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Moving and hidden costs: it’s vital to be well informed

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Moving inevitably causes worry and stress. You do your best to plan and organize everything, but remembering every little detail can quickly become overwhelming. You figure hiring a moving company will help you in this process, and you’ll be good to go.

Your things are packed, your moving contract is signed and you’ve notified every company you could think of that you’ll be changing your address. It’s all ready and moving day is finally here. Except, there’s a surprise. An unpleasant one. Suddenly, the moving fees have increased by several hundreds of dollars. How and why is this happening?

Hidden costs: a common practice that’s quite controversial

When discussing with friends and comparing moving stories, you quickly find out that many have had negative experiences, dealing with movers that took advantage of them. Unfortunately, there are people in the moving industry that hold their clients hostage on a day when they can’t really do anything about it. Fees are hiked on the spot, based on all kinds of unpredictable add-ons. Adding an employee, fuel bills, purchasing extra moving material, the list is endless. Is it legal, though?

What the law says

When you hire a moving company, you are legally responsible for mentioning all important elements that could affect the move. This isn’t obvious for all but basically, it means giving as much information as possible, so the movers can properly evaluate the scope of the job.

If you own a piano or a safe, for example, you must let them know. You also have to inform movers if there’s an elevator, narrow stairs, a restrictive parking area and more.

Situations such as those mentioned above can have a direct impact of the efficiency of a move and the moving company can indeed charge you additional fees is this is the case. They cannot, however, charge you for the following:

• moving a washer, a mirror or common piece of furniture that they judge to be extra heavy and requiring special equipment;

• sending three movers instead of two when it was already stated in the contract;

• increasing the price of the move because it took longer due to slower, less experienced or injured movers;

• using additional material such as tape, protective covers, etc;

• using a smaller truck so they can increase the duration of the move and the number of trips necessary to get it all done.

How do you choose a good moving company?

Movers that don’t work ethically create bad publicity for everyone in the industry. Fortunately, there are also very good companies out there.

In order to shop for your moving company, start online. First of all, all moving companies must be registered with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec.

Further, because moving companies use several vehicles, they must own permits from the  Commission des transports du Québec et and be registered as owners and operators of heavy vehicles. Doubting a company? You can easily verify if it’s operating legally by checking the Small Claims Court files and confirming that they don’t have any charges brought up against them.

Simply put, make sure you do your homework and know what type of company you’ll be hiring. Ask every question that comes to mind and know that a good company will happily review the contract with you. Finally, turn to companies that already have great reputations. Déménagement Martineau is proud of its track record and stands by the quality of their work. Have a great move!