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Monday, June 30, 2008

All My Sons Moving and Storage

posted by on June 30 at 12:16 PM

This weekend, I made one colossal mistake and had one brilliant, faith-in-humanity-restoring stroke of luck.

The mistake: Hiring All My Sons Moving and Storage to move my stuff (and my piano) to Columbia City. The stroke of luck, I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Here’s the short version: The guys from All My Sons Moving and Storage showed up late—not just a little late, but two and a half hours past the end of the four-hour window the company gave me for the move. So, there went my Friday night, but whatever. The guys were pretty fast, and they managed to get most of my stuff into the new place within the two hours I’d agreed to pay for when I booked the time with the company.

MOST of my stuff.

While we settled up with one of the guys and paid for the two hours noted on the contract ($290, because of the piano), the two other guys went outside—to bring in my piano, I assumed. But minutes went by, and no piano. Finally, I asked: “Where’s my piano?” The guy responded: “Oh, that’s going to be another $150.” No way, I said—we signed a contract, we paid what we owed, and there was no reason we should pay another $150 even if we had it, which we didn’t. He said no money, no piano.

We tried to reason with him. “Look, we’re not going to let you extort us. Just bring in the piano, drive away, and we can all go on with our lives. He replied, “Well, we’ve gotta take off, so we’ll just have to take your piano with us.”

So we called the police.

A few minutes went by in standoff. Then the guy inside the house bolted, ran to the truck, hopped in, and sped away. We followed him, running, outside.

There, on the sidewalk, was my piano. All 1,000 pounds of it.

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. Just as I was starting to seriously lose my shit—because there’s no fucking way the two of us were moving this piano into the carport, much less up the stairs—three guys came stumbling up the street. “What’s with the piano?” one of them asked. So we told them the whole story. “Well, we’ve had a few beers, but we can try to help you move it,” one said gamely. And they did. And now my piano is safely inside—no thanks to All My Sons Moving Company, but many thanks to the three wonderful neighbors who stumbled up our hill to save the day.

RSS icon Comments


Get a livejournal if you want people to read your diary of anecdotal stories, please.

Otherwise, keep your other stuff comin!

Posted by Non | June 30, 2008 12:29 PM

I've had terrible experiences with movers. After two run ins with crooks (what can I say, Im a slow learner) I now know ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING BEFORE THEY SHOW UP.

Who else has had bad experiences?

Posted by Disgruntled | June 30, 2008 12:33 PM

once again the feminist has to rely on a man's help to get what she wants done. moral to the story; it's a man's world.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2008 12:36 PM

Awesome story!

Posted by misquito, neato | June 30, 2008 12:37 PM


Get your own LJ account ya' freaking moron - this is SLOG and here ANYTHING GOES, including "anecdotal stories".

Don't like it, do your whining elsewhere.

And seriously, Erica - report these guys: to the BBB, the State Attorneys General office, and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Otherwise, they'll just keep trying to get away this kind of shit until somebody with some authority decides to rip 'em a new one. And, having a body of documentation definitely helps in that regard.

Posted by COMTE | June 30, 2008 12:40 PM

If this story had been written by Knut Berger, Erica would be sneering at the wealthy piano owner and all his "problems with the help." Actually, if this story was about any of the thousands of homeowners who have these sort of issues with contractors all the time, Erica would poo poo all over their bourgeois problems.

Whether it's bus service or car sharing or movers, nothing rises to the level of social injustice until ECB is personally affected.

Posted by elenchos | June 30, 2008 12:40 PM

That is great. Nothing like good neighbors to make you feel great about where you moved to. =)

Posted by Original Monique | June 30, 2008 12:43 PM

At least they didn't get your money. Go Erica.

Posted by Ryan on Summit | June 30, 2008 12:45 PM

@3: "OMG, Erica posted! Load the Hate-Cannons!"

Posted by Scalpel | June 30, 2008 12:47 PM

Let us know if you hear anything from the company about this!

Posted by Giffy | June 30, 2008 12:51 PM

Wow, you'r luckly Dino Rossi didn't threaten to break your legs.

