A week after Global News reported on how a New Brunswick couple was facing soaring moving costs, the company agreed to release the goods to them in Toronto.
The saga started when Sheila Saar said she needed to find a mover and landed on Access Canada Movers.
“They had a really impressive website. Everything was really straightforward. They were the first to reply,” she told Global News from her new home in Oak Bay, N.B.
But the initial contentment with her choice of mover quickly turned to daily frustration.
“They have been very clear that they know the value of our possessions is high, and they have threatened to auction them. Access Canada Movers has been coercive, threatening and excessively rude in most if not all of our recorded telephone conversations,” she told Global News in an initial email asking for help.
Saar and her family recently moved from Fort Erie, Ont. She said the contents of what she wanted shipped included her husband’s tools.
“Saws and carpentry equipment, plus bicycles and two sets of winter tires,” Saar said, explaining that the contents could normally fit into his six-foot-by-12-foot trailer.
Saar said she accepted a quote from Access Canada Movers, a company which Global News has reported on before.
“The quote, including a $40 fee for the government weigh-in, ended up being $1,040,” she said.
But after the goods had been retrieved the price went up sharply to about $3,600 from $1,040. The items weren’t sent on to New Brunswick. The property was being held in a facility in east Toronto until payment was made.
“Prices were escalating each time we talked to them,” she said.
Saar said she didn’t research the company prior to the move. Once she began dealing with demands for more money, she did.
“Everything we heard about this company was there was no guarantee that it would be delivered in one piece,” Saar said.
The Better Business Bureau shows 39 complaints against Access Canada Movers between September 2017 and August of this year. In the vast majority of cases, the BBB site lists the complaints as “unanswered.”
A woman named Krystal, who identified herself on Twitter as a company manager, warned Global News about reporting on the company.
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“We strongly suggest that you do not post falsified information to the general public or within. You are trying to affiliate our legitimate moving business with another company that preformed (sic) negligent practices,” the post read.
Concerned that her goods would not be delivered, Saar said she was prepared to return to Ontario, pack the items into her own moving truck and return to New Brunswick.
She said she was willing to pay the company $2,468, as demanded, in order to secure the release of the items.
A week after that original interview, her husband and two children made the trek to Toronto.
They picked up a U-Haul truck, had it weighed empty at a government-approved scale, drove the truck to Access Canada’s warehouse and had the truck loaded.
Next, they returned to the scale for a second weighing.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Anthony Saar, Sheila’s husband.
The scale bills revealed that the real weight of the couple’s goods was not 5,900 pounds as the moving company claimed. In fact, the weight was only about 2,900 pounds.
“They were deliberately trying to mislead us,” Sheila said.
The actual cost of the move, including the payment to Access Canada Movers, return travel to Ontario, rental of a moving truck, gasoline, insurance and time off from work will likely be about $5,000, Anthony said.
But he said it was worth it to retrieve about $15,000 worth of goods, including carpentry tools, winter tires, bicycles and other possessions.
“At a certain point I’d given up hope … If it wasn’t for Global News helping us out, that is what got everything in motion,” Anthony said.
“It cost a lot more than originally … I’m just glad to get on with our lives.”