Toronto Piano Movers

Braymore Piano Movers is the GTA's largest and most reputable piano mover.

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Clip Taken from “Take This House and Sell It!” – Episode 50 (1st Aired – April 13, 2006)


Below is the terms of carriage that appear on the bill of lading that Braymore uses for moving your piano, which all our trucks show you upon arrival.  This is a legal document that we use for moving pianos that has been custom taylored to our company and the special freight we handle.  Most carriers have similar conditions depending on the part of the freight industry that they are catering towards.  When there is none supplied, the government has some generic rules which it will enforce when none are provided, which means you are NOT fully insured.  Unfortunately some companies have copied our terms off our website, to use on their own website and confuse the general public.  Unless these terms are part of the bill of
lading that is being used on moving day, you may have a big surprise if there are any problems during your move. 

Please note that if any mover tells you, you are fully insured without asking you for the declared value to put on the bill of lading.  It is not likely fully insured unless the weight exceeds the dollar per pound coverage amount.  Most pianos move for $500 to $1500 insurace less deductible depending on the weight of the piano.  This is the industry norm.

CONDITIONS OF CARRIAGE

1. Liability of Carrier

The carrier of the goods herein described is liable for any loss of or damage to goods accepted by the carrier or the carrier’s agent except as hereinafter provided.

2. Liability of Originating and Delivering Carriers

Where a shipment is accepted for carriage by more than one carrier, the carrier who issues the bill of lading (hereinafter called the originating carrier) and the carrier who assumes responsibility for delivery to the consignee (hereinafter called the delivering carrier), in addition to any other liability hereunder, are liable for any loss of or damage to the goods while they are in the custody of any other carrier to whom the goods are delivered and from which liability the other carrier is not relieved.

3. Recovery from Connecting Carriers

i. The originating carrier or the delivering carrier, as the case may be, is entitled to recover from any other carrier to whom the goods are delivered the amount that the originating carrier or delivering carrier, as the case may be, is required to pay for the loss of or damage to the goods while they were in the custody of such other carrier.

ii. If there is a concealed damage settlement and the goods were interlined between carriers so that it is not clear as to who had custody of the goods when they were damaged, the originating carrier or delivering carrier, as the case may be, is entitled to recover from each of the interlined carriers an amount prorated on the basis of each carrier’s revenue for carriage of the damaged goods.

4. Remedy by Consignor or Consignee

Nothing in Article 2 or 3 deprives a consignor or consignee of any rights the consignor or consignee may have against any carrier.

5. Exceptions from Liability

The carrier shall not be liable for:

i. loss, damage or delay to any of the goods described in the bill of lading caused by an act of God, the Queen’s or public enemies, riots, strikes, a defect or inherent vice in the goods, an act or default of the consignor, owner or consignee, authority of law, quarantine or difference in weights of grain, seed or other commodities caused by natural shrinkage.

ii. mechanical quality of any electronics or appliances

iii.  acoustical quality of any musical instruments

iv. damage to articles made of press board, Particle board or wafer board or similar structured materials

v. damage to glass, marble or similar materials in or part of articles being moved

vi. damage caused by or due to peeling veneer of any sort

vii. deterioration of any article due to aging, temperature, humidity or moisture

viii. loss or damage to used electronics.  All used electronics are transported at owner’s risk unless individually declared on the face of this bill of lading.

ix. loss or damage to articles that are being moved internally that are not part of pickup or delivery at either shipper or consignee location.

6. Delay

i. No carrier is bound to carry goods by any particular public truck or in time for any particular market or otherwise than with due dispatch.

ii. Failure by the consignee to accept delivery when tendered within the time specified on the Bill of Lading shall render him liable for reasonable storage in transit, handling and re-delivery charges incurred by the carrier.

7. Routing by Carrier

If the carrier forwards the goods by a conveyance that is not a public truck, the liability of the carrier is the same as though the entire carriage were by public truck.

8. Stoppage in Transit

If goods are stopped and held in transit at the request of the party entitled to so request, the goods are held at the risk of that party.

