6/19/2010

A Hot List is hot for a reason

I recently moved across country. Twenty moving companies reached out to me with direct mail offers. Of these, 7 arrived before I made a decision which company to use, 8 arrived after I made a decision, and 5 arrived after I left Houston. Below are examples of postcards that arrived too late.



There could be a few sources these companies used to learn I was preparing to leave town. Based on my actions, I believe they included a listing on the Houston Area Realtor web site and inquiry at movers.com. I also completed a change of address form at the post office, however I do not recall the USPS sharing lists as such.






This one, although late, is interesting.  It offers the prospect an immediate benefit -- a discount at Lowe's.  This $10 off $50 coupon is the same offer that is made available through the US Postal Service's Movers Kit.  Perhaps the cost to Allied is zero, but it is an effective way to break through mailbox clutter.




Of course, the speed in which a company reaches out to you to sell is not necessarily correlated with the quality of it’s service. My furniture was shipped by Texas Home Movers, AKA Texas Home Storage. The shipment was late, and several items were damaged.

The company subbed out work to an independent trucker after telling me they wouldn't.  The trucker claimed he completely offloaded the truck at delivery, but still missed a box that was brought by a week later by his brother in-law with major damage.  6 weeks later, items are still missing and I can’t even get a claim form from the company. Needless to say, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and took other action.

Learnings: As a business, if you purchase a hot list, use it fast. As a consumer, avoid Texas Home Movers.

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