The first time you use a moving company to move house, instead of DIYing it, can be taxing. There are a lot of horror stories out there that leave consumers nervous before they have even had a bad experience. There are things that you can do to protect yourself and your belongings the first time you use a moving company. The whole reason you hire a moving company is to take a literal load off of you, and there is no reason that they shouldn’t be able to take a figurative load off your mind as well.

The first step is to try to use local movers who can come and give a visual survey. Having them come in and look around your house and get a feel for how much you are going to be moving is crucial. You can also communicate to them at that point what will be staying and going and they can let you know if anything falls outside a standard contract, such as pianos and hot tubs.

Another thing you can do to protect yourself is to ask the company if they follow the Good Practice Guidelines of Canadian Movers. This is a set of guidelines set out by the government that dictate the practices that a reputable moving company should follow. Reviewing it yourself also gives you an idea of what you should expect from a professional company.

Of course, you should also your research and look at reviews from multiple places online. Do not just stick to one review site, check out as many as you can to get the best feel for the company as possible. It’s also a good idea to ask around and see who your friends have used in the past and if they have any recommendations.

Once you’ve got an idea of who you want to use, get an estimate from all of them. You don’t have to limit yourself to a quote from only one company. It can be a good indicator when comparing quotes if they are reflecting what your move should cost. If they all are at the same price then you are probably safe, but if they vary wildly then you should probably get a few more quotes to get a real feel for the actual cost.

Familiarize yourself with the Consumer Protection Act and make sure that the stipulations on quotes and contracts fall within their parameters. Also, always make sure that the estimate is included in the contract! Legally you cannot be charged more than 10% above the cost of your estimate unless you need additional supplies or services.

Get the name of the mover’s insurance provider and their policy number, this will let you know if they do have appropriate insurance. In line with this, ask who is responsible for damage and loss, it may be the insurance company and you can check the policy to confirm this.

There are some red flags when looking for a mover that should set off the alarm bells. If they do any of these things then you should look elsewhere!

  • They answer the phone as “Movers” or “Moving Company” instead of their own company’s name.
  • Refuse to come to your home to give you an estimate
  • Have no website and no address
  • They have no local offices or warehouses
  • They demand cash or a very large deposit before the move
  • If their trucks are unmarked or rentals

Take your time when looking for a moving company, know that you can shop around and that you have rights as a consumer to ask questions. We at Toronto Pro Moving & Storage are happy to provide you with a quote and answer any questions you have. We want to take away your moving headache, not give you one.