9. Valuation

Subject to Article 10, the amount of any loss or damage for which the carrier is liable, whether or not the loss or damage results from negligence, shall be the lesser of,

i. the value of the goods at the place and time of shipment, including the freight and other charges if paid, and

ii. $4.41 per kilogram computed on the total weight of the shipment.

10. Declared Value

If the consignor has declared a value of the goods on the face of the bill of lading, the amount of any loss or damage for which the carrier is liable shall be or shall not exceed the declared value.  The declared value by shipper shall in no event exceed $100,000.00 Canadian.

10.5 Deductible

A deductible of $200.00 must be paid on all claims of loss and/or damage prior to the claim proceeding for Valuation.

11. Consignor’s Risk

i. If it is agreed that the goods are carried at the risk of the consignor, such agreement covers only such risks as are necessarily incidental to the carriage and the agreement does not relieve the carrier from liability for any loss or damage or delay that results from the negligence of the carrier or the carrier’s agents or employees.

ii. The burden of proving absence of negligence shall be on the carrier.

12. Notice of Claim

i. No carrier is liable for loss, damage or delay to any goods carried under the bill of lading unless notice thereof setting out particulars of the origin, destination and date of shipment of the goods and the estimated amount claimed in respect of such loss, damage or delay is given in writing to the originating carrier or the delivering carrier within seven days after delivery of the goods or, in the case of failure to make delivery, within nine months from the date of shipment.

ii. Exterior cosmetic damage on unboxed merchandise caused by carrier must be recorded on bill of lading upon delivery.  Inspection of unboxed merchandise is the responsibility of the consignee and failure to inspect can not be claimed against the carrier after the delivery.

iii. The final statement of the claim must be filed within nine months from the date of shipment, together with a copy of the paid freight bill.

NOTE: bill of lading charges must be paid in full before any bill of lading claim can be considered.  The carrier reserves the right to repair first.  Any repairs done without the carrier’s consent or knowledge are done at owner’s expense. That expense can not be claimed back against carrier under any conditions.

13. Articles of Extraordinary Value

i. No carrier is bound to carry any documents, specie or articles of extraordinary value unless by a special agreement to do so.

ii. If such goods are carried without a special agreement and the nature of the goods is not disclosed on the bill of lading, the carrier shall not be liable for any loss or damage in excess of the maximum liability stipulated in Article 9.

14. Freight Charges

i. If required by the carrier, the freight and all other lawful charges accruing on the goods shall be paid before delivery.

ii. If upon inspection it is ascertained that the goods shipped are not those described in the bill of lading, the freight charges must be paid upon the goods actually shipped with any additional charges lawfully payable thereon.

iii. If a consignor does not indicate that a shipment is to move prepaid, or does not indicate how the shipment is to move, it will automatically move on a collect basis.

15. Dangerous Goods

Every person, whether as principal or agent, shipping dangerous goods without previous full disclosure to the carrier as required by law, shall indemnify the carrier against all loss, damage or delay caused by the failure to disclose and such goods may be warehoused at the consignor’s risk and expense.

16. Undelivered Goods

i. If, through no fault of the carrier, the goods cannot be delivered, the carrier shall immediately give notice to the consignor and consignee that delivery cannot be made and shall request disposal instructions.

ii. Pending receipt of disposal instructions,

A. the goods may be stored in the warehouse of the carrier, subject to a reasonable charge for storage, or

B. if the carrier has notified the consignor of this intention, the goods may be removed to and stored in a public or licensed warehouse at the expense of the consignor, without liability on the part of the carrier, and subject to a lien for all freight and other lawful charges, including a reasonable charge for storage.

17. Return of Goods

If a notice has been given by the carrier pursuant to paragraph i of Article 16, and no disposal instructions have been received within ten days from the date of such notice, the carrier may return to the consignor, at the consignor’s expense, all undelivered shipments for which such notice has been given.

