The True Cost of Going Cheap on Toronto Moving Services

Everyone wants to save money, and especially when it comes to paying for professional moving services. The average cost of a full-service move in Toronto is $700-$1,200, depending on the size of the home and the hourly rates of the company. You can find cheaper rates, in some cases, but make sure that you don’t get so focused on price that you overlook hiring a reputable crew. 

Here’s a personal anecdote from a homeowner about what really happens when you try to hire cheap moving companies. 

We knew we needed to hire professional movers, and while we had up to $1,000 or more set aside to pay them, I am a cheapskate. Naturally, when the big-name moving companies in town were quoting us $1,200-$1,500 for a three-bedroom, four-person household, we were a little sticker shocked. I did some research and found a small local moving company that had a much more “reasonable” rate of about $300-$500. I read reviews, took things with a grain of salt, and hired the company. 

Communicating with the office was horrible. It was like a one-man operation that was being (poorly) ran out of someone’s home. Since I’m stubborn, this didn’t stop me. The laborers might not be as difficult as the office, after all. On the day of the move, two movers showed up (I had requested three) and they brought with them a 10-12 foot moving truck. I had clearly informed them that I had a full household of items to move, assuming they would bring the biggest truck available. Of course, they didn’t, because they charge by the hour. 

We did end up having to make two trips with the movers, which wasted two and a half hours of the day. Then, we still had to go back for more on our own to avoid further charges. Then, to make matters worse, the company automatically withdrew the initial service amount from our bank account without notifying us they were going to do so. We had paid a $50 deposit with my wife’s debit card as a one-time payment a few days prior. They took out an additional $200 at some point after the movers were on site, for the remainder of the base moving fee. Then, within an hour of the movers finally leaving, the company withdrew another $400 from our account, again without notifying us or asking permission, or even providing a final bill for the extra hours of service. 

Needless to say, we couldn’t get ahold of the business owner. We attempted to call regularly for two or three days only to be told he was notified and wasn’t available. We didn’t catch the transactions in time to stop payment, but since they withdrew the money without permission, we had to file a dispute with the bank and now we are waiting to find out whether or not we will actually be paying for the service. We made two extra trips in our cars, rented a van to get the last of our things, and probably won’t actually end up saving that much if we do pay for the move. If I had to do it again, I’d spend more on a reputable company. There’s a reason everyone knows their names. 

Jack C., Ohio, USA 

Pay for What Matters 

This story isn’t the only one like it. Despite probably knowing better, some people make the mistake of hiring cheaper services to save money. In most cases, it usually ends up costing more in the end. 

Cheap moving companies usually don’t have professional training or other employee assistance. They just hire people who can lift heavy stuff and put them to work. One way that cheap moving companies save money is by not registering or getting insurance for their business. Working with an unregistered moving company is going to create a lot of problems if you ever have to go back on them for issues related to your move. 

While a full-service move might cost more with a reputable company, you will actually save a lot of hassle. You might even save more than trying to recuperate from the damage caused by a cheap moving service. In the story above, with all of the moving fees, a van rental, and gas for additional trips, plus time off of work, the homeowner ended up paying close to what the “big name” companies estimated. Had he just went with their service, it probably would have been a smooth day with few complications or surprises. 

Cheap Sometimes Means Fraudulent

There are legitimately some moving companies out there that will charge less and offer good service. However, there are also a number of “too good to be true” rates out there that should be a red flag. Going back to the registration and insurance, any company without these shouldn’t be considered a reputable choice. From the lack of experience and professionalism to the fact that you aren’t protected by the company’s insurance and licensing, it isn’t worth the risk. References and reviews aren’t always enough, either, because they might only offer enough insight for you to assume that things “should be fine”. 

So, what can you do? Your first step should be to choose the Toronto moving services that have the best reputation in the city. This doesn’t mean that you have to choose the biggest moving company around, but you should find one that isn’t going to duck your calls or illegally withdraw money from your account once service has been completed. While a cheap move might sound like a dream, it’s usually much more trouble than it’s worth. To avoid huge unexpected expenses and stressful hassles, invest in a good moving company rather than hiring whoever is cheapest. 

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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