Choosing the Right Movers Requires Homework

Posted: April 17, 2012 in General Information, Sellers
Tags: , , , , ,

For some people, the most daunting aspect of the buying or selling process is the move itself.

We’ve all heard horror stories of moving companies so doing your homework before hand is sure to save you grief and aggravations. It’s hard enough to move without getting ripped off in the process.

 In Canada there are many resources available to determine whether a mover is reputable. The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), the Better Business Bureau, and any of the major national van lines (such as Allied, Atlas, Mayflower, North American or United) are all good sources. Also check out the Consumer Beware page through the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services for movers to avoid.

 With about 350 members across the country, CAM represents Canada’s largest moving companies, many small to mid-sized movers, national van lines, suppliers and many international movers. It also works with government agencies to represent member issues and with consumers to provide referrals and assist with complaints.

Reputation should be a priority over price. Many people don’t realize that their prime concern should be in having a good moving experience, not getting the cheapest price. Be sure that you understand that the lowest quoted price does not actually guarantee the lowest cost or a good-quality job.

Consider the value of your possessions as well as the potential cost of loss, damage, tardiness or claims. All of those factors should be weighed to determine the move’s total price tag, and doing some homework before selecting a mover is well worth the time.

Because the moving industry is largely unregulated, choosing a reputable mover is vital in avoiding problems. The most common complaints received by CAM pertain to overcharging, lateness, damage or loss, but issues also arise with inexperienced crews, poor communication, and failed promises.

To join CAM, a mover must be in business for more than a year, be reputable, and undergo a due diligence and verification process. The association checks out companies through the Better Business Bureau and asks other members to offer a fair opinion on potential members. 

Loss or damage claims can end up being drawn out for years so consumers who take steps to do some preliminary research usually avoid claims.

Many problems are preventable. A good mover should be prepared to answer questions and provide clear expectations about the move for the individual or family. Consumers can spare themselves grief simply by asking potential movers questions such as: 

What is your experience with moves like mine? How experienced is your crew? What is the bottom-line price? What is the not-to-exceed price, including all charges and taxes? What happens if loss or damages occur, and how will we be protected?

The most important step, often overlooked, is getting an in-home estimate.  Don’t get sweet-talked by an over the phone company that claims it can do the job.  That’s an invitation to disaster. If movers are willing to give you an estimate by phone, don’t hire them. If they can’t see your place or belongings, they have no idea how the move will go.

An experienced mover will visit the consumer at home and examine furnishings and possessions, give a more reliable estimate, and outline difficulties that might occur during the move, he adds.

Be realistic and realize that damages sometimes can’t be helped. There isn’t a mover around who hasn’t scratched, nicked or lost something – it happens.  Moving big objects through small openings means these things sometimes occur, but the crux of the matter is how the mover deals with the issue. A good mover gets the repair done quickly or pays the consumer for loss or damage if the claim is valid.

Written estimates are vital. Make sure that you get the company’s promises in writings. If they won’t put it in writing, don’t move with them. It’s as simple as that.

Doing your research before hand will help alleviate some of the stress.  It’s an extra step with the best possible reward – a happy ending.

Find out what your home in worth. FREE Home Evaluation at

  1. Excellent Post. I’m going to share this with my Facebook Fans. I think it’s important when moving to consider all the important things even the small stuff which most people fail to think about. Cheers Mr.CBB