Cassidy's Moving and Storage
INFOGRAPHIC: Protect Yourself From Rogue Movers
We’ve been hearing a lot about rogue moving companies. We created this original infographic to tell you everything you need to know to protect yourself from them!
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Transcript: Protect Yourself From Rogue Movers
Too many Canadians are falling victim to fly-by-night companies who add surprise fees onto the bill and hold your belongings hostage when you don’t pay. Here’s how to recognize and avoid them.
Creating Demand: Canadians Are On The Move
• 4.5 million: The number of Canadians who move every year.
• 5 – 6: The number of times we move in our lifetimes.
• July-September: Peak moving season in Canada.
Rogue Moving Companies are a Real Threat
• Rogue Movers are #2 on the Better Business Bureau’s list of top 5 scams for 2014.
• The Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus fielded 128,751 inquiries about movers in 2010 – second only to roofing companies.
• The Canadian Association of Movers has thousands of complaints on its books.
• In the US, the Better Business Bureau received more than 9,300 complaints against movers.
How Rogue Movers Operate
• They quote a low price over the phone (often an hourly rate) for a van and a specified number of movers.
• They often claim “everything is included”.
• On moving day, they arrive and start telling you that there are extra fees for things like heavy objects or stairs.
• They present you with a contract that you often don’t have time to read, and pressure you into signing so they can start.
• They ask for cash deposits.
• If you object to the extra fees before loading up they threaten to leave – leaving you stranded in peak season and little hope of hiring other movers on short notice.
• If you object to the final bill they:
- Threaten to dump your stuff on the sidewalk.
- Hold your belongings hostage!
- Consumers doing interprovincial moves are particularly vulnerable due to legislative overlap.
Spot the Rogues: Warning Signs
• A low price that’s well below the market rate.
• They are not listed on the Better Business Bureau or the Canadian Association of Movers websites.
• They don’t visit your home to assess how much stuff you have or provide an advance estimate in writing.
• You don’t see the contract before moving day.
• Vans with no logos or even ramps.
• Careless handling of your belongings.
• They hold your belongings to make you pay extra fees. That’s illegal in Ontario.
On moving day, the final cost cannot be more than 10% higher than the estimate.
What Should You Do If You Think You’ve Been Scammed?
1. Write “Paid Under Protest” on the final invoice.
2. Keep copies of all documents and follow up with the company.
3. File a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario.
4. File complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Canadian Association of Movers.
5. Some homeowners have successfully sued Rogue Movers – but this is rare. They often disappear if they sense trouble!
How to Protect Yourself
1. Verify the company is in good standing with the BBB and CAM: search these websites and call to confirm.
Watch out – some Rogue Movers put BBB and CAM logos on their sites when they’re not listed.
2. Get written estimates in advance from at least 3 different providers.
3. Don’t just focus on price – that super low cost could mean added fees later on.
4. Real moving companies have brick-and-mortar storefronts. A search on Google Maps will should reveal the truth!
5. Bona fide moving companies will send an estimator to your home, and you’ll receive and written estimate and a contract well in advance of moving day.
A nice website or a local phone number is no guarantee – a local number can go to an overseas provider who outsources locally.
We Wish You a Stress-Free Move!
Brought to you by Cassidy’s Transfer and Storage
We Move the World
- The Canadian Association of Movers
- The Council of Better Business Bureaus
- CBC Marketplace: “Movin’ Day Showdown”: https://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2013-2014/movin-day-showdown/
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