Moving companies: how to plan ahead and pick the right one
Summer is the peak season for moving and it’s when the Better Business Bureau (BBB) braces for the most complaints.
“Moving is always a Top 10 complaint for us,” said Leah Brownridge with the Calgary BBB. “The most common disputes that we see are over contract issues.”
The biggest mistake consumers make is not planning ahead or taking the time to check out movers.
When choosing a company, get two or three estimates in writing. You should also make sure the mover comes to your house–don’t make arrangements over the phone.
“That written estimate is essential in moves because it will clearly outline what the expectations are for you and the mover, what exactly they are required to be moving and also what the expectations are once you arrive at your new place,” Brownridge said.
“The problem that we see is people assuming something different than what the actual moving company is under the impression of what they are being asked to do.”
She also said it’s important to ask if the mover will be using their own trucks and workers. Some companies will sub-contract their work to another company and may not be aware of details negotiated with the original company.
Stay in contact with the mover weekly before the moving date and verify when they are arriving the day before to avoid delays or missed delivery and pickup dates.
Ask about insurance or coverage for damaged or lost items. Most movers do not provide replacement value and you may have to buy extra coverage. Also check with your own insurance company on coverage in your policy.
“Don’t assume that just because something is damaged during the move it’s automatically covered by the mover. If something that you packed yourself is damaged in the move then the mover may not cover it,” Brownridge said.
Ask the mover for references, Google their name on the Internet and call the BBB for the company’s complaint history.
You should also clarify how the company charges for the move.
Long-distance moves are based on weight and mileage, while a local move is based on an hourly rate.
Here are more tips to help plan a trouble-free move from the BBB and the Canadian Association of Movers:
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