Planning a move in the coming weeks? DRPS is asking residents to be careful when choosing a moving company. Recently we have received an increased number of complaints regarding fraudulent activity by moving companies advertising online.
Residents should be aware of the following safeguarding tips when it comes to choosing a moving company. These come from the Government of Canada, Office of Consumer Affairs:
*Do your research - many moving companies advertising online will provide estimates without first inspecting the load. This can result in significant differences between the estimate used to lure the client, and the final bill based on the contract's fees. Also conduct an Internet search on the name for previous complaints or warnings
*Make sure the moving company is insured. Consult with your insurance company to determine if your insurance will cover any damage that may occur during the move
*Determine if the company has its own equipment or are they sub-contracting. Subcontracting makes it difficult to ensure you are getting a professional service and also makes it challenging for you to obtain follow up on potential complaints
*Make sure the workers have WSIB certificates so you are not responsible for employee injuries
*Read the contract - many contracts have hourly rates per mover and many extras that can include the number of flights of stairs, a charge for each appliance and extras for heavy items. You may want to do the math beforehand so there are no surprises
*Review the contract or estimate prior to having your items loaded, otherwise you may feel pressured to sign. Obtain the written contract or estimate in advance.
*Movers can't withhold your property for payment. This practice should be reported to police as it is illegal
*Make an inventory - this will ensure all of your belongings are delivered. You may want to consider taking your small valuables and personal belongings with you
Any complaint or concerns that do not constitute a criminal offence can be reported to the following agencies: Ontario Consumer Protection Branch here or at 1-800-889-9768. The Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) here or 1-866-860-0065.
Fraud Alert (JPG file, 229.5K bytes)