Is a Toronto Move In Your Future? Don’t Get Taken For a Ride

 

If we were to look at the top stress situations you can put yourself into moving would be up there with divorce, employment changes, financial loss and health concerns. Moving day is stressful enough without having to deal with unscrupulous bottom feeders. Last year , Toronto police arrested the operators of a GTA moving company and laid charges which included fraud and extortion. Any consumer who is looking to move, and wants to avoid these parasites, they should take the time to research who they want to trust their belongings with. My first bit of advice: avoid any mover who uses Craiglist or Kijiji, if they are using some anonymous medium to advertise their service it just seems a dodgy situation from the get go.

Here are some of the tactics the moving bandits employ:

  1. Showing up late or not at all after you have given them a deposit
  2. Once your furniture is on the truck they then inform you of the extra fees for unloading
  3. Damaging of furniture or theft
  4. Sending a smaller truck then charging you for a second vehicle
  5. Arriving with 2 movers when it was agree the job required 4, so an additional labour fee is levied
  6. No address and only a cell number as the main contact source

Gone are the days when a friend with a truck and a couple of buddies could orchestrate an entire move in an afternoon, which would be followed by sitting on boxes drinking beer and eating pizza. No matter how big or small the move is going to be, moving from a basement apartment or uprooting the family from Toronto and moving across the country, you need to get a minimum of 3 quotes–these quotes should be delivered in person and not over the phone. Ask how they expect payment, and reputable movers have the flexibility to accept Visa, MasterCard or certified cheque…if cash is the only payment they accept then a big flag has just been raised.

Here are a couple of questions to ask your mover. Details like the company’s insurance policy, references and what is there policy relating to damage of goods while in their care. The thing is here is we don’t have a problem until there is a problem, so get it in writing. If something is damaged through neglect by the mover a written policy provides a process for resolution or if not resolved you can file an complaint with the Better Business Bureau or if they are members the Canadian Association of Movers (http://www.mover.net/index.php) .

Toronto’s city council is leading the charge in helping consumers shut these con men out of the moving industry. To operate a taxi or tow truck in our city you need to be certified, this means you can only charge what industry dictates. Similarly, our city is hoping by the late spring of 2012 to have the same certification applied to movers who operate within our municipal boundaries.

As a Toronto realtor, I have seen my clients employ some great movers, with some being high end and others small independent contractors. A good start, ask friends and see what their experience was with their last mover. You get what you pay for and that $50 a hour mover may at the end of your moving day not be the bargain you thought.

 

PS. http://www.mover.net/index.php Is also a great resource to check out small, medium and cross-country moving companies.