Over the last few years the real estate market in Toronto and the GTA has remained very hot, and one of the by-products of this market momentum has been an increased demand for professional moving services in Toronto. This increased demand has recently led to an influx of new moving companies in Toronto, and lately it seems like a new Toronto moving company is rising out of the woodwork almost weekly claiming to be professional Toronto movers. When these companies fail to live up to that claim, however, clients end up suffering and learning a painful lesson about our industry. There are two very common scenarios people encounter with regard to negative moving experiences; one has to do with movers who are unskilled and do a poor job, usually resulting in severe damage to valuable furniture and property; and the other deals with illegal and immoral tactics to outright scam clients out of thousands of dollars, sometimes citing hidden or undisclosed fees and other times simply holding furniture until a hefty ransom is paid.
At the moment there are so many horror stories circulating about unprofessional movers that customers find it difficult to trust any moving company at all. So how can you avoid being the next victim of unprofessional movers? More importantly, how can you make sure the company you hire is on the up and up and won’t engage in illegal tactics to steal your money? As with everything in life, there are no guarantees, but the following four guidelines can help ensure you find a credible, professional Toronto moving company that can provide you with a stress-free moving experience:
Check Out the Moving Company on the BBB
Your first stop in researching your prospective moving company in Toronto should be the BBB (Better Business Bureau) website. The BBB is a 3rd party organization that aims to provide accountability for businesses. This agency reviews, rates, and gives accreditation to businesses that have shown to conduct themselves at the highest levels of professionalism and customer service. More importantly, the BBB is usually the first place most clients refer to when registering complaints against a business. If the company you are considering hiring has a bad rating with the BBB, you should definitely think twice about hiring them.
Are They Insured?
One question you should be asking any company you speak with immediately is whether they carry proper insurance coverage for their workforce. In Ontario this is governed by the WSIB (Workplace Safety Insurance Board). If employees are working illegally for a company, or the company has not properly set up coverage for their workers, you could potentially be sued if anyone got injured on your property or in the course of carrying out your move. This is an issue that is not as well publicized but also important to look out for. Asking questions about workers’ insurance is a good way to avoid this issue and also speaks to the overall professionalism of the company.
You should also inquire about insurance coverage for your items and liability insurance. A reputable company will be able to provide insurance coverage for your items in the case of damage, and this insurance must be provided through an insurance company with which the moving company maintains an active policy. Any company you are speaking with should be readily able to provide you with a copy of this policy or proof of insurance. The company should also carry liability insurance of at least $3,000,000 to account for any mishaps that occur during day to day operations. If a company can’t prove they carry liability insurance, do not hire them! The repercussions could be disastrous and could literally cost you millions!
Find evidence of their reputation within the community.
When trying to determine quality of service, remember that reputation is more important than longevity! Just because a Toronto moving company has been operating for decades does not meant they are doing a good job. It is natural to conclude that great customer service is a contributing factor to a company’s long-term success; however ownership or management changes can lead to formerly great companies leaving something to be desired in the present.
How Are Their Reviews?
The best way to determine if a moving company in Toronto is providing great customer service is by researching them online. There are many independently audited 3rd party websites that allow users to post reviews of moving companies (both positive and negative) such as www.yelp.ca and www.homestars.com. Chances are if the moving company is doing something right (or wrong) somebody has taken the time to log on to one of these websites to write about it. When moving companies in Toronto are well reviewed, they have a high volume of reviews, and the reviews are recent, and you’re probably looking at a professional Toronto moving company.
Evaluate Their Prices
Pricing is always a factor when deciding on hiring Toronto movers, however it can also serve as a great indicator of the level of service you can expect. One of the hallmarks of disreputable moving companies is offering extremely low hourly rates (sometimes ½ or ¼ of the price of the competition), and this is the primary way these companies market themselves. That doesn’t mean that you should simply hire the most expensive movers in Toronto you encounter in order to ensure you get a good experience, but if a company’s rates are significantly cheaper than the competition something is very wrong.
If the hourly rate is too good to be true, there are likely hidden or additional costs, and you should ask as many questions as you can. The leading companies in the moving industry that offer top-level service will all be priced within a similar range and that pricing should be straightforward and uncomplicated. Charging an additional fee for travel time or having a flat-rate “fuel surcharge” is reasonable, however when a company mentions things like “heavy-item fees”, “staircase fees”, or additional fees for protecting your items during the move you should definitely be cautious. Also note that service levels vary within the industry; find out if a moving company in Toronto is offering wardrobe boxes, mattress covers, pad-wrapping of furniture, and disassemble/re-assembly as part of their services. This will ensure you are comparing apples to apples when comparing price quotes.
By following these general guidelines you will certainly be on the right track to making a smart decision regarding your moving day. Remember that it is an important day in your life and hiring the right company can make the entire process smooth and stress free, while hiring the wrong company can have repercussions that last far beyond the day itself. As the saying goes, do your due diligence!
About the Author
Rocky Fuda is a professional mover with several years of moving experience which has carried him throughout the city of Toronto, the GTA, Southern Ontario, and to every major city in Canada. His lengthy career in our industry has provided him a wealth of knowledge and experience not only in local moving, but also long-distance moving, international moving, industrial moving, commercial moving, and packing as well. While he is extremely well-versed in all aspects of residential and commercial moving, he specializes in moving high-value items such as pianos, heavy safes, statues, and more. His passion and commitment towards helping clients create a stress-free moving experience is unrivaled, and it has inspired him to author these articles in order to foster a greater level of education among consumers. It is his hope that this will help people to make better-informed decisions about hiring a professional mover, and create more positive moving experiences for customers everywhere.
About Viktoria Professional Movers
Viktoria Professional Movers is a professional moving company operating out of Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, providing high quality local and long distance moving services throughout the GTA, Southern Ontario and across Canada. Thanks to our country-wide network we are also able to service our clients’ long distance moving needs throughout Canada. By helping to educate our clients on topics that can help them plan and execute a successful move, we are fulfilling our directive of taking the stigma out of hiring professional movers, and helping to make the moving process a stress free experience overall. To hear first-hand about our high quality moving services, please visit Homestars page where you can read reviews on our company submitted by many of our satisfied customers.
Call Viktoria Professional Movers (647) 344-1554 or Toll Free: 1 ( 877) 399-1315 for a FREE Consultation in regards to your residential or office moving needs to and from the GTA and Metro Toronto area.