Posted by kinaidos | June 30, 2008 12:51 PM

because there's no fucking way the two of us were moving this piano into the carport

The big news here is that you have a carport.

Posted by jmr | June 30, 2008 12:52 PM


Ugh. Don't get me started.


Remind me again how you don't hate women.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 30, 2008 12:52 PM

I'm curious to know what the company has to say about it.

Posted by monkey | June 30, 2008 12:54 PM


Remind us again how you possess a sense of humor?

Posted by w7ngman | June 30, 2008 12:58 PM


Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 30, 2008 12:58 PM

Great story Erica.
Don't listen to the jackasses here.

Posted by Misty Brown | June 30, 2008 12:59 PM

Glad it worked out. I hope you've now learned the Important Lesson from all this:

DON'T hire moving companies unless you absolutely have no other option!

Seriously, it's a racket, and you really don't want to roll the dice and risk getting fucked over - rent a truck and bribe your friends (with food and beer) to help you instead. Or hope that you have awesome neighbors, I guess.

Posted by Hernandez | June 30, 2008 1:00 PM


Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 30, 2008 1:00 PM

ECBtrollenchos. Fascinating, chum.

Posted by Liston | June 30, 2008 1:01 PM

If she has a carport, she has a house, which means ECB is the proud owner of a new home. Congrats!

This assumption is based on the question, "Why would anybody move to Columbia City to rent a house?"

Posted by Real Estate | June 30, 2008 1:02 PM

I had a pretty hideous experience with Starving Students when I moved to Washington, but in fairness that was ten years ago.

Since I've used movers only once, it has me wondering if moving companies are like wireless carriers--you just hope to pick the one that will rip you off and suck the least.

Posted by lostboy | June 30, 2008 1:02 PM

dang, that is fucked up.
I used "Mike the Mover" once and they were great. I had crap all over town. A one bdroom condo D'town, a 10 x 10 storage unit in Ballard and it all had to be picked up and moved to a 3rd floor apt near Martha Lake. Mike himself and his one helper did it all in about 4 hours, plus set up my bed at the new apt. I tipped them $100 bucks each besides the reasonable fee they did such an awesome job.

Posted by irl | June 30, 2008 1:03 PM

Should have gone with "Starving Ex-Cons" instead.

Posted by Fnarf | June 30, 2008 1:03 PM

ECB, was that you who left the TV and VCR on the sidewalk?

Posted by Hooty Sapperticker | June 30, 2008 1:03 PM

And at least they didn't just throw the piano out of the truck- the only thing worse than a 1000 pounds of piano sitting on the sidewalk, is 1000 pounds of broken piano.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | June 30, 2008 1:04 PM

Starving Students is still really awful according to a pal of mine that used them last summer. They were very, very late and my friend had to reschedule the move for the following day. Same thing tho'. They kept calling with excuses to be later and later. They ended up only charging half price since they didn't get her moved until late at night.

Posted by irl | June 30, 2008 1:07 PM

@9: so right

apparently, your movers have a bit of an on-going, uh, quality control issue: Google "All My Sons Moving" +complaint and watch the examples pile up.

they seem to be unscrupulous enough to have attracted a $69,000 fine and a state investigation.

there's even a hearing coming up:

The commission issued a complaint against All My Sons Moving and Storage of Seattle, Inc. for repeated and continuing violations of numerous commission rules governing household goods carriers.

A hearing will be held at UTC headquarters in Olympia, beginning August 20, 2008, 9:00 a.m. (Docket 071125, see "Documents" link below for more information.)

Posted by Disgruntled | June 30, 2008 1:08 PM

Fnarf @24, at least then I'd have known what to expect.

Posted by lostboy | June 30, 2008 1:08 PM

Sue the motherfuckers.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 30, 2008 1:11 PM

@18. Renting a truck isn't necessarily a picnic either. U-Haul doesn't actually believe that having a reservation means that you get a truck. I think they think that if they can fill 75% of their reservations, they're doing ok.

Posted by Julie | June 30, 2008 1:12 PM

The answer is to rent a zipcar.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2008 1:14 PM

The anti-ECB pod creatures have been busy, while we all slept. They evidently got elenchos some time in the last few days.

