We maintained two separate households/residences, in different states, for 7 1/2 years. While this was not an easy arrangement and at times, presented hardships on my husband, son, and me, it was a decision we made as a family. All of our troubles began back in the mid-1980's when the Bell 'families' divested, and broke into separate companies. My husband's job was phased out, and he was forced to relocate.
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He voluntarily (while he still had a choice) took an assignment in a neighboring state, and we were very hopeful that something would open up for him back home again...our family was here, we planned to retire here one day, and we did not want to sell our home. Alas, nothing did, and thus began our relationship with various moving companies.
My husband was offered a very good job with AT&T International, and was able to live on one of their ships in the Baltimore harbor. This helped us out tremendously, as his living expenses were very minimal, and he was able to come home fairly often. After two years, the ship was reassigned to another location, so it was time for him to find an 'on land' residence. He did, and AT&T International assigned his move to Paul Arpin Van Lines, Inc. So began our wonderful relationship/experience with this company.
Paul Arpin Van Lines was founded in 1900 in Providence, Rhode Island, by Paul X. Arpin, the grandfather of their current chairman and CEO. At the time of its origin, it was just called Paul Arpin and Sons. In the beginning, the company moved coal in the winters, and ice in the summers. They would also move personal belongings whenever there was a need. After many years, as roads improved and cars made transportation quicker, the main focus of the business became moving household goods, and by the mid-1950's, the company became a national van line.
This wonderful company does everything in its power to make your move as easy and stress-free as possible...they strive to achieve this, as they feel that it is their responsibility to do more than just move the belongings of their customers. Since my husband was in Baltimore and his belongings were to be picked up from our main home in another state, I was the 'contact' person, and the one who met with the local Arpin agent to set up an 'on sight' survey of the move. All went well, and a pick up date was set.
Have you ever wondered how moving services are priced? Paul Arpin Van Lines (and I assume other van lines do the same) charges in these two ways: intrastate moves (within the state), and interstate moves (out of state). Obviously, ours was an interstate move, and there are five elements that are used in pricing this type of move:
1. Transportation (linehaul)
2. Accessorial Services
3. Packing and Unpacking
4. Storage In Transit
Fortunately, we did not have to pay for this move, as my husband's company was kind enough to cover the entire expense (part of his relocation offer).
Moving day finally came, and I had put most everything to be moved in our living room. There were also some boxes, and other items in our garage, as well. Two of the nicest guys I have ever met (turned out that they were brothers-in-law) came to load up the belongings...they had called the night before to let me know that they were in town, and to verify the pick up time, etc.~~nice gesture, I thought. My husband's Ford Ranger truck was to be moved, too, and I just figured that they would pull it somehow behind the van...boy, was I in for a BIG surprise!
After they had loaded a few things in the van, one of them asked me for the keys to the truck. To my utter amazement, he got in the truck, and literally drove it into the moving van! I was speechless, as I had no earthly idea that they were going to do this! They then finished loading his stuff, and used the bed of the truck for storage, as well. We bid our good-byes, and they left. All went well, and I was very satisfied. Is this the end of our story? No way!
My husband called that night, and said that he had something very important to discuss with me. He was on assignment on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and he had just been offered a job in Morristown, N.J., where the AT&T International Headquarters were located...this was an honor, as well as a promotion. I could tell that he really wanted to accept this offer and besides, Morristown wasn't that much farther away from home than Baltimore had been, so why not?
That decision having been made, he next asked if I could contact the movers and arrange for his stuff to go to Morristown instead of Baltimore. I informed him that they had already picked up his belongings, just that afternoon, and that they were enroute to Baltimore. What to do? From talking with the movers, I knew where they were going next, and it was still within our state. I called their 24-hour toll-free number, explained our situation, and everything was taken care of for us...they couldn't have been any nicer.
I have no idea how much this move cost, as the company paid for it, and it was several years ago...I knew at one time, but I don't recall the amount. We were very pleased with Paul Arpin Van Lines and most especially, with the ease in which they handled our change of destination at the very last minute. We would not hesitate to use them again, nor to recommend them to other people. After all, they claim to be "The Best Kept Secret In The Relocation Business."
Does our story have a happy ending? You betcha! My husband was able to relocate back home a few years ago, and even though he is frequently away on projects/assignments, he is able to tele-commute from his office in our home inbetween his travels, and we now just maintain one residence.
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