18. Alterations

Subject to Article 19, any limitation on the carrier’s liability on the bill of lading and any alteration to the bill of lading shall be signed or initialled by the consignor and the originating carrier or their agents and unless signed and initialled shall be without effect.

19. Weights

i. It shall be the responsibility of the consignor to show correct shipping weights of the shipment on the bill of lading.

ii. If the actual weight of the shipment does not agree with the weight shown on the bill of lading, the weight shown on the bill of lading may be corrected by the carrier.

20. C.O.D. Shipments

i. A carrier shall not deliver a C.O.D. shipment unless payment is received in full.

ii. The charge for collecting and remitting the amount of C.O.D. bills for C.O.D. shipments must be collected from the consignee unless the consignor has instructed otherwise on the bill of lading.

iii. A carrier shall remit all C.O.D. money to the consignor, or person designated by the consignor, within thirty days after collection.

iv. A carrier shall keep all C.O.D. money in a trust fund or account separate from the other revenues and funds of the carrier’s business.

v. A carrier shall include the charges for collecting and remitting money paid by consignees as a separate item in the schedule of rates.

21. Delivery

i. The carrier reserves the right to request full payment prior to completion of offload.  All charges must be paid in cash, certified cheque, money order or agreed terms of credit.

ii. If consignee fails to pay invoice prior to offload, the carrier reserves the right to bring goods back to the warehouse.  The consignee will then be liable for all storage, handling and re-delivery charges.

iii. The carrier reserves the right to refuse any movement that could be considered unsafe or may cause damage to articles being moved, personal property or personal injury.  In this case it will be deemed an estimate and any new charges based on estimate plus estimate charge would be applicable.

Standards

Braymore has the highest standards when it comes to piano moving. 
At Braymore we take piano moving very seriously and are always looking for better ways to do what we do safely. 

Braymore has the best equiped trucks and crews to move your piano and to get the job done right. 

Do not take our word for it.  Ask around and you will quickly find out that Braymore is know as the best in our field for moving pianos. 
Moving at a higher standard!

Reputation

Braymore is the leading expert when it comes to piano moving in Ontario. Braymore does work for almost every major piano supplier that sells in Canada. 

Braymore handles more pianos than any other company in Canada (fact).  Whenever anyone wants to make sure the job is done right and smoothly, Braymore is their choice.

Braymore is a real corporationBraymore is not some small outfit working out of their home. Braymore has a real office and warehouse and trucks to prove it. 

Do not take our word for it. Google us and see.

