In your search for a professional moving company, it's important to be aware of the pitfalls to avoid. Ask yourself: What kinds of people would I trust to hold all of my possessions?
They should be honest, respectful, and dependable people.
Sadly, these qualities are not guaranteed in every company you are exposed to. Dishonest rogue movers change names frequently. Even movers with well known franchises have recently made national headlines for their unethical business practices (including fraud, theft, and extortion).
There are trustworthy movers out there, but you need to ask questions to be sure you've found one that you can trust with your possessions.
Reputation is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a moving company. Gather testimonials from people that have used them. Try asking your real estate agent, or apartment manager if they've had experience with the companies in question. The Better Business Bureau also has a large database of companies with outstanding complaints. If the company you're researching has a history of poor ethics, the BBB will be the easiest way to learn of it.
We recommend getting at least 3, if not 4 different quotes for your moving day. This will let you compare your estimates. If one quote is really low, or really high, it will be an immediate red flag.
The Internet can be a reAourceful tool for information. A quick search might bring us dozens of offers from different sources, but always be aware of who you're dealing with. Do they run their own trucks? Ask to see their storage facilities. What sort of people do they hire? Some moving companies advertising online are simply brokers, passing your job to another local moving company. If so, find out who they're working with, and whether you can trust them yourself.
Here in BC, if the moving business you hire is not registered or is not making its payments to WorkSafeBC, you could be liable for insurance premiums owing in connection with your move. The same applies with Workers Compensation Boards in other provinces. Before hiring anyone, be sure that their workers are fully covered for workplace injury.
Even the best movers will drop something from time to time. It's the nature of the business. A good mover, however, will be there to help you recoup the loss. Does the company you're considering have insurance? With whom? What is covered? Who do you talk to in the case of a claim? How long does the process take? What paperwork is involved? A mover without the proper insurance will have a tough time answering questions of this kind.
It takes some work, but an organized account of your possessions will bring benefits beyond peace of mind. Inventory taken during the packing stage will allow you to know where your valuables are throughout the process. Good organization also helps movers work more efficiently, saving you money!
The best shield against a scam artist is a written contract that covers every detail of your move. Verbal agreements are useless and will not stand up in court, so insist on a contract and read it thoroughly. Look for packing fees, insurance charges, travel and fuel costs, labor fees, cost of materials, delicate cargo, locker rental, expected gratuity etc. If something is not in the contract, request that it be added before moving forward. Scan the fine print for any hidden charges not previously discussed, and never sign a contract in "good faith" that unresolved issues will be addressed.
A good deal can be tempting to pass up, but be on guard against any moving company that offers you a cash only offer. Keeping you out of the books, means there will be no record of your business transaction. Lost or stolen property as a result would be almost impossible to reclaim. Any merchant who tries to cheat on taxes owed is being dishonest from the start. Do not trust them with your valuables.
Although some reputable movers do require a deposit in order to finalize a booking, they should never require the full price up front. If a moving company does require a deposit, ask them what their policy is on refunds. Some will require one or two weeks notice of cancellation before a refund can be issued. Be aware of what to expect, and of course, be sure it's all written down in your contract.
Did you know that moving companies are not responsible for the loss or damage of any items of extraordinary value if they were not disclosed beforehand? Did you know that any loosely packed items damaged in transit are the responsibility, not of the one driving, but the one who packed? Each province has laid out rules regarding the carriage of household goods in their motor vehicle act. Educate yourself beforehand, and know your own responsibilities. This can save you a lot of heartache on moving day.