Monday Mar 27, 2023

10 tips to avoid a moving nightmare

The Spectator in Hamilton Ontario recently published an article about a moving company whose success is based on treating customers honestly and considerately, in contrast to the way some of the same customers were treated by other movers.

There are many horror stories of bad moving experiences caused by shady or incompetent movers – stories of precious goods arriving damaged, unexpected and unfair extra charges, or movers just not showing up. Of course, some cases are unfairly blamed on movers, when people failed to manage their moving well. But anyone with a truck can call himself a mover, and the industry is plagued by “fly-by-night” operators.

The article implies some simple defenses against many of these problems, and of course the best defense is a good quality mover. How can you achieve this?

Follow these tips to make sure your move is not a nightmare caused by a bad mover:

1. Make sure the estimator includes everything that you want moved. Before you call a mover, consider all your possessions, everywhere inside and outside your home and anywhere else. If you’re not leaving it behind, you’re taking it. You don’t want to be the cause of extra charges from adding stuff after the estimate is made.

2. Call your local Better Business Bureau and the Canadian Association of Movers to make sure there are no bad reports of the mover you are considering.

3. Give preference to a mover who offers full-service and long-distance moves. This shows a solid commitment to the business.

4. Check whether the mover is an agent for a major van line network, such as Allied, United, North American, or Mayflower. These van lines protect their name by watching the quality of their agents.

5. Observe the estimator. Does he/she listen to you, spend the time to do a detailed estimateexplain everything in detail, and take care to avoid later surprises?

6. Ask for references from previous customers, then talk with those customers.

7. Examine the estimate and contract. Does it cover all the goods to be moved and specify permitted reasons (such as added goods) for extra charges?

8. Note whether the mover asks for a deposit. If so, that’s good, because the mover is taking the contract seriously.

9. Follow the best packing advice you can get, to make sure your possessions survive the trip. Seriously consider contracting the mover to pack and insure at least your fragile items.

10. Trust your gut feeling. If you feel comfortable with this mover, after talking with the estimator and any other staff, that’s a good indication that the move will go well.

These precautions will help ensure that your mover doesn’t keep you awake at night!