Written by

Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

What to do When Movers Are Working too Slowly on Purpose

Moving is a process that requires a separate set of people. It can be put as a separate skill altogether since there’s a lot that goes behind the scenes. And when you hire a moving company, you’d expect their movers to make your move much of a breeze rather than a burden. However, not all movers are of the same length. Some try to stretch the billable hours in their favor, and that’s why you need to be vigilant.


Dealing with slow movers requires a certain approach. Read our article to know what to do when movers are working too slowly on purpose.

Don't Lose Your Temper

Remaining calm is the first step. Letting your emotions get the better of you won’t get you anywhere, nor will it solve anything. It’s normal to feel your blood boil in your veins when you see your movers whiling away their time. After all, you’re paying them and you’d expect some level of professionalism instilled in them. At the same time, you want to take action, and it's good because it shows you care. But the manner of approach is important. Expressing your concerns with a cool head is beneficial for your own well-being and for those around you as well.

Also, there could be a possibility where you could be misreading the situation. Moving is hectic and time-consuming, and the process of it all will make anyone want to complete things faster. So when you look at your movers stopping to take a breather, you might misconstrue that as “wasting time.” That is why we’ve stressed so much about remaining calm in the beginning. Moving is chaotic already, and allowing your emotions to add fuel to the chaos, might make the move leave a sour taste.    

See also: How to Manage Stress When Moving

Talk With The Supervisor

A supervisor will always head the moving team, like a captain of some sort. The truck driver usually holds this designation, but it can be anybody else. Eventually, you will know who the supervisor is, and if you suspect the crew is intentionally delaying time, bring it to the appointed supervisor’s notice politely. Remember what we said in the beginning? About always having a cool mind while approaching? Now is the time to put it into practice. Stay away from personal remarks, avoid being accusatory, and provide concrete proof to support your claim. 

The supervisor will certainly take heed of your concerns and make them a top priority. After all, their reputation is at stake. They will take the necessary actions to ensure that the team they’re responsible for speeds the moving process.    

Inform The Moving Company

In most cases, the supervisor will see that your concerns are taken care of. But, if they fail to understand or just turn a passive ear, you should phone the moving company directly and tell them what’s going on.

Local moving companies charge by the hour, and you pay based on the total time taken for the move. A local move is usually defined as moving not far than 50 miles between the two locations. They usually take a day or so to complete the move. If the moving company comes to know their workers are purposely prolonging moving time just so the company can benefit from it, the corporation will surely take action. Also, by intentionally prolonging the hours, the workers are getting paid more for much less work, and this will definitely not make the moving company happy. This will surely make your chosen moving company take your complaint seriously.  

See also: Local Moving Guide

Post Negative Reviews

This is perhaps the last step you can take even if the moving company does not improve the situation. Negative reviews written on a consumer forum impacts reputation and discourage new customers from trying a service. Write a short narrative of your part of the story. Explain details about their complacency and how they made moving tedious for you.

Doing this will put you in a place to demand a certain amount of compensation. No one likes negative reviews of their services, therefore the company will surely take notice of your written remarks. They will try to sort things out before your review makes waves, and that’s when you can ask them to compensate you for their neglectful behavior.


How Do You Know Your Mover Is Taking Time

Your Mover Is Taking Breaks Often

Let us tell you that it’s completely normal for movers to take tea breaks, coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, and to an extent, cigarette breaks. They also need a little time to recharge from all the packing or disassembling because after all, they’re not machines. 

But if you spot a repetitive pattern in those breaks, as if they happen more frequently than before, then that could be considered as an intent to waste time. However, don't jump to conclusions at the start. When you start to feel that the moving is getting a bit too dragged out, then you can bring your concerns over to the supervisor.

They Check Their Phones Often

Here, your movers will check their phones as often as possible. As soon as the notification sound rings, you’ll see their phone pop up in their hands. Now there might be times where there are genuine emergencies, and so they might step aside for a bit to engage that call or message. But if they’re constantly checking their phones to reply to every little conversation or call, then that’s just blatant unprofessionalism.

Also, if you catch them watching useless videos or checking tinder profiles, then that’s cause for concern. And that’ll be enough proof to support your case while complaining.  

They Talk A Lot While Working

It’s good to have healthy discussions while working with a team. You get inputs from various angles about how you can do things differently, or even efficiently. And it can also help in promoting productivity. Moving can get a bit monotonous and chatting while working eases some of that monotony out.

