Choosing Your Movers

Wednesday Sep 06th, 2017

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Yearly,  the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services received hundreds of complaints about moving companies – and many more likely didn’t get reported.

Keep yourself and your belongings protected – use these tips and avoid hiring a bad moving company.

Do your research

Moving companies are not licensed by the province, but doing some research can help you find a reliable mover. Consider:

  • asking friends, family or coworkers for recommendations
  • dealing with a local business – it will make reference checks easier and you can have the movers come over to actually see what needs to be moved, which helps to give you an accurate estimate

Once you have a few moving companies in mind, remember to:

Get an estimate

Before signing a contract with a mover, get at least 3 written estimates from different companies and be clear about what you want them to include. For example, will the moving company:

  • provide packing services as well as move your belongings?
  • move only items that you have packed yourself?

Consider asking what happens if there are unforeseen circumstances, such as if the mover’s vehicle breaks down or if there is a traffic jam.

What to include in the contract

When you hire a mover, you have rights under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act. Consumer contracts for moving services must:

  • be in writing if they are worth more than $50
  • clearly show the terms of your agreement with the business

All consumer contracts for moving services must include:

  • the mover’s name, address and contact information
  • a description of the service(s) and an itemized list of prices
  • the total amount that you will have to pay
  • start and end dates for the service
  • the terms of payment

You can also include:

  • the estimate - by law, the mover cannot charge you more than 10% above the estimate in your contract unless you need additional supplies or services and agree to an increase 
  • the name of the mover’s insurance provider and their policy number
  • who is responsible for any damage or loss
  • the number of staff, the estimated number of hours and the size of the vehicle(s) that will be needed
  • any licences or customs documents that may be needed to cross a border

On moving day

On the day of your move there are a few steps you can take to make sure things go smoothly:

  • Be ready for when the movers arrive.
  • Move valuable items (e.g., jewellery, artwork) and personal documents yourself.
  • Supervise the pickup and delivery of your items.
  • Make a note of any missing or damaged items before the movers leave.

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