You get who you hiredThere are freight brokers and stores out their that quote jobs like piano moving and then sub contract it out to other companies.  This sometimes works out for people and sometimes they are surprised by who shows up at their door.  I have seen freight brokers use pictures of one company to sell their service and than send another in its place because it was cheaper for them; so that they could make more money.  The crew that comes could have lots or next to no experience and there is no way for you to know the difference until it is too late.With Braymore, when you book with us, you are always getting Braymore Piano Movers.
Braymore tells you the real facts about insuranceLots of companies tell you they are fully insured and that is probably, but not always true.  They are hoping that you stop asking questions there or hope that nothing goes wrong on the job, so that they do not have to back up that
statement.  Just because they are insured, does not mean that you are!The law of the land does not support this statement and the law limits the movers exposure on used items to $0.60 per pound unless additional insurance is
purchased and declared on the bill of lading.  The average piano weighs about 500 pounds which equates to $300 insurance less deductible.  There are only a couple pianos over a 1000 pounds which would be $600 insurance. 
You would be shocked how many items get shipped or moved with minimal insurance.How much is your piano worth to you?
Braymore is not a Household MoverUnfortunately many household movers say and advertise they can move pianos to get household moving jobs.  This can especially be a problem when sales reps walk through your home, leaving you with the impression that it is not a problem.  He/she is not a piano moving expert and household movers will often seperate the piano move quotation from the rest of the job.  Often the information about the piano move does not get communicated properly to the household movers and even if it did, does not always matter.  Most household movers do not have much piano moving expertise or have all the equipment necessary to do it smoothly.  They rely are their extra manpower available on the household move to get the job done.  This is sometimes done successfully.  This sometimes means your piano gets left behind or left on the main floor or in the garage.  What many do not realize is that many of the  large movers will sub contract out the more difficult moves or their VIP customers to the piano moving experts-like Braymore Piano Movers.
ReferencesAnyone can put references on their website to say whatever they want, so at Braymore we are not going to bother with that.  I have seen websites with references of famous people or companies that would not know who they are or touch them with a ten foot pole.  The best references are from the people and companies you know and trust.  Ask around to people, stores and technicans you trust.  We could supply you with a list of major companies that use us regularly, but we at that confident in our piano moving skill and reputation that if you ask around on your own, you will realize what we already know. That Braymore is the right Piano Mover for you!  If you would like to see some of the letters that people have mailed or emailed us. Click Here
Letters from Previous Braymore Customers
On August 17th, 2009 I had a piano moved from my late grandmothers home to my home.  I had the pleasure of working with your movers, Sherwin, Khalil and Christian.  They were professional, respectful and extremely patient.  The move occurred later on in the day and was reported to have been one of the hottest days of the year.  Not once did they complain; in fact, they took it all in stride with smiles and positive comments the whole time. Both my husband and I are extremely grateful for all there help but most importantly their perseverance.  This was not an easy piano to move.Once again, thank you to those gentlemen and Braymore for taking great care of our piano.
Sincerely, Rick and Michelle Esposito
Just wanted to let you know that the move went well.  Your staff was very helpful and professional and I would recommend Braymore Delivery Services to anyone interested in moving a piano.Thank you for helping us move our piano into our new home.  It looks very good in its place.
Corey Tebo
I’m writing this email to let you know about the exceptional service I received on July 21st 2009. Lance and his team were very professional and efficient. In fact, I am so impressed with the service I received I recommended Braymore to three other people that are moving. I will also recommend Braymore to anyone I know for that matter. My mother who participated in the move, had only good things to say about the movers. I researched this company extensively beforehand, and you definitely lived up to your expectations. I want to end by thanking Lance and his team, for making this move a pleasant experience. I also wanted to extend my compliments to you for responding to my emails promptly and professionally.
Take Care, Laura Spano
Just to say thanks for the great job John and his crew did moving the 7-foot Fazioli into and out of the Frum’s garden.They were really good at their jobs and good guys to boot!  Many thanks for agreeing to take this on and at such a good price. It made for an absolutely fabulous mid-summer’s evening event in that garden.
