Movers deliver only half of family’s belongings — and dump the rest

It was bad enough that the Halifax moving company was hours late to the family’s new home in Toronto, only delivered some of their belongings, and that many were broken.

The ultimate kick in the pants was a $ 452 bill for illegal dumping the family received after many of their missing items, including dining room chairs, were thrown away in an industrial park in Mississauga, Ontario 30 kilometers away.

Now Jens Casten and his family are publicly warning about Big Boys Movers / Halifax Movers after losing thousands of dollars’ worth of items, some of which are irreplaceable.

“What they are doing is despicable,” said Casten.

According to an industry group, the case underscores the urgent need for the federal government to enter and regulate the moving industry, where there are no rules and complaints about night flight companies are frequent.

The Casten family’s nightmare began in June 2018 when Jens Casten found Big Boys Movers / Halifax Movers on Kijiji after making a professional decision to move from Halifax to Toronto. He said their prices and ratings were good so he called.

These ratings are uncertain. However, the name is the same as that of another company, Big Boys Movers in St. John’s, the owner of which said it is not affiliated and even posted a warning online after filing complaints about the Halifax business.

Big Boys Movers in St. John’s is so frustrated with calls about a Halifax company of the same name that posted this news on Kijiji. (Kijiji)

After reaching out to Big Boys Movers / Halifax Movers, Casten said three professional looking men came to his house, went over and gave him an award.

The quote was more than he wanted to pay, so he asked them to lower it, which they did. He said he was given a contract signed only with the first name Sam.

Casten let the company store his belongings in Halifax for several months while his family lived in a furnished apartment in Toronto before moving into their permanent home.

He was told that everything would be with a reputable storage company, so he paid the $ 1,100 fee. He also paid an additional $ 1,050 upfront to cover half the moving expenses.

Delivery nightmare

However, he had no idea what was ahead of him until the moving truck arrived in Toronto in April. At first the moving companies refused to move anything until he paid the second half of the moving costs. He ended up giving them $ 500.

“The first piece they unloaded was the headboard of our $ 3,000 king-size bed and it was badly damaged,” said Casten, adding that the side rails and slats for the bed were missing.

Your cots were not delivered. Neither were the pillows for the couch. Neither were the chairs that came with their dining room set chairs he said cost $ 1,000 to replace.

Some of their belongings had been chewed and damaged by rodents. Memorabilia from Cutten’s 21-year professional hockey career in Germany were never delivered.

“My trophies, all of the pictures. It’s all gone. That stuff will never be replaced,” he said.

He and his wife tried to contact the company numerous times using voicemail and text messages.

“There was absolutely no answer,” he said.

The Casten family had no idea what to expect as they prepared to move from Halifax to Toronto. (Megan Casten)

He went to the Toronto Police Department to file a complaint, but was told it was a civil, not a criminal, matter.

At this point, he and his wife felt that there was nothing more they could do to leave the experience behind.

But the worst was yet to come.

On May 2, Casten received an email from Colliers International in Mississauga for $ 452 for illegal dumping. It was said that video footage captured the dumping and that personal effects identified him as the owner.

It also said he had 30 days to pay, a report had been filed with the police and further action could be taken.

“At first I thought it was a scam,” said Casten.

“This is pure madness”

When he opened the attachments and saw pictures of his belongings next to a dumpster on the sidewalk, he said he couldn’t believe it. There were four of his dining room chairs, his daughter’s bike, his coat, and boxes of other items.

“This is sheer madness,” said Casten. “There is absolutely no point in transporting all of our things from Halifax to Toronto in a truck and then just throwing them away.”

Casten immediately called Colliers and was glad that he would get his things back. But joy was replaced by devastation when he was told that everything had already been disposed of.

Although he explained the situation, he was told he still had to pay for the cleanup.

After CBC News contacted the company and asked for a copy of the video, Stephen Hall, a Colliers International spokesman, responded in an email: “Unfortunately, after further investigation, our video cameras did not record the incident.”

He also said that based on new information, Colliers would “revoke” his bill to Casten.

Big Boys Movers / Halifax Movers did not respond to multiple voicemails and texts asking for comment. CBC was unable to find a record of the company on the Nova Scotia share register, although the law requires all companies operating in the province to be registered with a few exceptions.

This is the contract that Big Boys Movers / Halifax Movers put out to the Castens. They are said to be insured, but then the company refused to identify the insurer. (Submitted by Jens Casten)

The Casten experience comes as no surprise to Nancy Irvine, president of the Canadian Association of Movers.

“It’s not uncommon for budget bargain hunters, who are so differently priced from a professional moving company, to pull such antics and ask for more money to get your things back or to go with your things or to throw them away if they don’t get the money,” said Irvine.

She said the problem was big, although no one was tracking its scope. Irvine said her association receives about 20 to 30 complaints a year.

She said the problem was the result of the deregulation of the industry in the mid-1980s.

“There are no industry standards, so you and I could get a moving company together tomorrow,” she said. “We don’t need a license, we don’t need employee compensation, we don’t need insurance, and we don’t even have to have trained people. We could just get a pickup and drive off.” We go and we move. “

She said her organization had advocated the federal government several times over the past decade, but was told there were more important things to do.

Reintroducing moving company licenses would help weed out the bad guys.

Irvine says customers like Casten have very little recourse if something happens because the police are reluctant to interfere. She urged anyone looking for a mover to look for a reputable company on the Canadian Association of Movers website.

As for Casten, he now realizes that he would actually have saved money if he had opted for a reputable, more expensive mover.

“I hope people learn from this,” he said. “I tried to take a shortcut, but at the end of the day I learned a lesson the hard way and I hope my lesson will be a warning to other people.”

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