Posted by Big Sven | June 30, 2008 1:15 PM

@32: I thought they were only for antiquing?

Posted by Scalpel | June 30, 2008 1:16 PM

maybe it was an antique piano.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2008 1:17 PM

Post a much-edited down version of this on Yelp.

Posted by Feliway | June 30, 2008 1:21 PM

I should have added that if Monica Guzman had posted this Erica would be telling us what a stupid, stupid, stupid girl Monica was for paying the movers before they were done.

I sort of wonder how anybody could swallow Erica's version of this tale as entirely fair & balanced. If an objective witness comes along to dispute what went down, will it come as a surprise?

Posted by elenchos | June 30, 2008 1:25 PM

Just sign it Trollenchos. Then it's funny!

Posted by Liston | June 30, 2008 1:34 PM

Now how did you REALLY thank the three nice guys? Or are you a dyke/prude?

Posted by calvin | June 30, 2008 1:35 PM

@12: It's full of yard waste, a desk, and moss. No cars, though.

Posted by ECB | June 30, 2008 1:40 PM

Not many slog comments amaze me anymore, but #39 has done it.

Posted by poppy | June 30, 2008 1:42 PM

@31 True, and my experiences haven't been perfect with U-Haul either, but it's not like U-Haul is going to drive off with half your stuff if you don't pay them some extra extortion fee at the end.

Posted by Hernandez | June 30, 2008 1:43 PM

I called All My Sons for a quote last year and was told it would cost $500 to move my piano from Bothell (where it was living with some friends) to Seattle. $500!

I've got to agree with @18: If you want the job done right, you've got to do it yourself. You can rent piano jacks and ramps for less than $30 a day, and a moving truck (less chance of damage than a pickup) for another $50 or so.

Posted by Kalakalot | June 30, 2008 1:44 PM

Note to All My Sons Moving: If you piss somebody off, make sure they don't have a bullhorn to tell the world.

Posted by Silverstar98121 | June 30, 2008 1:47 PM

Ooh, elenchus, nice device there in 37. In one hypothetical you managed to call Erica stupid for paying the movers before the piano was indoors AND somehow bring up her alleged, totally unrelated dislike of other, younger feminists. Nice one.

There should be some kind of award for Erica-hating. Perhaps we should call it the Hateys. It works on multiple levels because the winners hate Erica and the rest of hate the winners.

Posted by Julie | June 30, 2008 1:48 PM

I'm pretty sure this story has been covered before, whether it was All My Sons I can't remember, but it's a standard practice to extort more money like this and moving companies have been doing it for sometime.

Perhaps if the Stranger hired some reporters from the Times/Pi/Weekly then Erica would have known this ahead of time.

At the very least if Erica would have done a simple google search on the company she'd have found that the first page of results contains a list of websites with reports of All My Sons' shady tactics.

But hey, advocacy is easy. Journalism iz hard!

Posted by Jeff | June 30, 2008 2:07 PM

That's a good story. I hope you gave those guys some more beer.

Posted by MplsKid | June 30, 2008 2:08 PM

@23 - That's awesome. I worked for a moving company for 4 summers in college. In all that time, I received exactly one tip. It was $20. I mean, it's not like I was doing anything tip-worthy like serving them a cup of coffee. No, just hauling their dirty belongings up and down stairs in 90 degree heat for 12 hours.

Moral to the story: don't hire the guys in Erica's story, but tip the ones you do hire. They don't make very good money, and it's really tough work. And maybe dust your things before they get there. It sucks being covered with cat hair when your shift is up.

Posted by sleestak | June 30, 2008 2:14 PM

We moved to the UW Tower this week from Gasworks - the Bekins folks were very efficient and very professional.

But ... other than the move coordinator from the UW and our lab personnel, they were all men.

Sometimes, if you can't afford to shell out for chinese food, thai food, and pizza and beer/wine for all your friends, you should hire professionals.