as ever, Eric Friesen
I just wanted to express our appreciation for the extremely smooth piano move. The guys were very efficicient and professional, and our FAZIOLI was happy to share the truck with Louis Lortie’s FAZIOLI as it was on it’s way to Roy Thompson Hall!! I hope some of his talent rubbed off on my piano while it shared the ride – haha! Thanks again – and we will definitely call you again in the future when we need to move it again.
Regards, Audrey and Fred Ortbach
I am sending you this message to thank you for your work moving our instrument yesterday. Your team was efficient, professional and helpful. They are also very strong! I would have no hesitation working with you in the future or recommending your services. Please forward my appreciation to your guys. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Robert
I had my Baby Grand Piano delivered today, you guy’s were wonderful! My piano is beautiful and it was delivered to me just perfectly! I was extremely excited about the delivery and you guy’s let me totally enjoy the moment. I will most certainly use you guy’s again.
Thank you again.Robbi
My family and I wanted to thank you very much for making our mother’s move into her retirement home so pleasant. The three men you sent to help move her were wonderful. They were so pleasant and hard working. Braymore is lucky to have them. Again, thank you for all of your kind help.
Sincerely, Julia Smith
We knew the Braymore crew was likely to be competent, having been in the piano moving business for years, and coming highly recommended. We were unprepared for just how efficient, as well as personable, the three guys turned out to be. They treated our beloved instrument with a tremendous amount of care and concern. When they left, my wife and I just turned to each other in disbelief. I guess we picked the right company. Thanks so much for being so good!
Sincerely, Jason Jones Toronto
I want to extend my gratitude to the team of 3 professionals who moved my piano for me this past Friday. On a very difficult approach to getting it moved into my home they showed diligence, patience, strength and accuracy. The piano was successfully moved without a scratch to it or my house. An excellent team you have there. My thanks!
Kind regards, Fred Houpt
Your team just left my house after moving the piano to the basement. I just wanted to send a quick note to say they were fantastic. They were very careful with the piano, and also made every effort not to get the floors dirty with their shoes/boots. I would definitely recommend them to anyone I know who needs to move a piano!
Thanks!Elaine
Just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for the piano move yesterday.My parents were so impressed with the two men that moved the piano from their house to mine! In addition to being quick, careful and professional they were very friendly and engaging. Excellent ambassadors for your company! Please be sure to pass on my thanks to them.I will certainly call you first for any future moves.
Sincerely, Ryan
Thanks for arranging the move. It went off without a hitch. Your staff were truly professional & efficient.
Regards, Peter Tong KAOS MUSIC CENTRE
Just wanted to let you know our move went very smoothly – the guys were very professional and efficient. Great work.
Thank-you, Lisa
I cannot express my gratitude for Braymore’s professional service.  My Yamaha U3 upright piano was located on the second floor and was scheduled to be moved this afternoon.  I was very impressed with the moving team that was led by John and the two Pauls.They arrived within the time period you told me.  I was amazed by their professional knowledge, efficiency and friendliness.  They were able to expertly navigate through tight corners and narrow staircase.  In the end, the piano and my drywall were both intact!!I will highly recommend your service to anyone who needs to move a piano.  If anyone requests reference from you, I will be very happy to help out.Enclosed is a small token of appreciatino. Please Enjoy.
Yours Truly, Winnie Wong
Thank you for your brilliant document on piano moving! I wish that you were closer so that I could utilize your services, because the information that you have given me will save me countless dollars when the time comes to move my piano. I wanted to say thank you for putting forth the time and effort to share this information for free. You Rock!!
Cheo Jackson Irving,
Tx USA
I want to thank you again for all your help–you kept me from having a heart attack. The guys did a great job and were really nice. I see why Braymore has such a good reputation! I may be in touch again to have Greg come and buff the piano. In the meantime, have a great weekend.
All best, Diana
