. 9:15, I call him. No answer. 9:30, 9:45, 10:00.. I start to panic a bit. at 10:30 I get a call from someone named "Ed" who says "Norman says you have a moving job?" Trying to stay calm, I reshuffle my day, moving the lighter things myself, changing the order of the furniture I'm supposed to pick up, and arrange to meet Ed at 1:15. Still Norman is not answering his phone.
Now Ed never shows up. I call him and get his voicemail, over and over. After waiting for him for 2 hours, he calls at 3:00 and says he got stuck on another job and won't be able to make it.
Then Norman calls. He says - and this is the most infuriating part of all - that he couldn't come over because "his phone wasn't working". Attempts to ask why he wouldn't just come over, because he has my address, or why his phone is now working, or any other logical question are unsuccessful - he just repeats, somewhat irately, that his phone wasn't working and now it is. Instead, he says, he will get me another mover.
Now it's 4:00 and I'm starting to lose daylight, it's not long before I have to return my truck, and I've missed several appointments to pick up furniture. I get a third call, this time from "Gary". Like Ed, he has no clue except that there is a moving job for him. Struggling to retain my composure, I explain what happened to Gary and tell him that if I am stood up again, I will lose it. Not wanting to rely on him but without any choice, I tell him I can wait until he comes over. He says that he is not a professional mover, he barely knows Norman, and is "just doing this for pocket money" but he will leave immediately and call me when he gets to my train station which will be in 30 minutes. I say, "You're definitely coming right? You're going to show up?" He says "Yes, I will call you in 30-35 minutes, I promise."
30 minutes pass by, then 45 minutes, then an hour, and - as I'm starting to get used to - Gary has not showed up and is not picking up his phone. Finally someone answers and it's Gary's roommate, explaining the # I'm calling is actually Gary's roommate's cell phone and that he thinks Gary left 30 minutes ago (an hour after he said he would), and - here's the best part - "Gary has a cell phone, but he left without charging it." (What??!!)
At this point I gave up. I was out money, time, and everything else that makes moving such turmoil. None of these three "movers" ever decided to answer my calls that night or the next day.
On the whole it was the worst experience I have ever had with any type of business, ever. But worse than that, I worry about sinister motivations. While struggling to understand what was happening, I went over every possible motivation a company might have to set up a mover THREE times and stand me up three times. As I had explained to Norm, this would have been a very cushy job, with most of the time spent traveling in the truck and only light moving. If they stand me up, they don't get paid. So why do this three times? That's when I came to this chilling thought:
There is no financial motivation for standing me up, but there are plenty of criminal motivations why someone (especially an anonymous Craigslist service provider with no given last name, location, or web site) might want to put a woman in a situation where she is unexpectedly alone, panicked, and with all of her valuables open or in a truck. Luckily I had my husband with me but I had not mentioned to the movers that he would be there. From our conversations they would have probably assumed I was alone. I think it is very possible that these "movers" may be targeting women moving alone, leaving them especially vulnerable in the afternoon and evening after having been stood up in the morning. I have no proof but the evidence is strong enough that I brought my concerns to the Boston PD.
In conclusion, DO NOT USE NORMAN'S MOVING SERVICES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.