This post is about a moving company called "Stress Free Moving and Storage" aka "ACE Moving and Storage" aka "A&C Moving and Storage" aka "Alpha City Moving and Storage". Website is http://www.acmovers.ca.
This company quotes a flat rate, then holds your belongings hostage in their truck until you pay them whatever random amount of money that they think they can extort from you.
This company has multiple complaints about them filed with the Better Business Bureau (under the name "Alpha City Moving") and is NOT an accredited BBB business.
If you have been ripped off by this company please make a report to the Toronto Fraud Squad at http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/fraud/
Here is my experience. I booked last minute because my original mover cancelled on me. I had to be out of my apartment that day so I was desperate. Since it was so last minute, I talked to them on the phone several times. They reiterated frequently that their service was $44/hr, with one hour travel time. This was a total lie.
The movers showed up, and immediately told me that they required a $300 cash deposit. In my discussions with the company, this had not been indicated. But they had me over a barrel and knew it. I gave them the $300, as that was the max that I expected the job to take.
It took them almost 2 hours to load the following into their truck. One sofa. One sofabed. One chair. A table and chairs. A kitchen dolly.
When they finally arrived at the delivery point, they sat in their truck for 30 minutes making up the bill. In the words of the mover We don't know what the job will cost until it is finished. In other words they hold your belongings hostage in their truck until you pay them whatever random amount of money that they think they can extort from you.
Here is what they charged me:
Labour: $220 (Note: 3 hours at $45/hr is not $220)
Travel $88 - because, and I quote, It is winter and my boots got wet
Stairs $54 - I think they charged me $4 a stair
Heavy items $60 wtf? Furniture is supposed to be light?
KM $40 - they charged me $40 to drive km from the pickup to the drop-off site
Dispatch Fee $40 just a random extra $40 to extort from me
Total Bill with Tax = $567.20
for 2.5 hours work, moving 5 furniture items a distance of 0.5 km from one apartment to another apartment.
We had an hour standoff with lots of screaming, but since they were holding my belongings hostage, I had to pay up or lose everything. Since the arrangement was verbal and last minute I didn't have other options.
So people, don't do what I did. When you call the company and they don't answer the phone professionally, with the name of the company, it is most likely some random guy sitting in a Tim Hortons who has no ethics, and who is just waiting for the opportunity to rip you off.
Things to do
Get the official name of the business and look them up on the Better Business Bureau website www.bbb.org
Get the name and position of the person you talk to
Get a written estimate
Get their insurance info
As about what their hourly fee covers and get a written confirmation.
Ask about payment methods. If they only take cash, walk away
Mostly try not to be in a position where you can't tell them to take a hike if they try to charge you an outrageous amount of money.
Be prepared to call the police if needed
If they made you sign a contract under duress - they wouldn't do the agreed-upon move until you did and you had no other options - then the contract is invalid.
Otherwise, walk away. I am in a situation now of financial hardship because of these extortionist thieves.
THE MANY NAMES OF THIS EXTORTIONIST UNETHICAL SHADY COMPANY
"ACE Moving and Storage"
Stress Free Moving and Storage
Alpha City Moving and Storage
"A&C Moving and Storage"
"AC Moving and Storage"
THE MANY PHONE NUMBERS OF THIS SHADY COMPANY
THIS COMPANY'S WEBSITE