To Whom It May Concern, I am writing to commend Lance and the other gentleman, whose name I failed to get, who handled the pick up at the address noted above this afternoon. Not only were they courteous and efficient, removing the piano with little problem, but they went over and above when they stopped to help me.You see, I live next door at (address removed) so I was home to let them in. When I left my house, the door closed behind me and although it wasn’t locked, the handle somehow jammed stopping me from getting back in. When I realized what had happened, the Braymore truck hadn’t left yet so I asked Lance if he would give it a try. I figured his grip would be much stronger than mine.With a bit of convincing, Lance was able to get the door handle to work. He got me back into my house, without breaking a window which would have been my next choice. They saved me a lot of time, money and frustration and I am very thankful.I just wanted to bring this to your attention, as I know a lot of people will write when something is wrong, but I believe in letting someone know when a job is well done. With employees like Lance and the other gentleman I will remember Braymore and wouldn’t hesitate to use your service if the need ever arises.
Sincerely, Kate Widgery
I just wanted to send a note of thanks, everything went very well yesterday. I did almost cancel yesterday as just after we spoke on the phone I found out the my grandfather passed away, but your guys were very quick and efficient and there were no problems at all. I also wanted to note that the gentleman that delivered it to my home was very knowledgeable and kind as well let me know of someone to get it tuned from. I it nice to know that he was not just moving an item he was moving something precious.
Thank you, Theressa McGowan
To whom it may concern,Just wanted to compliment Troy and Sherwin on your professionalism with dealing with the transport of our Sherlock Manning piano. I really appreciate the care you took in removing it from our home and your friendly but professinal approach. I also thank you for coming back since I had taken the morning off work to deal with this. I feel confident that the piano is in good hands!
Kind regards, Frances Lamb
We’ve finally unpacked the piano bench…the last step. I was not only pleased with the way the piano and bench were crated but shocked that even after four years, the piano was still relatively in tune…not perfect, but not horrific! We are thrilled with the services provided by Braymore and impressed with the moving expertise of AMJ Campbell in Montreal.If you wish to use this e-mail as a testimonial, please feel free to do so.Again my sincere thanks for everything!
Cheryl Ryshpan
I just wanted to let you know the move was a great success. Lance and Andrew were very professional and I was impressed with them. I will be sure you use your company in the future.
All the best, Brian
My wife called to tell me what a pleasure it is to deal with people who are reliable, courteous and know exactly what they are doing. Your movers came on time, were polite, knew exactly how to take the legs off the piano and gave us a complete inventory of any marks on the piano.
Thank you so much, Ilan
I just wanted to send an Email to you to compliment your team on moving my piano on Friday. Talk about knowledgeable professionals!!! I had this very old upright piano moved downstairs about 18 years ago by some local movers, and during the move, two of them were nearly crushed with the weight. Due to that experience, I had been DREADING the day when I had to move it back up the stairs (with a 90 degree angle). I was amazed when your team simply looked at the piano, recognized the manufacturer, and immediately set to work to disassemble it. Within a half hour, they had it in multiple pieces (which I couldn’t bear to watch), and shortly after, had everything moved into the truck. They then reassembled the piano within the next 20-30 minutes and were set to go for delivery. Everyone was pleasant and courteous. They told me of their arrival time in Meaford, and were there at the expected time. After a short debate as to how best move the piano over a freshly dug trench, over the wet clay and into the garage door (which is still 2 feet above final grade), they proceeded again to easily move the piano into the garage. Ten minutes later, its down in the new basement without a scratch. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the manner in which everyone worked on Friday. I would also like to give you a personal thank-you, as I mentioned that I was trying to coordinate the installation of a big propane tank in Meaford, and needed to be there in the afternoon, and you were able to meet my request to have them arrive early in the morning, so that I could keep my later appointment. Thanks again to the Braymore team. Everyone that plays piano has a special feeling for their instruments, I appreciated the special care and attention that the team took while moving it. Great work!!!THANKS!!!A delighted customer
Eric Stackhouse
How to describe your staircase to movers.  When describing your staircase to a moving company, never sugar coat it and try to make it sound easier than what it is. 
It is always better for the mover to expect the worse and be ready for it when
he shows up, than for him/her to get there and not have the right number of
people of equipment to do the job.  Moving day with a house closing is
stressful enough; you do not want to mover to say: “Sorry sir, if I’d have know,
I would have brought more movers or I would have brought this equipment to do
your job or I’m not qualified to do this job safely.”   

