May is National Moving Month! Avoid Moving Heartache

May 01, 2017


Vancouver, BC – May is National Moving Month and a reminder to do your homework before hiring a company to transport your belongings from place to place. Complaints about moving companies are among the most numerous for Better Business Bureaus across Canada. Over 600 complaints were filed against a number of businesses in 2016.

“With few barriers to entry, a lot of fly-by-night companies are set up. Basically, anyone with a truck can call themselves a mover,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “That allows rogue companies to set up shop and start doing things like overcharging you as they hold your household hostage.”

Common complaints include missed pick up dates, if they show up at all, lost or damaged belongings, and over charging.

“The complaints run the gamut. It could be over small reports of damage to not showing up and the consumers are forced to rent a truck and do it themselves. This is one industry where it really is important to find a reputable company with a good BBB rating,” adds Kelly.

Tips to avoid moving heartache:

Do your research. Check BBB Profiles at Read BBB verified reviews or reviews in other online spaces. Ask friends and family for references. Hire a BBB Accredited Business.
Ask companies for references. Do this with anyone you hire regardless of trade. You are within your right to ask for references from previous clients. Be wary if they refuse.
Use a company that has a physical address. Some fly-by-night operations simply try and book other companies to do the work and have no trucks or office of their own.
Get at least three estimates. Get everything in writing on proper company letterhead. Make sure your list is thoroughly itemized.
Ask about additional fees. Sometimes cost can increase if movers are forced to carry things up numerous flights of stairs.
Get an in-person inspection. This should be done prior to moving day so the company is aware of what they are moving and you are aware of what the price will be.
Common practice for personal moves is a small deposit or NO DEPOSIT. If a company asks for 50% or even full payment up front, find another company. Typically you pay when the truck arrives, not necessarily after it’s unloaded.
Prepare for damage. It happens. Understand that moving companies are only responsible for a very small portion of damages. Liability for a mover is $0.60 per pound of article moved. If a 50 lb item is damaged, then the most they owe $30. Understand what your house insurance covers and consider buying extra insurance for your move. Normal house insurance likely does not cover goods in transit. YOU are responsible for any box you pack even if the company picks it up and moves it.
Avoid cash deals. BBB sees this as an unscrupulous practice and you have little legal footing without a contract in place.
Move personal items yourself. Mementos, keepsakes, heirlooms and jewelry should be moved by yourself without question.


Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
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 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 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 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.