11 Ways to Avoid Moving Scams When Relocating to Calgary
- January 6, 2013
- By Cody Battershill
Don't Fall Victim to these Moving Company Scams!
Many factors are involved when it comes to Relocating to Calgary, one of them being the task of finding the right moving company for the job.
When relocating to Calgary, or anywhere else for that matter, the last thing you want to deal with is being a victim of a moving company scam; where one day they load up all your stuff and the next they are holding it hostage, demanding you pay even more money while threatening to throw out your stuff if you neglect to do so.
Most of the salespersons dealing directly with a relocating customer are commission based. They will do almost anything to lock you into a signed contract with a deposit paid up front, then when the time comes for payment, all of a sudden there are other charges for a “variety of reasons”. Some will say things like...
- Their quote was based only on some of the moved items
- You weren’t fully packed so it took them much longer to move
- An extra cost for a larger truck
- Drivers fee
...among many other ridiculous attempts to grab as much money as they can from your pocket.
Don’t let yourself be fooled when you are relocating to Calgary! Here are 11 ways to avoid moving company scams altogether...
1 - Talk to your Realtor
One of the best ways to find a legitimate mover is to talk to your real estate agent. Yes, friends and family might know of someone who has done a good job for them, but when it comes down to it your realtor knows and deals with all aspects of the housing industry and are the most reliable for a moving company referral.
As an experienced REMAX Calgary Realtor, I am happy to refer you to a moving company who some of my clients choose to use.
2 – Investigate
Do an investigation on any moving company you are thinking of using. Check with the Calgary region’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any previous complaints and also do a thorough search on Google for any reviews from customers.
When customers are dissatisfied they are most likely to tell the internet community what happened and how they feel about the whole situation.
3 – Get multiple estimates
When looking around for movers, it’s always smart to acquire an estimate from at least 3 different companies so you can compare prices. If you find that one of the estimates is substantially lower than the other two, its quite likely that something is up.
4 – Demand an all-inclusive contract
Your moving contract with the company should be all-inclusive; every last detail needs to be covered and there should be an absence of any hidden fees.
Moving scams usually seem too simple. Be aware when a company representative attempts to look past the contract and get right to the moving. They will usually give you a price and that’s it, but sure enough when you get to the other end a whole bunch of hidden fees have surfaced for things like extra packing, pads, straps and a slew of other ridiculous things that should be included.
Also, some companies suggest a generous gratuity of 20 percent on top of the original bill even before any of your belongings are taken out of the truck!!.. another detail not specified in the contract.
Tipping is always at the clients discretion, not the movers! They are most likely to be more careful with your stuff if they have to earn it.
And be aware of movers with no contract at all...they could easily just leave you in the dust while they take all of your belongings and claim they don’t know what you are talking about.
5 – A thorough analysis of your home and possessions
A tell-tale sign of a good moving company is when they send a representative to your home to do a thorough analysis of what needs to be moved and how they will do it. Thorough means spending enough time to sincerely evaluate the logistics of the move, while giving moving tips to the client and answering any questions they might have.
These representative’s should also offer to show you their temporary storage facility. Many internet moving companies don’t even have a warehouse for storage, another red flag you should be aware of.
6 – Are drug tests and background checks done for the movers?
Company movers are the ones who will be in your home and are responsible for the safe delivery of your belongings. They will also be in direct contact with your family if you are moving with children or with your significant other.
For the most part, if you are using a good moving company they are using good movers who are drug tested and have been background checked.
7 – Be careful with internet moving companies
In this day and age the internet is full of different moving companies all promising you the best price with the best service. Always remember if it is too good to be true, then it most likely is. This is where investigation (#2) comes in.
Moving scams are abundant on the internet more than anywhere else, so don’t let yourself be tricked by a legitimately sounding moving company who really isn’t one at all!
8 – Be familiar with the claims process
Even the best moving companies will sometimes accidentally damage your stuff. Another tell-tale sign of a good mover is that they will have a solid claims process for you to follow if and when this happens.
Familiarize yourself with how their claims process works. Is it done directly within their company? Do you have to go to a third party insurance company for your claim? A reputable moving company will almost always have an internal department to help you with the claiming process and provide you with a solid contact.
9 – Evaluate the movers trucks
Take some time to inspect the actual moving trucks used by the company. Are they clean and well kept? If the trucks are in good condition, it is likely your furniture will be treated in the same manner.
If by chance your mover shows up with a rental truck, it would be proper to cancel your moving agreement and demand for your deposit back immediately. Ask yourself, if there are moving company trucks available, why are we using a rental truck?
10 – Pay less upfront and more afterwards
Be wary of a moving company who demand a high payment upfront. While some companies require a down payment sometimes as much as 25 percent, the more reputable ones will require a little deposit or none at all. Always make sure your deposit is refundable and outlined in your contract.
11 - Trust your gut instinct
What does your gut tell you about the moving company? Are they treating you nicely? How are their attitudes? Do they make you feel valued as a customer? Trust your gut instinct on these factors. If you don't have a good feeling about the moving company, then you probably shouldn't use them.