Straight Flight of Stairs:A straight flight of stairs is a staircase that does not have any bends or
curves in it.  A straight flight of stairs must also have lots of room at the
top and bottom to get on and off the staircase.
 
Straight Flight of Stairs with a tight turn at top or bottom:This is a straight staircase that has a moving obstacle at the top or bottom of
the staircase.  The staircase itself is straight, but it has a tight turn
at the top or bottom.  The turn or landing is usually the width of the
staircase: approximately 2-3 feet square, which makes it difficult for movers to
get large objects on and off the staircase.  Notice the wall at the top of
the stairs.  You immediately have to turn left of right when you get to the
top.  The distance from the top of the stairs to the wall is less than 3
feet distance.  Most pianos are 5-6 feet long and 2 feet wide.  This
is a big deal to the mover, because half of the piano and half the movers are
still on the staircase while trying to make this turn.  The same is true if
this turn was at the bottom of the staircase.
 
Flight of stairs with turn in it:This is a flight of stairs with landing in it.  This is a staircase that
contains one or more landings in it.  For example, 6 steps, than a square
landing the length and width of a stair, than another 6 steps.  These
staircases are extremely difficult and tight.  You want a mover that knows
what he is doing to attempt this move.
 
Flight of stairs with a pie shape turn in it:This is the same as a flight with turn in it, except that the landing is made up
of 2 or 3 pie shape stairs instead of a square landing.  These staircase
are probably the most difficult moves to do, because there is usually a height
restraint problem as well.  Notice the ceiling in this picture.  Not
all pianos will fit up or down these staircases, because the move is so tight. 
You generally only have one chance to do it right.
 
Spiral Staircase:This is a flight of stairs that is not straight and curves all the way up or down. 
Most people don’t think these staircases are not a big deal, because they
generally look open and have lots of room.  To a mover, moving a big object
like a piano; these staircases scream danger and automatically require extra
manpower.  What most people do not realize, is that because the staircase
is not straight, the stairs are not the equivalent to a flat surface.  As
soon as a piano mover starts moving the piano up this style of staircase, the
piano will immediately want to throw itself into that nice curved wall.  If
they do not have the right manpower on this job, to make sure it goes smoothly,
you can expect damage to your furniture and walls.
 
Staircase with a curve in it:This is a spiral staircase, but some people get it confused with straight
staircases.  This is because half the staircase is straight and half the
staircase has a spiral in it and they only describe the easy half of the
staircase to the movers.  This picture is not the best example, but does
show the straight section at the bottom and the curve in the top half of the
staircase.  This style of staircase is usually more difficult than the
spiral staircase, because the turn is much tighter.
 
Describing a staircase incorrectly can have serious implications: 1. It could cause the mover to walk away from doing your job due to insufficient
manpower. This is a huge deal if you house is closing.2. It could cause you to encur extra charges on your job to cover the extra
time, manpower, risk and exposure in doing your move. 3. It could cause your item or merchandise to be damaged, due to mover feeling
pressured to do a move with insufficent manpower or less experienced manpower
than is required or moving it without the proper equipment. In these situations, people often ask movers to do things that are unsafe and
extremely risky: to “pull off a miracle” or “save the day”.  Sometimes they
win and everything goes ok.  Sometimes they lose and their merchandise,
home or movers get damged and hurt.  This is the last thing anyone wants,
please take the extra time to make sure you describe things to the best of your
ability.

Most people believe that when they hire a mover that they are automatically insured for everything!  That if anything goes wrong, the mover will pay whatever the customer thinks is necessary to make it right.  This belief is totally false, gets more people in trouble and costs people more money than you could possibly believe.

The biggest insurance mistake that most people make are asking the wrong insurance question.  They usually ask: “Are you (the mover) insured?”  The mover always answers: “Yes” and this statement is usually true in some form or another.  I remember one case where a small mover was running around in a rental truck to do his moves and the only insurance he had was the truck rental insurance.  Do you think the truck rental insurance company is going to pay for damage done to your piano?  The real question is: “What am I insured for?”

In Ontario basic insurance for moving is generally $0.60 per pound, less deductible by law.  If the mover falls into the cartage industry category for moving new product, it can go as high as $2.00 per pound less deductible.  If you require additional insurance than you have to ask for it prior to the move and make sure it is recorded properly on the bill of lading (document used to control movement of product).  Please note that all carriers charge an extra premium for this insurance.  This is something that most movers do not bother to tell you because it reduces their legal exposure if something goes wrong.

If you are a person who likes to pay cash to try and avoid paying the tax man, please be aware that you have just waived your rights to any insurance at all.  No bill of lading means no insurance.

You should always skim through the terms of carriage for a piano mover to find out what exceptions there are in coverage.  For example, many movers will not insure damage to anything made of particle board.  So if they are moving your bookcase and it gets damaged during the move and was made of particle board: you have zero insurance for that damage.  You should also verify that the terms of carriage displayed on a website are in fact the same ones that will appear on the bill of lading used at the time of move.  I have noticed that a number of movers have copied this from other companies websites to make their site look more professional.  Terms of carriage are not all the same, although they can look similar and usually have custom changes for each industry or company.  There is nothing worse than getting caught reading one thing and signing another.

