The task of relocation should never be underestimated as it holds many challenges. One such challenge is for you to find the perfect Ontario movers to help make your relocation a pleasant experience. There are many factors to consider and most people have difficulties when they have to pick. And this is perfectly understandable, when you consider the many factors that influence the choice. However, what if you had a detailed plan of action to help you choose the best moving and storage Ontario company? It might just make your job much easier. So here is one such plan to help you in finding and choosing the top among moving companies Ontario.
Moving and Storage Ontario – the process of selection
To begin with, you have to understand that this process is one that will require time and effort on your part. However, it won’t be as daunting if you plan and organize well in advance. This means that you will have to do some research, dial some numbers and check licenses to best avoid fraudulent movers. But once you have gone through this list, choosing residential movers in Ontario will be all the much easier. So let’s get started, shall we?
1. Get recommendations for moving companies in Ontario
When it comes to recommendations, don’t limit yourself. Instead, you can use as many sources as you think of. After all, the more moving and storage Ontario companies you find, the better chance for you to find the best. So here are some sources to consider:
- Friends and family
- Real-estate agents
- Online business sites and forums for moving companies near you
It’s important to avoid websites that offer to find a mover for you. Also, don’t turn to household-brokerage services – they are mostly not regulated by law. This way you instantly reduce the chance of fraudulent moving companies. Once you gather all the names, time to move on.
2. Do an initial screening of moving and storage companies Ontario
Once you have the list in front of you, time to narrow it down. You first do this by verifying the validity of the movers on your list. The way to start is to check with the following organizations:
- Better Business Bureau. The BBB regulates the work of businesses in general, no matter the type of work. You can find their evaluations of all companies, which they grade depending on the quality of services/products they offer. In addition to this, you can also file complaints against the conduct of businesses. And you can read any past complaints.
- Canadian Association of Movers. CAM is a professional non-profit organization that represents moving companies based in Canada. Other than offering training programs and certifications for movers, it can also provide useful insight into the services of moving companies in Canada. CAM membership is voluntary. As long as a moving company checks out in all other ways, the fact that it is not a member shouldn’t rule it out.
The long distance moving companies that check out on both accounts are the ones I would recommend you look at.
3. Call for an in-home estimate from the moving companies in Ontario you have left
If you are in the market for a reliable international moving company, negotiate the estimate they provide. Check if they would be interested in providing you with any of the following:
- Written binding estimate
- Written binding not-to-exceed estimate
Any of these can guarantee the budget you will need to prepare for the relocation. Even though non-binding estimate are perfectly legitimate, they can prove to be unreliable. And while long distance movers are allowed to charge you for binding estimates, most will offer them for free. Estimates for long distance or international moves will be based on:
- the weight of the items you’re moving
- the distance of the move
And if you are simply looking for an accurate cost estimate before you make your decision, there are always suitable instant quote calculators that can help.
4. What should you do when the representative comes over?
When a moving and storage Ontario company representative comes to your home, be certain to show him all of the property you want to relocate. Don’t forget those items in the closets, the backyard, the basement, the attic etc. Otherwise, you risk that the moving company “challenges” the original estimate. This usually happens if it turns out that you have significantly more stuff than was calculated during the on-site estimate. They can’t force you to pay a higher amount, but they don’t have to move your stuff for the original amount, either. And at that point, you probably won’t have a lot of other options.
Also, make sure the estimator knows about any conditions at your new home that might complicate the move, such as:
- narrow doorways
- significant distance from the curb to the closest door.
While you have the representative in your home, don’t hesitate to inquire about the moving and storage Ontario company. Ask any and as many questions as you can think if in regards to the moving services they provide. Make sure that they do not use contractors for the relocation jobs they do. You never know when the need for storage services might arise, so remember to ask about that as well. Check how long the company has been around for – you don’t want a young and experienced Ontario mover to handle your belongings.
Preparation for the representative
By the time the moving representative leaves, you should have collected all of the following information:
- The company’s full name and any other names under which it does business.
- The company’s address, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
- Names and contact information for the company’s references and associates.
- Transport Canada (Canadian Department of Transportation) and MC (motor carrier) license numbers.
