A Kingston family is relieved to have their belongings back after hiring a rogue mover who held their household items ransom and allegedly threatened to kill them.
Lisa Egginton, her husband Gregory Morash and two children were relocating from central Alberta, to Kingston, in March and hired a mover to transport their stuff. Due to complications in the move and disagreements between Egginton and the mover, the mover never delivered the items to their new Kingston home.
Egginton said that she has been pushing the mover to disclose the location of her family’s belongings for the last few weeks.
“He had until noon on Friday to disclose where my items were, or I would be charging him as per the Kingston police,” said Egginton.
In the end, she said the mover relented the information on Friday.
On March 20, the Calgary mover showed up with a Ford F-350 pickup truck and an 11-foot cargo trailer attached and loaded their belongings into the vehicle. Egginton said she had already paid a 15 per cent deposit and paid the remaining balance that day.
But on route to Kingston, the driver’s tires blew on his trailer because of the overweight cargo.
Egginton said around Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., the mover then dumped part of the load in a storage unit and then continued to drive to Kingston.
But the driver’s truck broke down again, and Egginton said he then demanded the family pay for his additional expenses. But they refused.
That’s when the driver allegedly threatened to find and kill them, Egginton said.
The family then called Kingston police and the driver was arrested on March 27 in the town of Prescott, Ont., east of Kingston. The driver was charged with two counts of uttering death threats.
Despite going through an ordeal, Egginton and her family say they’ve seen mounds of support from their new neighbours.
“The community has been awesome,” she added, saying people in Kingston have reached out to her trying to send her essentials.
Egginton said that next time, she’ll definitely get a reputable mover to take her stuff.
The Canadian Association of Movers is cautioning people not to use rogue movers — even if the price seems right.
“This so-called mover was not a member of CAM and therefore could not be disciplined within the provisions of our code of ethics,” Nancy Irvine, president of the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) said. “His behaviour towards his customers and his unprofessionalism are appalling.”
“We hear from far too many people that price was the deciding factor, especially when the operator talked a good game, only to have the whole move end disastrously. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” Irvine said.
Tips when hiring a mover
- Get at least three quotes in writing.
- Check out the mover’s reputation with credible agencies, such as the province’s consumer protection agency, the local Better Business Bureau and CAM.
- One of the easiest ways to find a reputable mover is to ask family and friends to see who they have used in the past. Be wary of fake online reviews.
- If possible, try to see if the business has a physical presence in your area. Many businesses don’t have moving trucks and source the contract to freight companies, which could mean extra money or damage, CAM said.
- If you’ve been robbed, extorted or threatened – contact your local police service.
With files from Katie Dangerfield