Moving company reviews

PLEASE NOTE: If you post a review of a company, you must leave an email and your REAL name so I can confirm that you really are leaving a legitimate review. All reviews from now on that do not have an email and name attached to them will be deleted.

One thing that has kind of surprised me is how there doesn’t seem to be any resources online for Canadian moving company reviews. For an experience which often can end up being one of the more high-stress episodes in anyone’s life, you would think moving would be something people would research the crap out of.

(Note: I’m currently trying to find a Toronto-based moving company for a local move, so if you have any recommendations or companies to avoid, post ‘em in the comments, or email me. Thanks!)

Sure, there’s’s list of moving companies, but it consists of mostly U.S. companies, and I don’t know how the quality differs between companies that have a continental presence (i.e. Atlas / Allied / North American / United Van Lines). I spent a bit of time digging through Usenet, which was a gigantic waste of time (quelle surprise), and also googling specific companies looking for reviews, but had no luck finding much. Even the trusty Canadian Better Business Bureau didn’t have a lot of information, and what was there was incomplete and sketchy at best.

Heck, there’s sites online which have reviews of ISPs, reviews of Web hosting companies, reviews of guitars and basses, even reviews of yarn for knitters - why no moving companies? Maybe my Google-Fu isn’t as merciless as I thought it was, or maybe it’s only me that thinks there should be reviews of stuff like this online…

Update - December 23rd, 2005

Seeing how this entry is the fourth listing for Google searches on moving company reviews I suppose I should post a quick update on who I ended up using.

For our move from Winnipeg to Toronto we went with AMJ Campbell. Their service was, in a word, underwhelming. Our stuff was over ten days late - it all didn’t even leave Winnipeg until seven days after their estimated delivery date.

It all arrived for the most part in one piece, but the fact that we had to do with an inflatable mattress, a yoga mat, and various bits of kitchen stuff for a total of over two weeks was pretty sad. We did end up getting reimbursed for the late time (around $600 off of our appr. $2800 moving bill) but that doesn’t make me want to use their services again in the future.

Once we got to Toronto we actually moved again to our present apartment, and that move was much, much smoother. We used a local company called Emerald Moving and Storage that were recommended to us by friends, and they were great.

I posted a bit about the move here. Overall it went really well, and I’d hire them if we ever moved again in the GTA.

Yet another update, Feb 27, 2008

It astounds me that people are still commenting on this entry, especially considering that the original post is over three years old. Turns out that this entry is the #1 Google result for moving company reviews Canada. Oh, that’s why.

I wanted to post an addendum as we moved (again) last March in the GTA. We ended up using Tippet Richardson based on a couple of word-of-mouth recommendations and they were very good.

(Aside: their web site is horrible, though - I keep getting their “you must have flash installed” landing page even though yes, I have flash installed. Turns out you only need flash to view a completely useless flash intro video. The above links past that into their non-flash web site.)

The initial estimate was done by a guy who literally breezed through our place in seemingly record time, but in the end their price was fairly comparable to what we had received from other companies.

On moving day, they sent out a massive truck with three guys who proceeded to pack everything from our apartment in equally speedy time, with no breakages or accidents. One of the guys was this short dude who could carry three completely full boxes of books in a single trip - very impressive.

All told the initial estimate was for six hours of move time, and the guys ended up finishing in under three. My one small quibble was that they charged us for some packing as there were some small bits and pieces that we forgot to pack initially — it would have been nice to have received a warning that there was going to be an extra charge.

Overall, though, big thumbs up.

I’m starting to wonder if I should set up a small discussion forum at this location - it seems like there is a lot of back and forth discussion here that’s getting lost in the sprawling comments thread. Hm.

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