MISSISSAUGA, ON--(Marketwired - January 24, 2017) - "I thought I'd hired a reputable brand-name company for my move but that's not who arrived on moving day." That's what consumers have been telling the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) recently when they call to complain about their terrible moving experiences.
In the last several months, CAM has received many complaints from consumers and credible movers about rogue businesses representing themselves as reputable moving companies to the buying public. Consumers are being led to believe they've hired a professional brand name moving company but another company shows up on moving day, when the consumer has no choice but to proceed with the transaction. The experience usually ends up with the consumer's goods being held hostage for more money, delivery delays, and losses or damage to treasured possessions.
This criminal element representing themselves as reputable, professional movers is increasing at an alarming rate and the rogue businesses have found some innovative ways to scam unwary consumers lately:
- They are using brand names of reputable moving companies in their search engine advertising to mislead consumers -- this is called brand hijacking.
- They are operating under names that are very similar to well-known brand names of reputable moving companies.
Canada's long standing van lines have been especially victimized by the rogue businesses. These traditional van lines have built their reputations through years of delivering quality services to customers. These brand names signify trustworthy services at fair market value:
- Allied Van Lines Canada
- Atlas Van Lines (Canada) Ltd.
- Great Canadian Van Lines Ltd.
- Mayflower Canada
- North American Van Lines Canada
- United Van Lines (Canada) Ltd.
"The Atlas name has been hijacked numerous times in the past year by rogue companies," said Atlas Van Lines President, Barry Schellenberg. "They are using our brand name and those of our competitors to get business. As an industry, we are very concerned about the number of people who are being scammed. Consumers need to be extra diligent as a good percentage of movers listed on a search engine are rogue companies."
Consumers can take four simple steps to help protect themselves from these unscrupulous companies.
- Check out a prospective mover's reputation with CAM. As Canada's association for the moving industry, CAM promotes quality services by reputable movers who have established themselves as credible, reliable companies who adhere to CAM's strict code of ethics.
- Verify any logos, identifiers or affiliations being used by the mover to 'sell' their moving services. If they promote themselves using the brand of a trustworthy organization, consumers should verify it with that organization.
- Avoid online quotes or bookings with movers who do not show a business address or contact information other than a phone number. The quotes often come from one company operating under multiple names. Rarely are they legitimate movers with trained workers and professional equipment.
- Contact the local Better Business Bureau, for references.
Movers can take some steps to protect themselves and their brands from these fraud artists too.
- A mover should periodically search for their company name on search engines. If they find linkages to companies other than their own, they should report the fraudulent activity to the search engine's Trademark Violation division.
- Movers should also display any legitimate identifiers they are entitled to use -- in their correspondence, website, sales tools -- to separate themselves from the rogue element. Sales staff should be trained to encourage their customers to validate their affiliations, as well as those of their competitors.
- They should also contact their legal representatives to ensure their brands are registered and adequate protections are in place in the event of fraudulent use.
About Canadian Association of Movers (CAM)
Consumers can contact CAM for assistance in finding an ethical moving and storage company that will provide professional moving and storage services -- a mover that subscribes to CAM's code of ethics, meets CAM's business standards and commits to mediation in the unlikely event of a dispute.