Choosing Good Movers in Ottawa

How to Choose a Good Moving Company

Choosing the right Ottawa moving company is a very important decision. Finding movers that follow professional, responsible, and ethical business practices is not always easy. The moving industry has long been inundated with illegitimate and unprofessional businesses that have contributed to an overall poor image of ottawa moving companies. Some of the most common problems involve inflating or changing rates or quotes, theft or loss of belongings, unresolved damages to furniture and homes, and failure to show up on the scheduled date and time. Hiring the wrong moving company can be a disaster.

3 important things to look for in a moving comapny:
  1. Member in good standing with the BBB (Better Business Bureau)
    The BBB is a consumer advocate group that tracks complaints and enforces mediation.

  2. Member of CAM (Canadian Association of Movers)
    CAM sets standards for the moving industry to ensure that members operate in a fair and ethical manner.

  3. A written estimate based on an actual list of items to be moved.
    This should include minimum charges, potential surcharges, and limitations on insurance coverage.
Being a member of CAM also ensures that the moving company is:
  • Registered as a corporation in Ontario/Canada
    Not just fly-by-night with an untraceable 800/cel number and a prviately registered website.

  • Registered with the Canada Revenue Agency for a GST/HST number
    Some illegitimate movers charge tax even though they have no tax account. This is fraud on a federal level.

  • Registered with the Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB)
    The WSIB protects employees in case of injury on a job and can also protect the consumer for related liabilities.
    It is also a strong indicator that the company uses employees rather than day labour and contractors.

  • Insured for $1,000,000 in general liability insurance coverage
    Liability insurance protects consumers against financial loss, major property damage, and loss due to injury.

  • Insured for $250,000 of cargo insurance coverage
    If the moving truck were involved in a major collision, the customer could lose everything they own.
    Cargo insurance covers this kind of loss as well as other damages during transport.

Hiring a moving company without using due diligence and basing your decision on cost alone can end up being a costly mistake.
Check out the following examples in which a customer hires movers to move a 2 bedroom apartment:

Scenario A.
Consumer researches moving companies in Ottawa and makes educated decision by hiring a reputable mover that operates legitimately and will live up to it's commitments. The moving company quotes $145 per hour for 3 movers and a 24' truck and estimates that the move will take 5 hours plus 1 hour travel time for a total cost of $870 plus tax. Professional movers show up on time for the scheduled move, fully equipped, and properly protect all furniture during the relocation. The customers' belongings arrive intact with no damage and the final bill is close to the estimated cost. A happy move.

Scenario B.
Consumer hires a mover that says the move can be completed in less than 5 hours with only 2 movers at a lower rate of $90 per hour. The decision is made based on the rate alone and without any concern for their credibility, capability, or reputation. On moving day, 2 guys show up a couple hours late, without uniform, and it appears as though one of them might actually be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Throughout the move it seems as though they are taking cigarette breaks every 15 to 20 minutes. The furniture is carried from the house unwrapped and only a few moving blankets are placed around some of the items once they are on the truck. Mattresses are not put in bags and are actually placed directly on the dirty floor of the moving truck. Things are already looking bad when the customer finds out that they can no longer use the elevator as they only had it booked for 3 hours. This would have been plenty of time if the movers were not so late. Now they have to move the rest of the stuff with no elevator on service. It ends up taking almost 5 hours just to load the truck. The customer calls the telephone number they had for the moving company to complain that they have reached the estimated time for their move but have not even arrived at the destination yet. The representative of the moving company is rude and tells them "too bad, it is what it is". After complaining some more, the consumer is told that they will have to pay upfront prior to unloading. Based on the time required so far, the customer is told to pay $900 plus tax. After some arguing, the customer realizes he has no choice and pays. The movers then unload the truck handling furniture in a rough manner. In the end, the customer realizes that he has paid more than the estimate the reputable company gave, much of his furniture is damaged, and his day is ruined. To top it off, there is no recourse available as the company is not a member of the BBB, CAM, or any other organization that helps to protect consumers from scams. A hard lesson learned.

Moving is already considered to be one of the most stressful events that people experience in life, next to death of a loved one and divorce. That stress can be reduced by hiring the right ottawa movers to relocate your belongings. It is wise to do some research before selecting a moving company and to search out recommendations from friends and relatives.

Remember the golden rule that often applies - "You get what you pay for".
Cheaper can end up being much more expensive if you hire the wrong ottawa moving company.