What to Expect When You Move with 1-800-PACK-RAT—Mike’s Move

Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
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Published on April 30, 2021
3 min read

1-800-PACK-RAT is one of the best moving container companies because it has high-quality containers and unbeatable deals. We talked to Mike, a real-life customer who moved with 1-800-PACK-RAT, to see what he thought—and he largely agreed. While there were a few customer service blips along the way, Mike ended up saving nearly $600, and his belongings arrived without a scratch.

Want to see what 1-800-PACK-RAT would charge for your move? 


Meet Mike

After nearly 30 years of service as a military helicopter pilot, Mike decided it was time to retire. But that meant he needed to get home to his wife and 11-year-old daughter more than 1,000 miles away. So Mike looked on Move.org for money-saving tips, asked a coworker for recommendations, and applied for a moving grant.

In September 2020, Mike moved the contents of his 850-square-foot duplex from Fort Leavenworth, KS, to West Hartford, CT, using a 16-foot 1-800-PACK-RAT moving container.

A military helicopter pilot dressed in his uniform.

Mike, a retired military helicopter pilot, recently moved to be with his wife and daughter from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to West Hartford, Connecticut. Photo credit: Mike

Bullhorn
Move.org Moving Grants: The 411

At Move.org, we offer financial assistance to individuals and families who are moving in exchange for details about their experience. Their candid reviews help us provide unique, real-life perspectives about the moving process.

Visit our Moving Grant hub to find out which companies we’ve worked with and to apply for funding for your next move!


Our 1-800-PACK-RAT move at a glance

Moving company
1-800-PACK-RAT

Move date

September 2020

Start location

Fort Leavenworth, KS

End location

West Hartford, CT

Home size

850 sq. ft. duplex

Container size

16 x 7.8 x 7.5 ft.

No. of containers

1

Quoted cost

$2,570

Actual cost

$2,000


What to expect with 1-800-PACK-RAT—Pricing

1-800-PACK-RAT has high initial prices, but it often beats the cheapest companies if you ask for price matching. In Mike’s case, 1-800-PACK-RAT lived up to its reputation. He pitted two companies against each other and got both of them to agree to lower amounts. The result? He saved $570.

So be like Mike, and ask for price matching. You can literally save hundreds of dollars.

1-800-PACK-RAT vs. U-Pack pricing

Company
Size
Initial quote
Discounted total
Savings
1-800-PACK-RAT

16-ft. container

$2,570

$2,000

$570

U-Pack

27-ft. trailer

$2,950

$2,400

$550

Data as of 9/28/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

1-800-PACK-RAT also offers more moving container discounts than any other company, and Mike got a military discount as a thank-you for his service.

A 1-800-PACK-RAT moving container is dropped off at a customer's home in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Mike’s 1-800-PACK-RAT containers getting dropped off at his duplex in Fort Leavenworth, KS. Photo credit: Mike


What to expect with 1-800-PACK-RAT—Billing

1-800-PACK-RAT billing can be tricky to understand. Instead of a single total, the company breaks the price down into several charges payable at different times. In Mike’s case, it nearly cost him hundreds of dollars extra.

Remember how Mike worked some price-matching magic to lower his overall bill? Well, 1-800-PACK-RAT finally agreed to a $2,000 “flat fee” that was nearly $600 lower than the initial quote. But there was an extra $200 charge when the bill came. “The customer service agent said it was a transportation fee for the rising cost in diesel,” said Mike, who waited on hold for about five minutes before a supervisor agreed to waive the fee.

The agent may have said the fee increased to account for diesel fuel costs, but 1-800-PACK-RAT delivery fees are standard. They're also confusing—and that’s the problem. When even the Move.org team has to ask 1-800-PACK-RAT reps to clarify final prices, there’s room for improvement.


What to expect with 1-800-PACK-RAT—Customer service

1-800-PACK-RAT customer service could be better. In Mike’s case, there were things he liked—it was always great when he called back and happened to get the same rep. There were a few things, however, that kept him from awarding a perfect five stars:

  • No tracking. Mike wanted to track the whereabouts of his moving container, but 1-800-PACK-RAT said it didn’t have any way to do that—even though the company website says it does.
  • Inconsistent info. Mike scored some great deals, but company reps weren’t always on the same page. 1-800-PACK-RAT emailed him a contract that didn’t match his $2,000 “flat fee” deal, so he had to call back to fix it. And when the move was over, he had to work with two different employees (a phone rep and a supervisor) to get rid of an unexpected fee.
  • Tight delivery window. Mike’s driver got lost and didn’t call until he arrived at the house. The short notice frustrated Mike, who thought 1-800-PACK-RAT’s typical one-hour notice was too short.

What surprised us about 1-800-PACK-RAT

In most ways, Mike’s experience with 1-800-PACK-RAT backed up what we know about the company—but there were a few things that surprised us.

  • Size matters. Mike didn’t go with 1-800-PACK-RAT just because it was the cheapest option. He picked the company because its 16-foot container fit perfectly in his parking spot (the 27-foot U-Pack trailer was too big).
  • Amateur repairs. Mike’s container had apparently been damaged before it arrived, and 1-800-PACK-RAT used tape to repair it. While his belongings arrived in perfect condition, we expect more from a company that prides itself on having the best containers on the market.
  • Inconsistent pricing. 1-800-PACK-RAT knocked nearly $600 off Mike’s fee because he asked for price matching. That didn’t surprise us—it’s what the company is known for. What caught us off guard is that Mike had to fight with the company (twice) to get the promised amount. We hope this was an isolated instance, but we’ll be keeping an eye out.
A 1-800-PACK-RAT moving container is dropped off at a customer's home in West Hartford, CT.

1-800-PACK-RAT delivers Mike’s moving container at his destination in West Hartford, CT. Photo credit: Mike


Our take

We recommend 1-800-PACK-RAT as one of our best moving container companies—and Mike gives it an impressive four out of five stars. 1-800-PACK-RAT wasn’t perfect. In Mike’s case, company reps weren’t on the same page about price, and he didn’t get any advanced notice before his container arrived. But the bottom line is that his stuff arrived on time and in perfect condition.

And Mike didn’t just save 10 or 20 bucks—his final price was $600 lower than his initial quote. We can nitpick about details, but 1-800-PACK-RAT counts where it matters most: low cost and high quality.

Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.