How To Choose a Mover
Throughout the moving & storage industry, you’ll find a wide range of quality, price, professionalism, and accountability.
To help make sense of who’s good and who’s not-so-good, consider these four distinguishing factors:
The company adheres to standard industry practices.
- Do they have a valid business license?
- Are they a member of Canadian Association of Movers?
- Are they accredited by the Better Business Bureau? Any good mover should be (but be warned that lots of not-so-good movers are too).
- Do they have a real office? Some companies may look legit, but are online-only and will contract your move out to the lowest bidder. Tip: look for a physical address on their webpage, and check out the address to make sure it’s really them.
You understand what you will pay at the end of the job.
The most common scam in the moving industry is to present you with an attractively-priced verbal quote over the phone, but then once your things are on the truck, they will present you with a vastly inflated bill and will refuse to deliver your things until you pay it.
If they won’t provide a written quote with a clear explanation of how the final price is calculated, that is a warning sign.
You feel you can reasonably trust the employees.
- The moving consultant is the first person you will get to know. Is he/she professional in responding to phone or email messages? Did he/she provide a written estimate and make sure you understood it?
- What sort of training does the company provide for its employees?
- Does the company perform background checks for the labourers who will be in your home?
Procedures are in place for if something goes wrong.
- Do they carry liability insurance in the event of a major catastrophe (i.e. natural disaster, traffic accident)?
- Do they have Workers Compensation Board coverage for their employees in your home?
- If items are damaged during the move, what is their claims procedure? By law, movers are liable for 60¢/lb per damaged item, which is almost never enough to repair or replace something. Full coverage is usually available for an extra fee, but some items may be excluded from coverage (i.e. dried flowers, contents of boxes you pack yourself). Make sure you understand the company’s claims policy.
Legal Requirements for Movers in Manitoba & Winnipeg
The moving industry in Manitoba is governed by the Highway Traffic Act, Used Household Goods Regulation.
Key points for consumers to bear in mind:
- All movers must present a detailed estimate showing “full disclosure in the bid of all rates and charges” [paragraph 7(1)b(i)] and “applicable rates of linehaul, packing, insurance, storage, extra handling, urban delivery, territorial surcharges, service charges, and all other anticipated accessorial charges” [paragraph 7(2)b]. So beware of estimates that do not show a full breakdown of the charges.
- Movers are liable for loss or damage, but to how much depends on whether or not you purchased full coverage. Also, some items are always excluded from coverage [Schedule section 6, paragraph 5].
General Moving Advice
- Get multiple quotes for your move: three is recommended. If one quote is significantly lower than the other two, be very wary.
Give at least two weeks’ notice when booking a mover, and more during the busy summer season.
- When negotiating possession dates for the old and new homes, try to have them overlap a few days so you can clean the new place and prepare to receive your things. This will also help you avoid storage charges if you can’t accept delivery when the movers are ready to deliver.
- If you are getting a new phone number for the new home, make sure to schedule disconnection of the old one for after the delivery to the new home, just in case the movers try to reach you on it.