There are multiple forms of insurance that are required to protect yourself.  One of the ones that most people forget to ask and check is WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) in Ontario (also known as workman’s compensation).  By law in Ontario all companies that have employees must have this insurance; unfortunately it is a known fact that a number of smaller companies have avoided paying this insurance or are not presently insured, because they have either misinformed WSIB or are not current paying their premiums.  Any company or individual should make sure that the company or people they contract are covered and current with their premiums.  WSIB will happily provide certificates that are valid for two months to verify this for you.  Please note the certificate expire, because if a company falls behind in their payments, they are no longer covered.  WSIB usually provides certificates within 24 hours, so if a company or contractor is slow to get this for you, that usually means they are not currently insured.  The reason why large corporations and companies that deal with contractors require this from people and companies they hire, is simple: they do not want to be liable for person injury if it occurs during their job.  Ultimately the person doing the hiring (in this case you) is responsible for providing a safe work place and you want to make sure that you are hiring a company that agrees with this principle and has insured themselves (and yourself) against this type of liability.

Here are some tips for arranging your piano move.

1. Book ahead of time, do not wait till the last minute.  Most movers book on a first come, first serve basis.  If you want to make sure you have a reputable mover for your job, than book ahead.

2. Make sure you give the mover all the details about your move.  Do not sugar coat it!  If you are concerned about your move being unusually difficult, than pay for an estimate to be done.  It is always best to prepare your mover for the worst on moving day.  The last thing you need is the mover to show up and be surprised with insufficient manpower or equipment to do your job.  These situations usually leads to the unpleasant conversation about re-booking your job for another day with the right manpower or equipment, and can be extremely stressful if your house is closing today.

3. More information is better for a smoother move.  Give the piano mover the name of your piano and the size of it.  Length for grand pianos and height for upright pianos.  Make sure the person taking your booking writes this on your order.  Count the number of steps inside and out and note whether they are straight or curved.  Let them know whether there is lots of room to get on and off the stairs.  Half the time the problem with stairs is not the stairs themselves, but the getting on and off them.  Spell your address and make sure you give them the right extension (Drive, Street, Crescent).  It may sound silly to do this, but when you read a map index, you would be surprised how many similarly spelt streets there are and streets with the same name (main street).

4. Call back to confirm your move is booked for the right day and make sure they have all your information.  Technically you shouldn’t have to do this, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.  You would be amazed by the number of people that have regretted not doing this.

Every piano mover will tell you that they are the best piano mover out there, but how do you the consumer know who to pick?  Picking the right piano mover is a bigger deal than most people realize.  When you research the moving industry in general, you will notice that there are a lot of horror stories out there about bad movers and the damage and cost they have cost people with no hope of compensation.  Anything from a damaged instrument (piano), damaged home, stolen goods, extortion for more money while holding your goods for ransom.  These are not one time incidents in the industry, but things that are known to happen regularly.  I am constantly amazed by the number of people I meet or talk to that have had or know people who have seen this first hand.

Some people will base their discussion on how their conversation goes over the phone.  Some will base it on price.  While others will base it on things they have heard from friends, family, associates or the Internet. 

At the end of the day, for me it comes down to peace of mind and how do I get it.  Moving is one of the most stressful day(s) in a persons life.  There are so many things that can go wrong on moving day and I want a reputable mover that is going to help me make it go as easy as possible.  If it costs you a few extra dollars for peace mind it was well worth it, if they happen to be cheaper the rest, than that is a bonus, but cost should never be the deciding factor.  Ask around for what people know about the piano movers you are considering.  Anyone who owns, sells or services pianos will have had first hand experience with piano movers.  Every piano mover will have someone that thinks they are terrific and someone who thinks they are horrible. 

The trick is finding out who is the reputable mover out there is.  If you hear the same name over and over again, everyone seems to know them and you hear good things about them.  Then it is probably safe to say that you have found your mover!

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