An Airdrie, Alta., woman is demanding compensation for various items she said were damaged during a lengthy and stressful move earlier this month.
Janet Wood told Global News everything started going off the rails when the original mover she had booked on Facebook cancelled on her the very morning she was supposed to move.
That mover then referred her to Brooklyn’s Family Moving based out of Calgary.
Wood said the company showed up at her two-bedroom townhouse with a small truck and two men and started the move to her new home nearby. But as the hours ticked away, she said she started to get worried.
“I thought, ‘This is really weird — that it’s taking them like 10 hours to move me,'” she said. “I moved five minutes away.”
At the end of the move, she said they handed her a bill for $1,100. Wood said she was too tired after the long day and paid the bill in cash.
The next day, she said she found several items damaged.
“They damaged my brand new washer. They damaged my brand new flooring, they damaged the door, they broke my TV.”
Global News reached out multiple times to Calgary-based Brooklyn’s Family Moving with Wood’s claims. When we went to the address listed on their company directory, we found a single-family home — boarded up, fenced off, taped up and with no signage.
Our multiple requests by phone and text for a formal interview or a statement were never answered.
However, during a brief phone call on Nov. 16, company officials told us it took so long to move Wood because she had “a lot of stuff.” They also denied damaging any of her items and added they had “padded everything.”
They went on to say Wood had no paperwork, no receipts and no contract, but they would agree to give her $100 — which Wood has refused.
How to hire the right mover
Nancy Irvine with the Canadian Association of Movers couldn’t comment specifically on Wood’s case, but did confirm Brooklyn’s Family Moving is not a member of the national moving association.
Irvine added moves can be complicated and costs can easily run up, so it’s important consumers follow a number of important steps.
“First thing you should know about moving is that you should have somebody check out what you’re moving,” she said. “The company you hire to move you, they need to actually see what they’re moving.”
After you get an estimate, Irvine said it’s imperative you do some research.
“Make sure you know who they are,” she said. “Make sure they’re legitimate.”
Irvine said that can be done by checking in with groups like hers, or the Better Business Bureau — which also has several moving tips on its website.
After you have established a company’s legitimacy and chosen to hire it, Irvine said you then have to make it official.
“Have your quote in writing with the company’s name, address phone number, who you spoke to, their tax number if you can get it.”
“Just be careful. It doesn’t take you any extra time and it can save you thousands of dollars.”
Read more: Moving scams: How to avoid being ripped off
Wood, unfortunately, didn’t get anything in writing. She told Global News she knows now she was too trusting, but she wanted to help out a local company.
She has been going back and forth with Brooklyn’s Family Moving to try and reach a resolution, but said she can’t even get the movers to come over and look at the damage.
She just hopes she won’t have to pay to fix it out of her own pocket.
“I just spent all my money buying this brand new home, and now I’m already looking at putting money into it.”
Global News reached out to the Better Business Bureau and was told there is no record of the moving company.
We also reached out to the original mover that was booked, who said he just “referred” Brooklyn’s Family Moving and since he had no part in the move, he also wouldn’t take any responsibility.