5. Review the estimates you received from moving companies Ontario
The estimate may be a combined document. When signed by you and the moving-company representative, it then serves as both your order for service and bill of lading. Together with the inventory list, these are the basic documents any mover should provide you with. You have to ensure that any “written binding estimate” contains the signature of the mover, as well as an official date.
For an inter-province relocation, the estimate should clearly describe:
- the type and quantity of goods you’re shipping,
- the distance to your new home,
- when your things will be picked up and delivered,
- and any additional services – packing, storage, supplies, extra insurance etc.
And if you choose to pay extra for additional insurance (other than the basic you receive), make sure that you understand the costs and details of that coverage.
For an in-province move, for which you can’t get a binding estimate, you should still get a written estimate. And it should set out the hourly rates and any additional costs you may experience. Such expenses usually refer to packing and other moving supplies, tolls, driving time to and from the mover’s facilities. If you’re not sure about anything in the estimate, call and ask. And have the company send you a revised written estimate if necessary―don’t just take someone’s word for anything.
6. Keep the information you gathered organized
Good organization is always the key to good execution – never forget that. As you gather different estimate, make sure to have them all together in one place. It can be a spreadsheet or an actual moving folder with colored markers, stickers, and notes. And as new representatives come by your home, make sure that the folder is nearby. This not only helps you take notes on the spot, but it also shows how serious and organized you are. This might always encourage them to negotiate terms of the relocation with you.
7. Do a cross-comparison of moving and storage Ontario companies
When you’ve gotten all your estimates in, compare the bids. Be wary of any company that comes in much lower than the others. Look at high bids to see where the extra costs are coming from. In case you have any follow-up questions, make sure to call in and inquire further about them. And if it happens that you have several good-looking estimate from well-known movers, try to negotiate with them all and see which ones will take the bait. In a market such as the moving industry, there is always competition. So most movers will be willing to lower prices to close the deal, especially if the relocation promises to be large.
8. Verify the top choices of moving companies Ontario
Now check out the contenders in more detail. Take the information you’ve gathered and get back online. First, make sure they’re established and reputable in Ontario. Then confirm how long they’ve been in business ― by checking public records. Some have searchable databases of businesses online; if not, call the number in the government pages of the phone book.
9. Check the licenses and certification of the moving and storage Ontario company
Next, make sure your moving company has the license and insurance it needs to move you legally. And before you ask, yes, there are movers who solicit business without the legal authority to do so. So what you should do is verify the licenses of the company in question. Check public records when it comes to driving licenses and registration of vehicles.
10. Inquire about any past complaints the company might have had
Finally, call the Transport Canada hotline at 1-866-995-9737 (open 24/7) and ask about complaints against your moving company. And, if possible, go to the company’s address and check out the facilities in person.
Be sure to check the consumer-advocacy sites movingscam.com. Each of these has a blacklist of companies with a history of consumer complaints, as well as tips and general information about the moving industry. You can also do a search using the company name at Rip-off Report (ripoffreport.com).
You can also consult the Better Business Bureau to confirm the legitimacy of the moving company, as well as their overall grade in terms of services. Usually when people look to complain about poor services or customer care, they turn to the BBB for help. So it wouldn’t hurt to use this to your advantage.
11. Now you can select a moving and storage Ontario company
Once you’ve gone through all these steps, you should be more than ready to make your final decision. If the movers have checked out on all accounts that we mentioned here, you should definitely consider hiring them for your relocation. So now it’s just a matter of giving them a call-back and booking the move. Confirm the dates and details of your move, and make sure you get a signed order for service and a bill of lading.
Remember to pay close attention to the contract you sign before you sign it. Every detail counts and should be clearly stated in the contract. And while you’re there, you can try to negotiate some terms – it never hurts to ask.
12. Prepare everything for the moving and storage Ontario company you hired
On moving day, get a written copy of the mover’s inventory list, provide the movers with specific directions for getting to your new home, and make sure you have a number where you can reach the movers throughout the move.
Good preparation can take you a long way in terms of making your move easy and quick. If you have the time and energy, pack the essential belongings you need. And have everything else unplugged and ready for the movers to swoop in and pack on one sweep. Make sure that the moving truck has a good access to your home or office so as to avoid additional carriage expenses. Prepare refreshments for the moving crew and try not to stress over anything. Remember, there is nothing that can’t be negotiated with the moving and storage Ontario company you hired.