According to John Levi, president of the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), the following steps can help you have a positive moving experience.
Pick three – Choose at least three companies and then check them out. Ask questions and check their reputations through available resources (see below) before settling on one.
Match them to the job – Choose a mover with the resources and crew to suit your situation. A large family move across the country and a one-bedroom condo move across town are completely different. Verify the company’s capabilities with CAM, or you may end up paying more than you thought – or learning that your mover can’t do the job and has handed it off to someone else.
Invite them over – Refuse to accept an estimate delivered by phone, fax, text or email from a mover who has not assessed the space in person. An on-site estimate is essential.
Get it in writing – Get every promise made in the moving estimate in writing, along with dates of the move and specifics on what will and won’t be moved, and who will be doing the packing. If you promise to de-clutter and pack, you must follow through or else extra charges may be added.
Book well in advance – After you’ve chosen a reputable company, ensure that the mover has lots of time to meet your expectations.
Schedule with care – Avoid booking a move the same day as a property closing or a popular moving date. Closing dates have their own problems. There may be a deadline to vacate on one side of the move, while keys or titles are not ready on the other. Such delays can mean movers sit and wait at a site, creating extra costs and stress. Avoid the first and last days of the summer months like the plague. These are mover’s busiest times, and steering clear of those dates will boost your chances of getting an experienced crew.
Be realistic – Damage and loss can happen, although good movers will do their best to prevent or minimize them. Ask questions about company policies on loss and damage and discuss concerns about particular items with them.
For more information – Brefore hiring or recommending a mover, you can contact the following organizatons:
Consumer Beware page, Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services website: www.consumerbeware.mgs.gov.on.ca
Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.org/canada/
Canadian Association of Movers: www.mover.net 0r 1-866-860-0065
(reprinted from Realtor Edge, April 2012 issue)