Near perfect experience
Overall the experience with Hollander was nearly perfect and well worth the additional cost of using a full-service mover. I interviewed three movers in person, and spoke to several others including both full-service and discount movers. From the salesman, office staff, and movers, everyone at Hollander was professional. The movers used a large volume of paper to carefully pack dishware, crystal and other breakables all of which arrived safely. The movers and I communicated to identify very high value furniture and other items for extra caution.
1) Insurance offered by movers is of little value if your possessions are more than 5years old. You can buy movers insurance from 3rd parties, but its costs thousands even with a $1K deductible. My solution was to offer each mover $100 (4-man crew) if they could complete the move without damage ($50 at loading / $50 at unload). Hollander worked with me to ensure the same team handled the load and unload. I greatly appreciated Hollander working outside their business norm to accommodate my request for same crew.
2) Avoid moving in the summer if you possibly can. The large volume of moves results in crews working perhaps faster than they should. Several pieces of furniture incurred minor damage that probably could have been avoided had the team worked a bit slower. However, mine was a big move that needed to fit tight time windows for service elevator access in two high rise buildings. Despite the minor damage, I believe I made the right decision to choose Hollander and reduce the risk of damage by offering the movers a premium.