Choose We Help Moving in Toronto Instead
There’s no shortage of businesses offering to move your household goods from one place to another, but pick the wrong company and you could find yourself in big trouble.
“I had no power, none whatsoever,” said Pat Piazza, who hired a company called GTA Toronto Moving to relocate the contents of his son’s one-bedroom apartment within the city.
Piazza says he initially was quoted a charge of $45 an hour by the moving company and he agreed. But when the truck showed up on moving day, he says he was told the cost would be $45 an hour for each of the two movers on site. In addition, he says he was charged insurance, taxes and other unexpected fees not discussed on the phone when he made the booking.
“I had to go to the bank twice,” said Piazza, who says the movers contacted him again en route to the drop-off destination and demanded another $75 cash. “They wouldn’t unload my son’s furniture unless I gave them another $75.”
In all, the cost of the move came to almost $900, at least 50 per cent more than what was originally promised.
READ MORE: Ontario real estate groups oppose taxing foreign buyers in Toronto
GTA Toronto Moving didn’t respond to a request for an interview when contacted by Global News. But a company mover named Sean, who showed up at a Don Mills location for a possible move, was asked by a reporter about the company’s billing practices.
“It’s like a cash-grab to get the consumer maybe,” said Sean, when asked why the price of the move on the phone is different from what is quoted on site.
“We don’t rip people off,” said Sean. “If I’m in a really good mood I do it for cheap.”
Other consumers also complained to Global News about the company’s tactics.
“I was a victim of this as well,” said Rebecca Kayum, who found GTA Toronto Moving on Kijiji but came to regret her decision.
READ MORE: Moving in together? Tips for couples blending 2 homes into 1
Kayum says the company agreed to an hourly fee of $40 for a three or four hour move that included a couch, queen size bed, dresser, five bags and 20 boxes. She says it was estimated the cost of the move would be $200.
But when the movers arrived on New Year’s Day, all didn’t go as expected.
“First, the truck came speeding on our street, kids were out,” she said. “Second, they were over an hour late and still charged me for that.”
Kayum says she paid the $200 fee in cash and was never told about additional costs until later.
After her goods were picked up, Kayum says she was presented an invoice for another $919.23.
Kayum says when she called the company’s office to protest the extra billing she was told, “You got to pay your bill, you got to pay your bill.”
READ MORE: Moving Day, eh? Thousands of Quebecers pack up
Eventually, Kayum and her husband paid the movers, who left many of the articles outside the house.
Reputable moving companies frequently send a representative in advance to a location to draw up a written inventory of goods in order to prepare an official estimate.
Pat Piazza, who says he wanted to warn other consumers about companies like GTA Toronto Moving, says research is key when choosing a mover.
“If you’re looking for a mover, make sure you’re asking a lot of questions–make sure you ask for the contract before they arrive.”
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Rent A Uhaul, Budget Or Discount Truck And Hire Us As Your Movers
Truck rental options in Toronto offer hot wheels and hot deals for the big moving day. If you are like me, you beg a friend with a mini-van, or rent a cargo. These, and many other rental companies offer cargo vans, which are good for a move, but what about grandma's antique wardrobe, and the king-size box spring you though was a steal at Leon's, but now is proving a real pain to squeeze in?
An open-back pickup may be the answer. If it calls for rain, you might want to book a 16' truck and really cover your bases. Moving can be really stressful, so let this list help take some of the pressure off.
Here's my list, in no particular order, of the top truck rental options in Toronto.
There is a reason U-Haul is synonymous with moving, they've got the biggest fleet of trucks in various sizes from a pick-up truck to a 26' straight trucks, and the best prices too. Pick-ups start at $19.95, plus $0.49/kilometer, while a 24' straight truck 9 big enough to move a 3-4 bedroom home) is $39.95 a day, plus $0.69/kilometer.
Budget has lots of truck deals. The base rate for a 16' cube truck is $49.99 and you get 100 free kilometers, which maks it perfect for inter city moving, you have the comfort of a flat rate, no surprises. After 100 kilometers though, the price spikes to $16 per kilometer, so calculate the mileage ahead of the move to make sure you're under 100k.
Enterprise has always been the go-to car rental place for film production and now I know why- the base rate may be higher than other places, but they offer unlimited or low prices kilometers. For trucks it is the same, a pick-up is $65.99 a day, unlimited, while a 16' cube truck is $99 a day, 100 free kilometers, then only $0.20 every additional kilometer.
Discount is about on par with Enterprise, $99.99 a day for a 16' Cube truck, with 100 free kilometers, and $0.22 for every additional. A collision damage waiver is required for that size vehicle (I mean come one, do you really know how to park that thing?) with adds another $25.99 onto your bill. They also don't have much in the way of pick-ups, for those afraid to handle the big rig.
Bristol may not be the first truck rental company that comes to mind when you're about to rent but maybe you should change that. They've got great rates. A heavy-duty pick-up truck is $89.99 a day with a 100 free kilometers, and additional kilometers are just $0.15 each. Best part a 16' foot truck starts at the same price, just $89.99, but you get 50 free kilometers instead of 100, and extra distance costs $0.20 a kilometer.
