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Unpacking the Truth, Part 2: Essential Questions to Ask Your Moving Company Before You Sign

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst: https://www.pexels.com/photo/question-marks-on-paper-crafts-5428829/
We know - it's hard to represent your burning questions with paper question marks, but we do the best we can.

You’ve made it this far – let’s get more into the financials with this round of questioning. It’s not just about money (and how much you’re signing up to spend), but it is critical to understand what your money is doing for you.

Here are the remaining questions that we think you should know the answers to before you hire a moving company:

7. What is included in the cost of services?

Does that sound silly? Well, not really – it’s always worth asking what value you’re getting for your money.

We’ve heard of companies that will rent clients a moving truck and a driver, but no team or equipment to assist with the actual physical labour – that would be a very unpleasant surprise on moving day, and one that can be avoided by due diligence!

By contrast, Darling Solutions’ moving services include a vehicle and two of our moving team, as well as the basic supplies, tools, and equipment needed to complete your services.

8. Do you have any hidden fees?

This is one of the more critical questions to ask, even if you have to reconnect with them to ask after your estimate has been presented to you.  Some moving companies are creative with the fees they charge, which are hidden in the fine print.

There are companies who charge an additional fee for each stair that their team goes up or down, or an equipment fee (to use dollies, moving blankets, and other essential supplies), or additional fees for any especially heavy or bulky items. These examples aren’t isolated incidents, or even particularly extreme – if you search for something like “moving company hidden fees”, you’ll find plenty of reading material.

It’s worth noting that there are also some fees that cannot be determined ahead of time, such as disposal fees (for items you don’t want to keep, but that cannot be donated). If the company knows that they’ll be expected to dispose of items, it’s good practice to mention the disposal fee on the estimate – even if it’s a simple “To Be Confirmed” in place of a price.

9. How do you invoice my services, and what methods of payment do you accept?

Don’t be shy to ask how the price structure works – is there a minimum charge for services? Do they charge hourly, or is their estimate the final price regardless of how many hours your services actually required?

Are you expected to pay on site when the move is finished, or will they send an invoice later, once the final hours and costs are tallied? There’s no right or wrong answer, just be sure you know how much you’re expected to pay ahead of time (and what kind of payment methods they accept).

10. How long have you been in business?

Experience matters when considering hiring a moving company. A company that has been in operation for several years has more operational experience, and your move will be more efficient and have fewer complications because of that experience.

Being in business for multiple years also lends itself to forging a reputation in the community, which brings us to our next point…

11. Can you provide references?

You can certainly ask for references, but in today’s digital age you’re just as likely to get a great reference from online reviews.

If you do check online reviews for a company, it’s important to look at their overall rating as well as the most recent reviews. Don’t be frightened away by one or two negative reviews – it’s very easy to post reviews, for any reason. If you’re unsure about the validity of a review, you can usually check the reviewer’s history by clicking on their name or picture – if this is their only review, it’s probably not an honest complaint.

12. What is your cancellation policy?

Always ask about their cancellation policy – life events happen at unexpected times, and you need to know about any fees or charges that will apply if you need to reschedule or cancel your move.

Image of two signs, one reads, "This event is postponed", and the other reads "This event is cancelled". Image by Freepik

We hope this has been helpful! While you may not ask every question on the list, it’s still nice to have them collected somewhere for reference, just in case.

And for easy reference, our answers to these questions are below   🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

To use our FAQ, click on a question and it will open to reveal the answer. More questions? Click here to visit our comprehensive FAQ!

Are you licensed and insured? Do you offer insurance?

Darling Solutions is fully insured, and we are registered in all the proper ways – moving companies are not licensed by the Ontario government.

That said, we strongly recommend that you contact your current insurance provider to confirm what coverage you may have in the event of a move, and whether additional protection is required. Darling Solutions cannot legally offer nor provide insurance coverage.


At Darling Solutions, we pride ourselves on a less than 1% damage rate, which is exceptionally low in the moving industry. Should damages occur while your items are in transit or during the course of your move, your insurance is your best option for replacing the items at their full replacement cost.

What services do you offer?

Darling Solutions is proud to offer Moving, Downsizing/ Transitioning, Organizing, Declutter & Prepare for Market, and Estate Services. We specialize in moving seniors, and every client service is individually coordinated by our office team with high attention to detail.

 

In addition to our main services, Darling Solutions is also pleased to provide: 

 

  • Delivery of packing materials
  • Floor planning
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Delivery of items to family, friends, shipping, or storage
  • Dispersal of items for donation, recycling, electronic and/ or hazardous waste, and disposal
  • Shredding removal and delivery to environmentally-friendly shredding services, with a “Proof of Destruction” certificate once shredding is complete
  • Referrals to: cleaning services, contractors, appraisers, auctioneers and/or home content sale specialists, and more

Don’t see what you need? Please speak with our office team – all our services are customized for the situation, and we would love to help if we can!

