File photo.

How to avoid fly-by-night moving companies

The Better Business Bureau and the Canadian Association of Movers give their tips

The Better Business Bureau and the Canadian Association of Movers have teamed up to set standards for ethical business practices and help prevent people from getting scammed when needing to move.

“Unfortunately, fly-by-night and no-name ‘truck-for-hire’ groups have been known to take advantage of the fact that consumers are under emotional and financial pressures, as well as time constraints when moving,” said Danielle Primrose, president and CEO of BBB, in a news release on Tuesday.

The organizations received more than 700 complaints against movers and storage-related companies in 2018.

According to Nancy Irvine, president of CAM, the best possible way to make a move a smooth transition is research.

RELATED: The dos and don’ts of hiring a mover

“It’s not like buying a pair of shoes. You are entrusting your entire lifelong belongs to someone you likely don’t know. There are many factors to look at – not just price. Remember that the cheapest price might turn into the costliest move,” said Irvine.

A few examples of what could go wrong: missed delivery or pick-up dates, lost or damaged belongings, charges that exceed the estimate, and claim disputes for lost and/or damaged items.

The bureau also warned people to be aware and suspicious of unmarked rental trucks as opposed to clearly marked and company-owned.

Most professional movers wear uniforms, undergo background checks, and provide a tracking number. Movers who persuade clients to go without a written contract should also be avoided.

The organizations recommended checking out their websites to see reviews and ratings of moving companies and contractors. Some red flags to look out for are if a mover does not provide replace valuation protection details, company address, proof of workers’ compensation, or a GST number.


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