As a moving company in the Metro Vancouver area, and with connections to help you move across Canada or even internationally, we’ve seen a lot of customer situations. While, yes, it’s true that some things can go wrong, a well-trained staff and good communication and agreements can prevent a lot of those moving mistakes.
However, sometimes you may be in a situation where you’ve hired a moving company, and things have gone sour. Perhaps your household furniture and belongings weren’t on time, or they were damaged in the moving truck while in transit. Or it could be as impactful as a mere rude employee or mover. Whatever the case, you will want to resolve these situations as smoothly as possible.
We’ll give you some tips on how to mitigate a disagreement with your moving company after you’ve already hired them to help you move.
Tip #1: Keep calm and try to see both sides
When we’re angry, it may seem like it’s easy to lay fault on others. This is especially so if we don’t know the full extent of the situation. Before jumping to conclusions, make sure you take the time to calm yourself, so that when you do confront your moving company, or independent mover, you are doing so rationally. Chances are, if you start with a defensive tone, it can result in more defensiveness, rather than a fast solution.
Tip #2: Ask questions before laying blame on a moving company
To follow up with the above, while we realize sometimes you may feel that the other party was wrong in an obvious way, it would be basic social sense to ask questions before laying blame. Instead of “you broke my furniture!” try to lead in with something like, “Can you explain what happened with my furniture?” And so on.
This will give the other party time to respond appropriately and honestly, instead of feeling the need to defend themselves. If the situation is one where you can have a civil conversation, you will probably get farther with a mover than by aggression – even if it only comes through in your tone of voice.
Then, if the situation is right for it, you can say, “Mr. Mover, I hope you can empathize and see our point of view, that this is not right, and we should be compensated for it, since we are not at fault here.” This may go a lot easier than name calling or making angry demands.
Tip #3: Find out about the moving company’s insurance policy
Some moving companies can have some kind of insurance to cover the belongingsof their customers. Find out if the moving company you’ve hired has a policy that will make up for what you’ve lost, if that’s the situation you’re in. Do whatever you can to follow through persistently to get a settlement. A reputable moving company shouldn’t make this process difficult for you, and should be helping you as much as possible with the process of the claim, if not doing it for you.
Also, remember you should first check your homeowners insurance policy to see if your home contents are covered in situations like this.
Tip #4: Find out if the situation you’re unhappy with is standard in the movingindustry
Sometimes, customers can be upset for reasons that are not necessarily the movingcompany’s fault. If your furniture was late because of bad traffic, that can be hard to blame on anyone. And there may be other situations that go outside the service terms of the moving company. Or at least they are not in the control of the movers on the scene.
For example, the way that some moving companies charge is first by giving you an estimate, and then letting you know their estimate was more expensive than originally thought. This can be considered ‘normal’ by some, and part of your binding agreement with the movingcompany.
If you have voiced your concerns about your issue, and your moving company is not responding, before giving them bad reviews online, first find out if their standards are typical of the industry. How do other moving companies quote on jobs? Is this normal? What are customer service policies of other moving companies ? Did you get a fair rate? And so on. Do your research.
Typically, you’ll want to book a moving company that does an in-home visit before giving you a binding quote (watch out for estimates that can fluctuate, and ensure estimates are free of charge). But this is a measure to be taken before moving day, and unfortunately may be too late to argue about afterwards.
If you find out that you were not given the service and terms expected in the industry, you can try to bring this up with your moving company. If they care about their reputation, they may be willing to hear you out and do something about the problem you’re facing.
Tip #5: See if another moving company can help
While this piece of advice is not typically the answer or first step to a bad moving situation, we bring it up because it’s happened before. In fact, we at Ferguson Moving have offered to helpreunite movers with their belongings after another moving company went bankrupt, abandoning jobs in progress. In that case, the moving families were able to get their story out to the press, and the press responded. That’s how we heard about it.
So, if it’s as extreme as not having your belonging for months, while they sit in storage in another country. And you have to pay more to get them out…well, maybe that would be a big enough news story to go to the press about. And maybe a charitable person or company will offer to help out, or offer professional advice, at least.
To conclude: it’s not always the moving company’s last word if you have a complaint
While we don’t want to encourage a rampant rage on moving companies, we would say that if a mover tries to ignore a complaint, you should be advocating for proper customer service. Whether that means you need to get in touch with higher-level management, or ensure you are communicating your situation clearly and fairly, that depends on the case.
Keep in mind, however, that the best remedy is prevention. You should always be going with a solid, reputable moving company, with plenty of good reviews and word-of-mouthrecommendations. Plus, if they aren’t giving you free estimates, clear written policies and binding quotes, that can already raise a red flag.
In the end, if the moving company just doesn’t care, you may only be one victim of many, until their customer base catches on that they’re not a good company to do business with.
And, in those cases, there are reviews you can leave online or with the Better Business Bureau. In worst-case scenarios, you may end up in a lawsuit, but we encourage taking as many mitigation steps as possible beforehand.