Who provides your services - do you use contractors?

Darling Solutions is very proud to say that we have a 100% in-house team of professionals! We own and operate our own fleet of moving trucks, and our office and warehouse are fully stocked with supplies and equipment.

 

Additionally, each member of our team has provided us with a Police Records Check to offer further peace of mind when inviting us into your home.

 

We are very conscientious about how our services are performed, because we understand that sensitivity and situational awareness make a big impact on your overall experience (especially if it’s an emotional day).

What equipment do you use?

Darling Solutions has a full compliment of supplies, equipment, and tools. Our fleet includes a variety of 16-ft and 5-ton moving trucks; the 5-ton trucks have a lift gate and ramps, and the 16-ft trucks have only ramps. 

 

Our consultants make notes in every client file – these details include all the supplies and equipment that we anticipate will be needed for a successful service. Our office coordinates supply deliveries (or loading of supplies for same-day services).

 

Our moving trucks are always stocked with basic supplies, including: tools, stretch wrap, moving blankets, moving dollies, bungee cords to secure furniture and boxes, and straps for exceptionally heavy items.

 

We also come equipped with tape gun and packing tape, mattress bags, picture boxes, wardrobe boxes (for hanging clothes!), and an assortment of boxes and packing paper.

Do you protect furniture before transporting it?

Yes, we absolutely do! Our professional moving team will use their discretion to ensure everything that needs protection is safe and sound.

 

You’ll probably see us using a combination of moving blankets and stretch wrap to protect the majority of pieces before they are loaded. Occasionally, boxes, pillows, and packing paper come into the mix too – we’re excellent at getting creative when the need arises.

How do you estimate my services?

We always recommend a consultation to estimate your services. This is because an estimate or quote based on the size of your dwelling is never going to be as accurate as one based on the actual realities of your move – people have wildly different amounts of “stuff”!

 

Darling Solutions offers in-person, phone/ email, and (in special circumstances) video consultations. Which type you have is dependent on your needs and the scope of your services. When you connect with our office team, we will help to determine which consultation is most appropriate for your situation.

 

All of our services are individually estimated. By that we mean that we don’t use formulas or calculators – for every client request, one of our consultants will evaluate the information provided to create a customized estimate for your situation.

What is included in the cost of services?

This is highly dependent on  the individual services, but we’re happy to provide a few examples below! Please reach out to our office if you have specific questions.

 

Darling Solutions’ moving services include a fully-stocked moving truck and at least 2 movers. The team will load and unload the moving truck, wrap and protect furniture, dis- and re-assemble furniture, as well as final packing of any large artwork, hanging clothing, lamps, and lampshades on move day.

 

We can also offer a completely turnkey moving experience – our team will provide a full pack, move, unpack, and set up of your new space so that it feels like home. Bed made, pictures hung, clocks set – ready to be enjoyed.

Do you have any hidden fees?

No, we do not have hidden fees! Everything is clearly laid out in our estimate, line by line.

How do you invoice my services, and what methods of payment do you accept?

Darling Solutions will send you an invoice by email, after your service is complete (unless otherwise discussed with your consultant).

 

Payment is required upon receipt of invoice, and can be paid by cash, cheque to ‘Darling Solutions Inc.’, or INTERAC e-transfer; we can accept credit cards, but there will be processing fees in addition to the invoice total. 

How long have you been in business?

We are proud to share that Darling Solutions has been serving the Ottawa area since 2009.

Our experience means that we’ve seen and assisted with a wide variety of situations, and we truly are specialized in moving seniors.

Can you provide references?

Absolutely! You are welcome to reach out to our office if you would like to personally connect with some of our references, but in the meantime we can offer testimonials from other happy clients here.

What is your cancellation policy?

Please reach out to our office to inquire about our cancellation policy. It is not posted here as it is occasionally updated, and we wouldn’t want to mislead you.

What your friends Say

Testimonials

Dave Tod
Positive: Professionalism
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We used Darling to move my parents into the Redwoods September 1, 2020. The pre move consultation went smoothly as did the prepacking and on moving day the guys showed up on time and finished on time. I was greeted by name so that was a nice bonus. The team wore uniforms – a nice touch of professionalism.

The team knew where to park and the layout of both buildings – again good research. And although I was not present for the off loading it went smoothly as well. All of the team showed expertise and an understanding of the complexities of dealing with elderly people and their families.

We would definitely recommend them!
Pierre Sabourin
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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What a fantastic group of Professionals I have nothing but amazing things to say. They helped keep my parents positive in this huge transition into their new home.

This in my opinion is service the way it’s supposed to be. I love you all thank you so so much
Janet Smith
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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I have dealt with Darling Solutions to move my Dad from his home to a retirement residence twice and now as an estate move. All the staff are very helpful and professional. The first move I decided to do the unpacking myself but the second time I had them do the unpacking and placing of everything. They did a phenomenal job at placing the furniture, hanging pictures etc. The last move they delivered furniture donations to Mathew House for me also took things to Value Village and disposed of anything of no value and delivered what was coming to my home. They even moved a piece of furniture from my den to my basement as it was being replaced by a desk from my Dad.

