To help you prepare your move or deal with the unexpected on D-day, the Office de la protection du consommateur has these few tips for you.

Plan your move

Choose a reliable mover

  • Ask your friends and loved ones for recommendations.
  • Contact 2 or 3 companies and compare their offers.
  • Beware of any movers who offer their services in classified ads and only provide a phone number to contact them.

Get information about the mover

Has the mover received a formal notice from clients? Has the Office intervened with this mover in the past?

The answers to your questions can be found using the Get information about a merchant tool.

Do the necessary verifications

  • Does the moving company have basic insurance to cover damaged material? If so, it will be easier for you to receive compensation if the movers break your furniture.
  • Does the moving company hold third-party liability insurance of at least one million dollars? If so, you will be better protected if there is any damage to your property, a neighbour’s property, or if you are the victim of an accident.
  • If the moving company uses a heavy vehicle, is it registered in the Registre des propriétaires et des exploitants de véhicules lourds of the Commission des transports du Québec?

Ask for a cost estimate

  • If possible, choose a moving company that is located near your home. In most cases, you will have to pay for the travel time between the warehouse and your residence.
  • Provide the mover with as many details as possible, such as a description of the premises, or the presence of stairs or elevators. You will thus get a more accurate estimate of the total cost.
  • Are you moving to another city? Have a representative come to your home to evaluate the cost of your move and ask him or her to give you a written estimate.

Ask about the terms of payment

  • If possible, do not give a down payment before the move, or only give a very small amount. You will thus avoid losing money if the company closes its doors or if the mover does not show up.
  • If the mover requests payment more than 2 months in advance, check whether the company holds a trust account and make your cheque out to “[company name] in trust.” A trust account aims to protect you should the company close or go into bankruptcy.

Request a contract

  • Are you entering into an agreement in person? Although the mover is not required to provide you with a written contract, you should ask for one. You will then have proof of your agreement and it will be easier for you to enforce your rights if you are dissatisfied.
  • Are you entering into an agreement by telephone or online? The mover is required to provide you with a written contract within 15 days after it is entered into.
  • Demand that the mover write any claims or statements made into the contract.
  • Do not sign any documents as long as you have not really decided to hire a mover. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have 10 days to cancel if you change your mind.

Prepare for D-day

  • Do an inventory of every item that needs to be moved.
  • Plan the layout of your furniture in your new home.
  • Wrap every item as carefully as you can, especially the most fragile objects.
  • Move any valuable objects and important documents yourself.
  • Check the condition of all of your furniture and appliances; take pictures if necessary.
  • Prepare the appliances: unplug them, install protection devices for transportation, etc.
  • Have a plan B in case it rains.
  • Reserve the building’s elevator.
  • Confirm the times for your move with the company.
  • Make sure there is a space for the truck to park.
  • Plan to have one person at the point of departure and another person at the mover’s destination.
  • Prepare the destination to make it easier to bring in the large pieces of furniture, i.e., removing doors and protecting walls.
  • Contact Services Québec to have your address changed with certain government bodies.
  • Notify the utilities companies (electric, cable, phone, Internet, etc.) of your new address.

What to do in the event of a misunderstanding with the moving company

What happens if the mover is late and did not notify you that this would be a possibility? What if the mover charges you more than the amount that was originally agreed upon? Or what if the mover damaged a piece of furniture, an appliance or another item while moving it?

The law provides for recourse options if a mover fails to abide by an agreement and you suffer damages as a result.

  • First, try to reach an agreement with the mover.
  • If the negotiation fails, you can send the mover a formal notice. In the case of unforeseen costs, you can first pay the total amount under protest. This means you will contest the amount paid. Then, send the mover a formal notice to claim the overpayment.
  • If the mover does not respond to your formal notice, you could have recourse before the courts.
  • You can also contact the Office de la protection du consommateur to find out whether you can file a complaint.
  • In the case of damaged furniture, be sure to get a written appraisal of the cost of the necessary repairs from a professional. This person could be called upon to testify before the court in order to assess the damages.

For more tips

You will find more tips and detailed information in the Moving section.

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Last update : May 8, 2023

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.