Penske may be more expensive, but they have a big fleet of trucks, which means they might still have some available on those big move weekends when you've run out of other options. A 16' cube truck starts at $107.99, and every kilometer is $0.39. They also have earlier pick-up and drop-off times, which makes it convenient for those who want to move before the morning traffic.
Ryder has a great fleet of trucks, from parcel to city vans and pickups. A 16' truck runs you $119 per day, with each kilometer $0.29. The nice thing is they also offer weekly rates ($595.00 for a 16') if you happen to doing a couple of trips, distance moves or splits or something. A pick-up costs $59 a day, with $0.23 per km for mileage. Not bad!
Decent car and Truck Rentals
Decent Car and Truck Rentals have some sweet deals, especially for those quick inter-city movers. They break down pricing by distance AND time, giving you plenty of options. You can get a 16' truck for $24.99, plus $0.70 per kilometer for up to 6 hours, while the day rate is $59.99 and includes 100 km and $0.25 for additional kilometers, or $99.99 a day for 200 kilometers and $0.20 for each additional km. Plan your trip and find out the most suitable, and cheapest rate for your needs. They also have pick-ups with the same sliding scale.
Advance Car Rentals
Advance Car Rentals may only have locations at the Toronto Airport, in Mississauga or Brampton, and may also only have pick-up trucks, but the price is right, and for some, a great fit for their needs. Their pick-ups run $69.99 a day, with 200 kilometers free mileage, and additional kilometers are only $0.19 each. In a pinch, Advance will do.
Last but not least, there is Zip car, the alternative to traditional rental companies. You must join Zip Car first and all start with $30 application fee and then choose the plan rates that work for your intended usage. Zip works for people who are planning on driving in the city some time in the near future. They have some pick-up trucks to borrow with day rates around $79 or between $9.25-8.33 an hour, so if you know how long it's going to take it can be dead cheap, plus you can borrow a car again for Ikea trips once you've set up.
Choosing Movers In Toronto
The best movers in Toronto can be a better alternative to bribing your friends with pizza and beer. These hired guns are known for being efficient, professional and (generally) transparently priced; they come equipped for local or long moves and will at least alleviate your back, if not your stress levels.
Here are my picks for the best movers in Toronto.
Two Men and a TruckA popular option for home or business, local or long distance moves, this franchise offers packing and unpacking services, single-piece furniture or piano moves and will even make stops along the way. Rates vary at the 21 locations across Southern Ontario and are quoted at an hourly rate.
El CheapoIn business for 20+ years, this moving company really is one of the most cost effective. Rates include insurance, gas, mileage, industrial blankets, dollies and shrink wrap so there are no hidden costs.
Rent a SonEstimates from this North York-based moving company are calculated per size of the job and mileage between destinations in the GTA so you won't pay extra if the truck gets stuck in traffic. They also offer a price match guarantee on comparable quotes from the competition.
Your Friend with a Cube VanBased in Cabbagetown for over a decade, this moving company offers a full range of services including packing/unpacking, furniture assembly, and supplies. A cargo van and a driver is billed at $55 with a one-hour minimum and prices vary from there. They'll help with small and large moves of all shapes and sizes.
My Ninja MoversHire a ninja specialist for $130 an hour (best for small apartments), ninja beast mode team for $180 (regular size condo or apartment) or a ninja swarm for $250 an hour. These GTA movers have a super easy booking system online and all their pricing is transparent and online to see before you book.
Firemen MoversServicing the GTA, this moving company employs off-duty firefighters for residential and commercial moves. The base rate for two men on a job is $129 per hour (minimum 4 hours). Travel time and a fuel surcharge are billed additionally depending on where you're located.
Joe the MoverFounded in 1970, this business has grown from just one man and a truck to a fleet of six reliable trucks staffed by friendly, courteous movers. Rates begin at $65 per hour plus one hour travel time. Additional services include packing, storing and plastic bin rentals (which btw, are really great. Also try FrogBox, Condobinz or City Boxes).
Cargo CabbieThese movers based out of Leslieville primarily service the downtown core, boast nine trucks and a crew of fit, non-smoking and friendly movers. They specialize in condo moves but can handle it all, including storage. Prices vary per type of move, but jobs typically start at $175 for the first hour and $30 for each additional fifteen minutes.
Energy CrewThis Dupont Street company doesn't bill for travel time or fuel within the downtown core, and offer a deal where customers can get three movers for the price of two on select dates if they book before the 25th of the month. The average 1-bedroom downtown condo move can typically be done for $500 or less
Greg & Son Moving and StorageThis Canadian-run commercial and residential moving company services all of Toronto and the GTA and even has a showroom on Ellesmere Road to show customers their moving goods and products to get started on your own job. Their rates start at $150 for a three-person moving team and 13 foot truck.
Not Reliable Movers
Three people are facing fraud charges after a Toronto police and RCMP investigation into five moving and storage companies.
It’s alleged the operators had agreed on fees with several customers but had then revised them to two or three times the original estimate once their personal property was loaded onto moving trucks.
