How to Avoid a Moving Day Nightmare

How to Avoid a Moving Day Nightmare

You’ve just purchased a new home, found best mortgage rates, have all your ducks in a row and you’re about to embark on a brand new chapter in your life and move into your new home.  You hired a moving company and now preparing for the day to move into your dream home.  If you’re moving, beware, moving scams in Canada are more widespread than you would think.  We’ve come up with some moving tips to help you avoid a moving company scam.

I personally had experience with a moving scam and it was a nightmare.  I had no idea or was aware about moving scams.  Needless to say it was a nightmare and the cost of the move was triple what was told to me.  Some of the things that happened was they arrived late, they made me sign a contract, give a deposit upfront and then threw (yes threw) everything in the truck.  They then said they wanted more money, I called the police and they were sympathetic and they said these scams were very common.  They told me because I signed a contract there was nothing they could do but come by and supervise the move.  I declined as I did not want to move into a new neighbourhood with a police escort.  They said unless I gave them more money, they would take all my things and leave until I came up with the money.  After negotiating and pleading, they lessened the amount but said they were throwing everything on the lawn when they got to the new place.   It was stressful and scary and later I was told a few stories from people who hired these scammers and had the  moving company drive off with all their belongings and took months to get it back and not all their items.

Moving Tips:

Long before the actual day, consider these moving tips:

  • Start looking for movers at least 3 months prior to the move date.
  • Ask friends, coworkers and family for recommendations of reputable movers.  Your real estate agent may also have names of reputable moving companies.
  • Get a signed in home estimate from 3 movers and don’t just have them give you an hourly rate.  Ensure all costs are included and have them sign the estimate.
  • Ask for references and call those references.
  • Ensure they have a website or a yellow page listing (many movers change names often to avoid getting caught and bad reviews).
  • Look for reviews of the company online.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau and see if there are any complaints against the company.
  • Don’t go with a company just for the low rates.  The company can be competitive but it’s a red flag if they are significantly lower than the other estimates.
  • Ask about the company’s insurance policy and ask them to explain (in writing) what happens to your goods if they are damaged during transport.

Whether you are a first time home buyer, getting a second home or moving to rental,  I hope this blog post and moving tips will save you from the trauma of a moving company scam and you take advantage of some tips on how to save yourself from this terrible experience.  You’ve taken great care to find the best mortgage broker and best mortgage rates, please ensure you take the same care when looking for a moving company.

Here is a snippet of the Marketplace Moving Day Showdown as featured on CBC