Good ones.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 30, 2008 2:16 PM

other younger feminists ...ouch, ouch, ouch

ecb is right about these guys from my one experience with them

Posted by ouch | June 30, 2008 2:18 PM

I had a bad experience with Man With Truck...when my roommate didn't say please, they refused to move his desk saying that "They didn't deserve to be treated this way." They also threatened us that they wouldn't finish the job if we didn't help them load the truck!

Posted by J-Seawa | June 30, 2008 2:25 PM

WOW! I can't believe this story. Luckily, we hired movers just this past weekend who were GREAT. We looked them up online and checked out reviews first. It was the best money we've ever spent, seriously.

Posted by BallardG | June 30, 2008 2:27 PM

Meh. I hired movers for my last move, paid about $400 and considered it a good deal. I mean, when I add up the hours it would take my friends and the number of friends that would be required, plus the rental for a truck for the entire day, plus gas and so on, $400 isn't so bad. And, honestly, I moved about once every 6 months for the better part of 10 years, so my friends are all sick of helping me move anyway.

Lifting heavy stuff up and down stairs is hard. People who do it should get paid for it.

But that thing with the piano was bullshit, and I hope the actual movers involved get criminal charges out of the deal.

Posted by Judah | June 30, 2008 2:34 PM

@ Will in Seattle

Is your lab associated with UofW?
Is there new lab space in the tower?

or is the Tower leasing out surplus space to othe agencies?

I'm just curious, thanks

Posted by Non | June 30, 2008 2:45 PM

Gee, elenchos has his own really boring, crappy blog that could be hit by trolls:
for some payback.

Or maybe that's just a waste of energy.

But with just a split second of further research. Linked-In profile:


* QA Engineer at Tableau Software


* Enterprise Support Analyst II at Concur Technologies
* Developer Support Technical Router at Volt Services (Microsoft)
* US Air Force Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic (2A652) at Ramstein AB, GE & Fairchaild AFB, WA

see less...

* Gonzaga University
* Community College of the Air Force

19 connections
Computer Software

Which would explain, if this is the same person, how he manages to troll slog so voraciously. He gets paid to do it and hates his pathetic corporate IT job. IT guys are the MOST frustrated, insecure and sexually deviant types.

Thank you, Google.

Posted by stupid | June 30, 2008 2:46 PM


Wow, you found the boring crappy blog that I link to every single time I post. Which has my name right in the URL. You're like some kind of detective, aren't you? If you can Google anything else, post that too. That's what Google is for, my friend.

Posted by elenchos | June 30, 2008 2:53 PM

@55 - If IT guys are insecure and sexually frustrated, what does it say about someone who stalks them? You've lived up to your name.

Posted by sleestak | June 30, 2008 2:54 PM

@54 - yes. yes. no. two floors of the UW tower are research lab space.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 30, 2008 2:54 PM

I'm disappointed (but not entirely surprised) at all the negative comments directed your way, Erica. Entirely undeserved, IMHO.

Now that you live in Columbia City, maybe we will see you at the new Island Soul, where the Wellington used to be. We tried it a week after they opened, and it was fantastic

Posted by ECBfan | June 30, 2008 2:57 PM

regarding what @25 wrote: what of your scooter?

Posted by Famous Original Atomic Bushrat of Anaheim | June 30, 2008 3:01 PM

There's one person in this town who could really do some good in a situation like this, Erica.

Jesse Jones, King 5 News.

You should get him.

Posted by pgreyy | June 30, 2008 3:06 PM

I can't wait for Seafair.

Posted by Big Sven | June 30, 2008 3:12 PM

Wow, an elenchos troll. Now I've seen everything.

Posted by laterite | June 30, 2008 3:23 PM

ECB, I won't pile on, since you admitted your mistake, but I wanted to let you know that this company has a poor record on Angie's List and Consumers' Checkbook. Consumers' Checkbook is probably available at the library for those who don't subscribe.

Posted by Luigi Giovanni | June 30, 2008 3:33 PM

Sounds like it's time for a trip to small claims court, or depending on your payment method, maybe a credit card chargeback. With a signed services contract and enough credible witnesses, I'd suspect that either route could work well.

