Moving time? Do not have your own moving day horror story

May 25, 2010
Planning a move can be a big challenge. Every year the Better Business Bureau hears countless stories about late movers, lost and damaged goods, over-billing, and disputes over the actual weight of goods compared to the estimate.

“Consumers needs to read the terms and conditions before moving day and not rely solely on price when deciding on a mover,” says Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. “Some consumer reports tell us about how costs increase halfway through the job. If the customer refuses to pay, their property is then held in storage until the bill paid in full.”

Last year the BBB received 140 complaints about moving companies making the industry rated sixth overall in the number of complaints received.

Start planning ahead several weeks before your targeted moving date. Here are some quick tips to help you with your move:

1. Shop around. Get at least three estimates and keep in mind that the lowest bid may not necessarily be the best service when you consider insurance, training, experience, quality of vehicle, etc.

2. Get a written contract. Make sure you get a contract that spells out the specific terms: the dates and times of your move, holding charges, and over-weight penalties.

3. Ask about insurance. Find out how much insurance the mover has and what it covers. Ask for the insurer’s name and policy number in case you need extra insurance to protect your possessions.

4. Make a list and check it. Make an inventory of the goods to be moved. Personally supervise or have someone trusted with your inventory list watch the loading and unloading of the truck.

5. Report loss or damage. If damage or loss occurs, have the driver make a special note on the inventory and/or delivery receipt, then promptly notify the company in writing, keeping a copy for your own files.

6. If you pack you pay. Remember, if the moving company packs everything, they are responsible; if you pack things, you are on the hook for damages. If you pack, place heavy items on the bottom, lighter ones on top and label boxes.

7. Deal with insured companies. Ask for a clearance letter from the mover stating that they have insurance coverage from WorkSafeBC. If they don’t, you may end up paying for any employee injuries during the move.

Before hiring a moving company, go to for a reliability report on the company. If your moving company is not responsive to a complaint you have brought to its attention, consider filing a complaint with the BBB.