You are about to turn over all of your household possessions to a mover. Choosing the right mover can avoid serious emotional stress and inflated financial costs to you and your family.
WHAT’S THE RISK?
Cheap prices, unrealistic promises, ransom demands, extortion.
Yes, this can happen when you move if you don’t research your mover. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that “fly-by-night and no-name ‘truck-for-hire’ types can take advantage of the fact that consumers are under emotional, financial and time pressures when moving.”1
The Toronto Police Service agrees. You need to be wary of the “criminal enterprise disguised as a moving company.”2 Moving scams are becoming more sophisticated and often start by individuals who set up as ‘move brokers’ trolling you online and through social media.
Brokers don’t own trucks, have offices, or even their own manpower, and certainly have no insurance or workplace safety certificates that leave consumers liable for any worker accidents in their homes. These con artists take no responsibility for the level of service delivered because they sell off the business to anyone who will agree to accept the order.
Scam operators “deliberately try to confuse the customer – estimate with one company, then a sister company comes and picks up the shipment, then the credit card is charged through a third company, so the consumer has no idea who has their things because they don’t know who they are dealing with.”3
Be certain that the company you choose does in fact have the resources to do the job.
Moving is more than relocating your belongings to a new home. It requires time, patience, money and trust. You should be on the lookout for operators:
- without a physical address (so you can’t find them)
- who only accept cash (so you can’t stop payment)
- who don’t put their promises in writing (so you can’t prove anything)
- who refuse to confirm the shipment size (so you have no idea of your final charges).
IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
The Canadian moving industry is unregulated federally and each province has its own legislation regarding moving services. Scam operators (rogues) have learned how to skirt regulations and manipulate consumers to their advantage. The police remind you that “you really have to do your research when you are going to hire a moving company.”4
- Check out BBB and CAM references
- Ask at least three movers for quotes
- Get all promises in writing
- Find out how and when payment is required
- Ask your mover what happens if something is broken or lost