The victims were later told that their property would be destroyed if they did not pay up.
The investigation, known as Project Haul, has been in the works since April and involved the operators of Green Moving, Capital Moving, Homeland Moving, Landmark Van Lines and Ryder Moving.
READ MORE: Moving scams: How to avoid being ripped off
Police said the operators allegedly had no intention of honouring the original fees quoted in the organized scheme.
On Tuesday, officers executed search warrants in the Tapscott Road and McLevin Avenue area, as well as in the Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East area, and seized property that allegedly belongs to some of the complainants.
Toronto police said the Canadian Association of Movers has co-ordinated to help return the recovered property to their rightful owners.
“These shipments will be completed in the coming weeks in time for the holiday season,” a Toronto police press release stated on Thursday.
One man and two women have been charged with a total of 37 offences in connection with the investigation.
Mesut Vatansever, 46, and Rahime Vatansever, 45, both of Toronto, are charged with seven counts of fraud over $5,000, eight counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, fraud under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.
Gizem Uzum, 22, of Toronto, faces two counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.
All three suspects are scheduled to appear in a Toronto court on Dec. 22.
READ MORE: Man faces extortion, fraud charges in Toronto moving company probe
Residents are reminded to understand their rights and to take precautions when considering companies that provide moving services. Victims who believe that they have been defrauded by a moving company are also encouraged to notify the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Anyone with information can contact Toronto police at 416-808-7300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Consult Canadian Assossiation of Movers or Better Business Bureau
Packing clothes, getting rid of old electronics and finding a way to transfer bulky furniture — moving can be a stressful experience made worse if you’re the victim of a scam.
Megan Thibodeau from Duncan, B.C., said when she hired a company to move her furniture to Nova Scotia in 2015, her belongings ended up being “held hostage.”
“I did a quick Google search and found a company. I was tight on money so the guy on the phone gave me a quote and said it was a good deal,” she said.
The movers then came to pick up her stuff and told her they could not weigh it until later and could not give her a final price.
“I was nervous about this, but thought maybe I was overreacting,” Thibodeau said.
Once her belongings were in Nova Scotia, the company told Thibodeau how much she owed, which was three times the original quote.
READ MORE: Woman claims she is victim of moving company scam
“I didn’t have the money to pay the full price so they said they were not giving back my stuff until I paid and wouldn’t tell me where it was,” she said.
After many phone calls and complaints to the Canadian Association of Movers, Thibodeau ended up getting her belongings back.
“Then another company weighed the stuff and proved that it was three times less than I was being charged. They were definitely overcharging me,” she said.
How to avoid a scamMoving is one of the most complained about industries in Canada, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Jim Carney with the Canadian Association of Movers said it’s because there aren’t any regulations in place for moving companies.
“It’s the wild west. People can charge whatever they want to,” he said. “And with the advent of computers and social media, movers can have beautiful websites and a nice sounding voice over the phone, and people are getting roped in and booking their business.”
READ MORE: Man says nearly $7,000 of furniture damaged by movers
Carney said he receives weekly calls from people who have been duped by companies.
“In many instances the mover does not show up and hold people’s stuff ransom,” he said. “Other times companies will say ‘you have steps in your home so that’s an addition $50’ or ‘the item is too heavy so that’s another $50.'”
He said there are many tips out there to help costumers avoid getting ripped off.
Don’t pay all the money upfront
“No question that this raises a red flag. There is no reason to pay for the entire move before the move begins. I know I wouldn’t!” Carney said.
Carney said movers typically ask for a deposit of 10 per cent. On a local move, the balance is usually paid when it’s done. On a long distance move, the customer usually pays when the truck arrives at the destination, prior to unloading.
“This prevents the unscrupulous customer from withholding payment, leaving the mover with no recourse. The potential for not getting paid after unloading is magnified when the customer is moving hundreds of miles away from the mover’s domicile,” he said.
Contact the Canadian Association of Movers
The Contact the Canadian Association of Movers has a list of reputable businesses that adhere to strict guidelines.
Ask a friend or family member
One of the easiest ways to find a reputable mover is to ask family and friends to see who they have used in the past.
Be wary of “fake” online reviews
Carney said many moving websites have fake reviews.
READ MORE: Man faces extortion, fraud charges in Toronto moving company probe
“If a company that has 90 reviews and all of them are five stars … that’s a sure sign they are probably not reputable,” he said. He said to ask for legitimate references as the company should provide you with emails or numbers of past customers.
Take a look at the facility
If possible, try to see if the business has a physical presence in your area, Carney said. Many businesses don’t have moving trucks and source the contract to freight companies and that’s “when the damage starts,” he said.
Don’t be fooled by good-looking websites
Carney said many companies bait customers with a professional-looking website.
“A lot of these companies are intertwined and are all the same company. We once traced a phone number from one of these websites and found 16 different moving companies,” Carney said.
Get it in writing
Many companies will give you a quote over the phone, but unless it’s in writing the movers can end up charging what they want, he said. Make sure to get a written statement as well as terms and conditions.
Carney said the main takeaway to avoid a scam is if the “price is too good to be true, it probably is.”