This is the third article in our series on how to avoid long distance moving scams. As we’ve stated in our earlier articles part one and part two, the advice we’re giving is based on real scenarios of people who have endured problems with shady business practices in the moving industry.
Moving in Canada should be safe, and predictable. But multiple news reports are showing that is often not the case. Even if you don’t move with a long establish company like Ferguson Moving and Storage, you should at least be aware of what’s out there and what to look for in a reputable, honest moving company such as Ferguson Moving and Storage.
Below we’ll continue mentioning what to look out for when hiring a long distance moving company.
Don’t use a long distance moving company that outsources it services
The other thing to watch out for is what the president of the Canadian Association of Movers says in this CBC article: moving companies that outsource their services.
In the story linked to above, the family whose belongings were in storage couldn’t get their boxes because one of the companies involved in the long distance move claimed they had not been paid! This is really an issue between two companies and should not be offloaded to a customer.
However, as a consumer, you should never be working with a moving company that does not hire and train their own staff, with full insurance, injury coverage and compensation. The person you talk to on the phone, or the person who does your moving quote, should be connected to the actual movers who show up on moving day.
Don’t pay a cash deposit, and don’t sign a moving contract without clear dates and times stated
Some moving companies just don’t show up. It happens, believe it or not. And what are you supposed to do when you have to be out of your home in a day, with no other moving company available last minute to help you move?
As the article we linked to above states, avoid paying a cash deposit. And if you do pay an up-front deposit, make sure you have a binding contract that ensures the moving company will show up. Being late is one thing (traffic and delays happen to the best of us). Not showing up is another. As a consumer, you should be protected and compensated for such instances.
Your contract should also state that your belongings will not be left in storage, and there should be clear dates for delivery as well, putting onus on the moving company to make the delivery. If you have to go and get your things out of a locker, that means extra cost for you, unless you own a huge truck, which we’re guessing you don’t.
Make sure your moving company has a real address and physical location
The CBC video linked to above shows a reporter trying to find a moving company that is accused of overcharging their customers based on false weight tickets. But when trying to go to the locations listed in their marketing material and documentation, all they could find were Shopper’s Drug Marts or another business office.
This is already a sign that something is not right. If a moving company can’t keep a single address, or at least keep its addresses up to date in a reasonable timeline, that may be a sign that other things are being neglected, such as ensuring weight scales are giving accurate data.
While that may sound like conjecture, remember that real moving companies have to hire employees (which are not just movers on location), and those employees need a place to work. They also have trucks they need to park and service. Sometimes, they also need storage lockers or warehouses to store belongings for long distance moves. So this is not the kind of business that can typically be run with a mere post office box service. If you can’t walk into a moving company’s office or warehouse, that can raise questions about outsourcing, as noted in our previous article on this topic.
You can do something about a moving scam
If you do encounter a problem with your moving company, there are steps you can take. To start, we wrote about how to start the conversation with them in this article:
If you need to, you may have to get the law on your side. You might also contact a journalist, as the CBC seems to not fall short on reporting these moving company injustices.
Call Ferguson Moving & Storage in Vancouver BC
If you’re making a long distance move in Canada or an international move and looking for a good moving & storage company that you can trust — give Ferguson Moving and Storage a call at 604-922-2212 or request a quote online through our website!