May to August is the high moving season in Montreal and, with such high demand, come the scammers who try to take advantage of those who are relocating.
Over the past few years, a growing number of Montrealers complained of a negative moving experience, especially when the movers were hired through services such as Craigslist or Kijiji, where anyone with a van, capable of posting an ad can call himself a professional mover. However in recent years, even movers with well recognized national franchises have made the news for their unethical business practices.
When searching for professional Montreal movers, it’s important to be aware of the possible mistakes to avoid.
Ask yourself: What kinds of people would I trust to hold and transport all of my possessions?
The most obvious answer is that they should be honest, respectful, and dependable.
Sadly, these qualities are not always present in every moving company in Montreal, but the good news is that there are many trustworthy movers out there, and you need to find one that you can fully trust.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MOVING SCAMS IN MONTREAL
Your Belongings Become Hostage
The most popular moving scam reported in Montreal involves luring a client with a very low initial quote and once the items are in the truck presenting a bill 2 or 3 times higher than the estimate. When the client refuses to pay the unreasonably high amount, the items are being held hostage until full payment.
The Hidden Charges Scam
Hidden costs may not always be considered be a scam, but they can still put a heavy dent in your wallet. Some Montreal moving companies will charge extra for stairs, long carries, large appliances, parking, flat screen TV’s, fuel, mileage and awkward or very heavy items.
Collect a Cash Deposit and Disappear
Some Montreal movers were reported asking clients to put a deposit in cash only to never be heard of again. Moving experts don’t recommend paying anything until your move is complete, however if the moving company absolutely needs a deposit to book certain dates ( it may happen during peak season in June and July), insist on paying the deposit only by credit card since it is the only way you are protected in case of a scam.
Name Switch Scam
Some companies with a bad online reputation will switch their name to avoid being assessed when researched by consumers. This trick makes it difficult for consumers to well research a company’s history and reviews. Beware of using a moving company without solid online presence ( that takes years to build, so fly-by-night movers won’t bother to work on that).
HOW DO YOU AVOID THOSE SCAMS:
1: Ask for Referrals
A solid reputation is the most important factor when choosing a Montreal movers. Ask your family and friends for a trustworthy mover they have already used. Try asking your real estate agent, or apartment manager if they’ve had a good experience with a moving company.
2: Always Get More Than One Quote
We recommend getting at least 3 or 4 quotes from different Montreal moving companies. This will allow you to compare your estimates. The really low and the really high estimates are usually red flags.
3: Ask them to Provide Insurance
It happens to even the best movers to drop a box or scratch something from time to time. It’s the nature of the business. A good Montreal moving company, however, will take care of repairing or replacing the damaged items. Does the company you’re considering have insurance? With whom? What is covered? How much is the deductible? How long does the process take? What paperwork is involved?
4: Get the Quote in Writing
The best protection against a moving scam is a written contract that covers every detail of your move. Look for equipment costs, insurance fees, travel and fuel charges, hourly rate delicate cargo, storage rental, etc . On the day of the move scan the contract for the fine print to detect any hidden charges not previously discussed.
5: Avoid Cash Only Movers
If a mover demands to be paid only in cash, consider this to be the biggest red flag. Most reputable Montreal movers accept credit and debit cards as well as cash for payment. In our hyper-connected world, setting up a credit card merchant account is easy as ever, and a mover who doesn’t bother providing this basic convenience to its clients is not worth your trust.
Although it may be hard to foresee all the possible dishonest moves of Montreal movers, being engaged and vigilant may help you save a ton of unpleasant surprises.