July 19, 2016


Vancouver, BC – Moving is a stressful part of anyone’s life and dealing with questionable moving companies can easily add to that stress. BBB is reminding consumers to do their homework before booking moves during this busy summer period.

“A consumer’s worst nightmare can be trusting the wrong business to move their prized possessions,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “We hear the horror stories.”

One company of concern is Canadian Van Lines (not to be confused with Great Canadian Van Lines). They have an F rating due to many unresolved and unanswered complaints alleging:

  • Failure to show up; even after rescheduling
  • Failure to issue refunds when no work performed
  • Service issues; damaged or missing items
  • Collection issues; refusing to unload until paid in full or with additional costs
  • Demanding full payment before starting work, or at least 50% deposit
  • Loading items into storage and clients forced to retrieve them at their own time and expense


Their BBB Business Review can be found here.

Paul Leader with the Canadian Association of Movers says the list of consumer complaints in the industry is lengthy. “The household goods moving industry is plagued by rogues and bandits posing as reputable moving businesses and the 4.5 million Canadians who move every year are their prey. Consumers need to do their part to protect themselves and not simply rely on governments to enforce laws after they’re victimized.”

“You need to do your research before hiring. Go to and find a reputable mover,” says Kelly. “You don’t want your next move to include broken contracts or goods held hostage with little recourse but a legal fight which could mean more time and more money.”

Since July 2015 BBB serving Mainland BC received 230 complaints against moving companies.

BBB offers these tips on finding the right mover for the job:

  • Ask for references and get several estimates.
  • Find out how much insurance the company carries. Depending on what is being moved, you may have to purchase more.
  • Make an inventory of the goods being moved and supervise the loading and unloading.
  • If the company does the packing, they are responsible for the goods, if you pack it, you are responsible.
  • The peak moving season is May to September – be wary that price may be dictated by this.
  • Avoid moving on weekends; this may cost more as companies’ may pay staff overtime.
  • Get everything in writing. Make sure the contract specifies times and dates. Make sure you understand the contract before signing. All contracts should be on company letterhead.
  • Some companies subcontract other moving firms to do the work. Inquire who they use and research them accordingly.
  • Be wary of companies that ask for a large deposit or even request full payment up front. Find out why. You generally pay after the truck is unloaded.
  • Understand movers estimate the weight of your contents. There are several online moving calculators that you can use to estimate the weight of your household contents. Best to get three estimates from businesses who can come and review your premise in person and ask about other fees like gas surcharges or stairs.
  • Avoid cash deals with promises of saving on the GST. This is an unscrupulous practice.
  • Expect additional fees such as if you are moving into a 25th-floor apartment. More steps can mean more money. 



Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
Phone: 604-488-8702
Mobile: 604-505-2307
404-788 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2M1

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 111 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 7,500 complaints.