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How to Protect Yourself from Moving Scams

How to protect yourself from moving scams

Relocating to a new home can place a great deal of pressure and stress on anyone making that big decision. Between the worry of damaged items to packing and sorting through a life’s worth of stuff, the last thing anyone one wants to have to endure is a moving scam.  But as we become wrapped up in the whirlwind of the moving process, it’s one of those things that sometimes we just can’t see coming.

So before you embark on your big move, here are some ways in which you can protect you and your valuables from moving scams.

Ask Around for Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Of course, before signing with any moving company, you need to do your homework ahead of that decision. But the reality is that although you have the ability to hop online and sift through company reviews, those reviews aren’t always as genuine as they appear. It’s not unheard of for companies to have employees or other related individuals that are connected to their company write gleaming reviews about it. It’s a deceiving, dishonest tactic, but sadly many companies are willing to stoop to that level to try and secure your service.

Ask around with your neighbours, family, friends, and co-workers for word-of-mouth recommendations.

Low Estimates, Given Over the Phone

If you’ve received an estimate by a company that seems to be surprisingly low compared to other estimates that you’ve been given, chances are that it’s too good to be true. This is one of the ways in which scammers can hook you into signing for their services, while dishing out some very different prices that become pinned on other “unforeseen factors” that hike up that cost significantly.

While you can request an estimate online, over the phone, or in-person, be cautious about any estimate that seems too good to be true or isn’t based on specific factors. A proper moving estimate will account for your furniture, appliances, boxes, specialty items etc. in great detail (moving a small children’s bed is very different from moving a king-size canopy bed).

Large Advance Deposits

If a company requires you to provide any large deposits of cash in advance, you can bet that this is a scam. A good, reputable company will never demand this. Some reputable companies will require some form of deposit to secure the moving date, but this should not be close to the final price.

Thoroughly Read Over All Documentation

When you’re in the throes of moving, it’s always a chaotic, hectic time. And many scammers will take advantage of this fact. So always be alert and thorough, especially before signing any documentation. Some scammers may often leave forms within those documents blank or unsigned.

Stay on top of your moving process by asking around for personal recommendations for reputable companies like First Rate Movers. Follow these essential tips, and always be thorough about receiving contract details and any documentation in order to minimize your chances of being scammed.


Questions to Ask a Prospective Moving Company

A sketch of a moving truck and the words: Moving Tips!

Moving your entire home and everything within is not always an easy decision. First you have to choose if you want to move alone, with the help of friends, or with the assistance of movers. Even if you choose movers, there is a big difference between a couple of guys with a pickup truck and a professional, reputable Ottawa moving company like First Rate Movers.

You want to find a moving company that is reliable, will take good care of your possessions and not leave you with a gaping hole in the bank when all is said and done. When the stressful woes of moving day arrive, you need to feel confident that the process – and your belongings – are in good hands.

Doing a little research beforehand and asking the right questions can help guide you in finding Ottawa movers that you can trust. Here are some crucial questions that you should ask prospective moving companies in Ottawa before making that final decision.

Insurance, Liabilities, Rights and Responsibilities

• Is the company insured? Can they provide the insurance name and policy number?
• Can the company provide you with a written outline of mover and customer rights, responsibilities, and liabilities for damaged or lost items?
• Does the company abide by the terms of the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers?
• Who will be providing all of the services – unpacking, storage, equipment – and what sub-contractor companies are being used? Can they provide their records and references?

When it comes to a reputable moving company, they should be able to provide you with a good answer to all of these questions. The most important factor is to ensure your items are protected, along with your rights for any lost or damaged items.

Quote for Services

• For long distance moves, do you provide a quote based upon a visitation and assessment of my belongings?
• Can you provide me with a written estimate, including delivery date and specific individual names that I’ve spoken to?
• Can I have the detailed information about the movers that will be handling the process out of the country?
• Can you provide me with the number of hours that a local move will take?

For a quote of services, any reputable company should schedule a visit that includes an assessment of your belongings for long distance moves in order to provide you with an accurate quote. Always give accurate information about your destination address and always get a copy of the estimate and hours in writing.

The Finer Details

• What are the terms of the Replacement Value Protection policy? What’s the deductible? Can I have that in writing?
• How is payment handled? Is a deposit required? Will it be placed into a trust? Is it refundable?
• Should I seal and label my boxes?

You always want to cover your own bases, and that means not only inquiring about their insurance and replacement policy, but also inquiring about your own. And remember, always get as many details as you can and have them provided in writing. Do you have any questions about the moving process? Get in touch with First Rate Movers; we’d be happy to discuss our services and answer any questions you have about moving.


5 Ways Professional Movers Can Simplify Your Life

Two people wear moving boxes with smileys drawn on on their heads

Moving can be a challenging experience. With nearly 5 million Canadians moving every year, the question of whether or not to get professional movers is often left undecided until the very end. If you are currently debating as to whether or not you should get professional movers, then the following is for you. Below we list five ways professional movers can simply your life and make up for their cost. Let’s begin.

They Bring Moving Materials with Them

Many movers will bring packing materials with them. Their moving materials can include things like sheets, blankets, and other buffering objects that will keep everything in place and secure during transportation. With a professional mover, you may not have to go out and get the moving materials yourself, and never again do you have to worry about running out of tape or bubble wrap.

Some Moving Companies Can Pack For You

Packing is a service some moving companies offer. If you need assistance or are too busy to pack, then have a moving company do it for you. They will pack and label your belongings as requested, providing you more time to handle other aspects of the moving process. If nothing else, they will be able to use their considerable experience moving to pack things away as requested.