Posted by Apocalypse Tom | June 30, 2008 4:14 PM

@25: Yes. Snapped up almost immediately!

@60: Still have it, but it doesn't run at the moment. Looking for a good home for it (too heavy for me!)

Posted by ECB | June 30, 2008 4:25 PM

Lostboy @29, that's my experience with "Starving Students" -- guys in their 30s with prison tattoos and a chainsmoking habit, who are drunk by 3, and are driving a truck that looks like it's fallen off a freeway overpass.

Posted by Fnarf | June 30, 2008 5:08 PM

I've had movers show up, see the fourth floor walkup, see the apartment, and walk off the job. After that I hired Labor ready workers, hired the truck and driver, supplied all with red bull/lunch and tipped well. It was cheaper all around with happier movers.

But yeah, extortion for the piano, that's pretty bad. Get a hungry lawyer. Sue the movers. It will never go to court. They will settle.

Posted by LMSW | June 30, 2008 5:11 PM

I know birds that could tell you some things about life. To wit: "Buy cheap. Get cheap."

Posted by umvue | June 30, 2008 5:11 PM

I've had great luck with the Millionair Club. 2 guys unloaded all our furniture & dozens of boxes of books in just under 4 hours. They showed up on time, worked hard, and were pleasant to hang out with. I bought pop and chips and tipped very well. I also helped haul stuff--it's my stuff, and it saves me money and grief to help out.

You'll still need to rent (and drive) a truck. Set your own pay rate--starting wage is $10/hr. I paid $20/hr for the best moving help I've gotten. All the money goes to the workers.

MC is a nonprofit organization in Belltown. They provide their workers with breakfast and bus fare.

Great org.

Posted by MJ | June 30, 2008 5:28 PM

I moved a couple months ago and - because I'm physically inferior and my friends have had to help me move way too many times - I rented a penske truck and used Casa Latina. The two guys that showed up were efficient and nice. They got all my stuff moved in two hours and nothing was broken when all was said and done.

Posted by stacy | June 30, 2008 6:08 PM

Next time I would recommend The Crucible Kwik-Move or Death of a Salesman Hauling Helpers.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | June 30, 2008 6:52 PM

What tools--glad you stood up to them, called the cops, & found some wonderful neighbors! For future reference, I can't recommend Budget Movers enough. I used them a couple times, with multiple stops, for 2-3 hours and paid less than $350. They were polite on the phone, punctual, quick & just as polite in person.

Posted by anonymous | June 30, 2008 7:07 PM

Grant Cogswell at #72 wins.

Good on you for standing your ground with those jackasses. Also, while we're mentioning non-shitty movers (they do exist), I've had good experiences with Adam's Moving Service.

Posted by Cayce | June 30, 2008 8:07 PM

Uh, duh, I posted that for anyone annoyed with you but with out the 1/2 second of time to waste to click on the obvious link you put on your posts (yes, I know we all have that option) to see a snapshot of your weak, trolly background.

And sadly, even though you do put a link to your blog, I see very few comments on your incredibly bland posts. You can't get out of it by admitting that your own blog is boring. This is the saddest thing for a troll - to not get any attention! Even on the anti ECB posts on your blog you delete 4 out of the 10 (a record!) comments.

You should be thanking me for being "the first elenchos troll". I don't understand how you can have so much to bitch about on slog when your own blog is such a flaccid, half-assed attempt to push your "anti-feminism".

Hmmm, in true, trolly action, I will now post a quote from your blog taken out of context about the R.Crumb show at the Frye last year:

"I don't know anybody my age who carries around a vocabulary of jigaboo black stereotypes that they have to get out and show everybody, or who has to spend years worrying over their conflicted progressive gender aspirations versus their embarrassing turn ons."

What the hell does that mean? Gawd, and the pics of you on the motorcycle? Having a motorcycle does not make you more of a man, no matter how big you are. Ok, have fun with this post and you're wellllcome!

Posted by stupid | June 30, 2008 9:38 PM

Happy stalking, Julie.

Posted by Julie is stupid | July 1, 2008 9:00 AM

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