However, those discussions should not be replaced with the quality and efficiency of the work they do. In other words, it should not be a distraction. If you notice them having prolonged conversations at the side of the door about who their favorite Power Ranger is, then that's a major red flag. So, next time you hear your mover having conversations, see if they’re working as well.

You Notice Them Taking Too Much Time To Complete Small Tasks

You’re not a professional mover so you wouldn't know how long moving takes. Even if you have a rough estimated time in your mind, your movers will never follow that schedule because of various factors that impact the process.

But if you notice something fishy, like your mover taking 20 mins to pack a box of shoes or roll a few towels, you are bound to ponder about how much time you would've taken to finish those simple tasks. But before jumping to any conclusions, take time to observe first. See what’s going on, and if you notice any time-wasting tactic, collect substantial proof before you speak to the supervisor. 


Some Things You Can Do To Avoid Getting Ripped Off

From your end, you can do a couple of things to fasten the moving process, so that your movers have no scope for wasting time. Also, here are a couple of tips, in general, that’ll be helpful for your move.

  • Don’t go for the first deal you find. You might want to get things done quickly and fall into temptation for the quote. Don't do that! Get quotes from at least three different movers and decide for yourself. Compare prices, special packages, and discounts to get a deeper understanding of movers. Once you’ve finalized and reached out to your mover, an official from the company will come to scan your house. They will see how the move can be done efficiently and will make an inventory of the items that have to be moved.

Also, they will, ideally, scout for potential hiccups that could impede your move. This includes steep staircases, narrow doorways, or cluttered pathways so that they can offer practical solutions at the earliest instead of recognizing those problems on the day of moving.

  • Research movers thoroughly before accepting their services. There are a lot of scammy moving companies who just want to profit at your expense. So it’s important to be vigilant. Anything can be found on the internet nowadays, and therefore checking the credibility of a moving company is much of a breeze. Check their BBB (Better Business Bureau) score. Look into online forums, pay attention to all the positive comments, but pay special attention to the negative ones.

For example, one moving company may offer good discounts, but their customer service is not efficient enough. Or one may have a variety of moving options, but their overall prices are too steep. It’s your decision, after all, so weigh the pros and cons wisely.

  • Furniture disassembly is taxing and tedious. Plus, it’s a process that eats most of your time. And when you hear that you're going to be charged by the hour for that, you will immediately frown upon that statement. To avoid extra expenditure, you can disassemble the furniture yourself. Have family and friends to help you out and to speed up the process. And if you start a few days early from the move, you can take enough time to disassemble.

For starters, putting the disassembly part aside, moving furniture, in general, is expensive. Transporting all your furniture to your new place is not ideal because of course, the price factor, but also of the potential damages, your items could incur. Road accidents or whether changes are unavoidable, and this could result in your antiques not showing up in a good shape. Therefore, take furniture that you only need, so that the mover can dedicate special attention to the transporting of it.

  • To cut down the number of hours your mover takes, start packing whatever you can. Preferably light items such as clothes, toys, books, etc first. Again, pack early so that everything is clear before the move, and leave the packing of fragile items to the movers.

See also: How to Avoid Moving Scams and Frauds


You now know what to do when movers are working too slowly on purpose. Always remember to observe carefully first before jumping to any conclusions, and try to resolve the matter with a cool head. Last but not least - research the company you’re interested in thoroughly before making any deals! 


FAQs On What To Do When Movers Are Working Too Slowly On Purpose 

How Fast Do Movers Work?

For a three-bedroom apartment, expect the move to be done within an average of 2-3 hours. Loading and uploading will take not more than an hour to complete as it’s more of a simple task. Also, the moving company will send a representative to your place to check what items need to be moved. The walkthrough of the place will take approximately an hour.

How Much Do You Tip Moving Guys?

You can tip $4 - $5 per hour to each mover after completion of the move. That’s the general rule of thumb you can follow.

See also: How Much to Tip Movers in 2021

How Much Do Movers Cost For A Local Move?

On average, movers charge around $25 - $50 per hour for local moves. If the move is a two-person job, and if they finish the packing and loading within 4 hours, the average cost will range between $200 - $400. But, that is just for labor. Other expenses such as gas, packing materials, transportation fees will have to be paid as well.


See also: Short Distance Movers – Tips, Cost & Services | How Long Does it take for Movers to Deliver | Smart Ways to Get Along with Your Movers