They Do This For a Living

You have a day job, and (presumably) you’re good at it. You’re well trained and take pride in your work. Quality professional movers are the same. They take pride in moving your belongings safely from one place to another. Do not choose a company that does this as a side business or hires part-timers. Choose a professional moving company that treats their employees well, offering high salaries, WSIB coverage, overtime, holiday pay, vacation pay, and other benefits. If you aren’t sure, check whether they are certified by the Canadian Associated of Movers.

Experience Transporting Challenging Objects

Along with being able to do the move in fewer trips, a professional moving company will have the necessary experience to transport challenging objects. For example, are you versed with the correct moving techniques for a piano or 72” television? Along with physically moving the objects for you, a moving company will lend you their talent and experience to delicately move even the most challenging objects.

One Less Thing To Think About

In the grand scheme of things, so much of what you will have to consider has nothing to do with physically moving your belongings. There is setting up the new home you will be moving into, there are considerations with work and life, etc. Provide yourself with one less thing to think about by going with a professional mover.

 

 


Make Your Move Easier with Short-Term Storage

A storage locker door

These days, we are all so busy and, sometimes, the process of moving is hard to integrate into our daily lives. For example, if you aren’t taking time off from work in order to move, you may want to facilitate the moving process by using short-term storage in order to prepare. This will make the process of moving less stressful and more organized.

At First Rate Movers, we offer up to ten FREE days of short-term storage to our moving customers. A lot of people begin packing up early and then store packed belongings at short-term storage facilities. When moving day rolls around, our professional moving crew will move the packed belongings from short-term storage into customers’ new houses, condos or rental units. Our short-term storage is much more convenient, flexible, and affordable than storage options at other facilities. After all, you can’t beat free!

Some people just don’t realize how useful short-term storage is when moving time is approaching. Renting short-term storage is an excellent way to take the pressure off, without needing to spend an arm and a leg. Having your belongings in storage will give you a more flexible timeline and this is definitely a key advantage of making a move easier with short-term storage.

First Rate Movers Storage

We are happy to provide our customers with FREE short-term storage (up to ten days), subject to availability. We also offer up to 60 days of storage for our customers, at or below cost. This is the most convenient and stress-free option for customers who have a delay between selling their home and taking possession of the new one. Our storage containers are weatherproof, rodentproof, and located in a secure, gated facility with high-security locking systems and video surveillance.

Short-Term Storage in Ottawa

It’s also great to move into a place that isn’t cluttered with a ton of boxes and packed belongings. During your first days in a new place, you’ll be able to enjoy a more streamlined and peaceful environment if you want to, and this may allow you to adjust to your new surroundings faster. Once you’re ready to, you may move items from your short-term storage facility to your new place. It may all happen at your preferred pace.

Life is busy. Moving is hard. When you bring short-term storage into the mix, you’ll make things easier for yourself. Our professional movers will move the items into storage, and back out to your new home, with no effort or stress on your part.


Writing a Helpful Review Following Your Move

Two movers unloading a truck

Think about the process you went through when you were trying to find the best movers in Ottawa. You probably asked friends/family/neighbours which company they used for their last move. You also probably searched online and read a few reviews and went with the company with the most persuasive/believable reviews from real customers.

Now that your move is over, you can return the favour by sharing your first-hand experience with other people planning a move in the near future. When writing your review, simply think about what be helpful to you if you were looking for a moving company. A 5-star review that says “they were great” is wonderful for the company, but does it tell you much as a potential customer? Include the details and facts that you would want to see as a potential customer.

Step One: The Location, Date, and Time of Your Move

When writing a review, do mention where you were moving from and where to so that people will have an idea of the distance. There is a difference between a simple inner-city move and a cross-country move. Also mention the weather because it plays a huge part. A winter move under 3 feet of snow will have different complications than an easy, breezy move in May. You do not have to give the exact dates of your move, but details about the season and weather can be very helpful to potential customers.

Step Two: Talk About Customer Service

The number one thing people desire when hiring help is good service. That goes without saying. So be sure to mention the attitude and friendliness of the movers. Did they listen and comply with your requests? Did they do the task as per instructions? Were they careful with fragile objects? Did they damage anything? If everything went smoothly, say so. If a crew member stood out, mention them by name! If there were any mistakes (they happen), how did the movers address them?

Step Three: Talk About Punctuality

Another thing that is important is punctuality. Were the movers on time? How fast they working and how many movers were there? Did they deliver on schedule? During a move, there can be factors out of the control of the movers, like a traffic jam or bad weather. How did the movers work around these issues?

Step Four: Talk About the Money

Moving chargers is the concern of many. So be sure to mention as the details related to money. Did they provide good value for money? Were there any unexpected charges on the final bill?

And lastly, wrap the review up well. Would you or would you not recommend the movers you used? Would you use them again? Or do you know of some other moving company that offers a better service?

First Rate Movers has over 6000 happy customers and a 99% referral rate. Visit our Testimonials page to read the positive experience that hundreds of real customers have enjoyed with our Ottawa moving company.

 


MOVING TIPS  |  DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM.


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MOVING TIPS  |  DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM!


Preparing Household Appliances for a Move
Preparing Household Appliances for a Move

When it comes to packing for a move, the last items that normally get packed are your appliances. Since these are not only the most used, but also usually the most expensive items you will be moving, you want to ensure they are well protected during transportation. You also want to avoid any mold or Read More…

Helping Your Teen Move into a Dorm
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Getting ready to move your teen into their new school dorm? If so, make sure you know about these helpful tips that can make the moving process a whole lot easier for everyone. Review the Registration Information Most residences will have set times and drop off locations for moving in. Make sure to read up Read More…

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