I would definitely recommend Darling Solutions for your moving needs.
G Green
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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We are deeply appreciative of the work done by the Darling team, during a stressful time. Prospective clients can have full confidence in their services, from first contact, to final billing. We especially enjoyed working with the packers (who also set up and help to stage at the destination) and the movers. They were fast, friendly, and very good at their jobs. Big thanks to Julie, Kelly H, Dan, and Yan.
John O'Halloran
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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After 37 years military service and countless moves my recent move with Darling Solutions was the most professional, efficient, cost effective, caring and competent moving company I encountered. Darling handled my furniture and effects as if it were their own. Paul and Aimee were most efficient and careful packers. The entire team, under Paul as Team Leader, were so proficient, friendly and professional that my son gave them all a tip. I had a fantastic downsizing move. Customer service was top drawer. My move with Darling was painless. Darling looked after all my moving requirements in the most professional and caring manner. I was not disappointed when I selected Darling Solutions as my mover. John F. O'Halloran
Sarah Boyd
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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I appreciate the overall care and attention Darling Solutions gave to my mother's move from her house to a retirement home. They provided their services for the initial move to the retirement home, staging when her house went up for sale and removal and dispersement services when her house sold. Communication with staff was always polite and courteous.In addition, Darling Solutions pricing is very reasonable. I am so thankful we had the good fortune of finding them. I can't recommend them more highly!
Ellen Garmaise
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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Darling Solutions handled our large move faultlessly, from decluttering to packing to moving to unpacking. Everything that was promised was delivered. Over six days we got to know many of the staff members, and appreciated their support and suggestions. They were always good humoured with us and with each other. The office staff was unfailingly available, reliable and helpful. We were delighted with the service and would recommend them without hesitation to anyone.
Margot Laporte
Positive: Professionalism, Responsiveness
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We used Darling Solutions to pack up and move my elderly parents from their home of 35 years to live with family 3 hours away. They customized their services to meet our particular needs. Every aspect of the service provided was fantastic. All the involved staff were so professional and efficient. They made what was expected to be a stressful time so much easier. Highly recommend this company.
Flora Knight
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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I used Darling Solutions for my move which required downsizing from a house to an apartment. They did a fantastic job and relieved me of all the stress involved in such a move. They also moved and setup my personal belongings and other items into my new apartment. I highly recommend Darling Solutions for your next move.
Shawn Ladd
Positive: Professionalism, Responsiveness
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Kelly Darling and her crew have moved my aging parents twice now. They are discreet, considerate, careful, and do complete work.
Andre Cousineau
Positive: Professionalism, Value
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Best movers we ever had. Ian, Colton, Tim, and Yan, did a great job. Every piece of furniture was carefully wrapped and unwrapped when we reached our destination. First time we move and not a stick of furniture was damaged. Great job guys!
Clarissa Brocklehurst
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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We were so, so pleased with the services of the Darling moving team. Liam and Jon were efficient, kind, polite and caring. They were a pleasure to have in the house and quickly put our minds at rest about the move – they got everything done and were unfailingly cheerful and positive.
Kimberly Irwin
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Darling Solutions made a very difficult life transition for our family as smooth as could be hoped for. With 3 siblings, a dad with severe dementia and a mother not wanting to leave the home we grew up in and all the memories that were so hard to let go - it took a special person to navigate this.

Kelly's team displayed the same mindfulness, caring and compassion on the job as she did during the initial consult. We are grateful to your company for helping us through this. Thank you
Chris Jackson
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The best moving company I have ever dealt with, all their crew is very professional, friendly and very hard working.

I highly recommend Darling Solutions to anyone.
Robert Cope
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My wife and I have moved more than a dozen times over the years – this was the very best! Very professional, efficient and capable. Despite some challenges at move-in including a torrential downpour, the crew (Kelly (the boss herself), Ian, Rob, Julie, Susan and David were upbeat, considerate and responsive. Special mention to Susan – a human dynamo – involved from beginning to end including making up our bed! Charges were in line with the estimate
Bill Tomes
Positive: Responsiveness
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I recently moved my mother to an assisted living facility and was recommended Darling Solutions for the move. Their name should be Guardian Angels. They took care of all needs and made my life so much easier. I live in Toronto and was managing this move in Ottawa. I had to rely on trust and reputation. Boy did they come through for me. Every service I needed they provided. The entire process from start to finish was done with accuracy and professionalism not to mention with heart when dealing with someone with dementia. I will definitely recommend Darling Solutions for any move involving an elderly person if you want a team that gets the job done with compassion!
Brendan Gleeson
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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Darling Solutions ensured that our whole move process was completed thoughtfully, professionally and at a very reasonable price. From the assessor to the movers themselves, it was obvious that this whole company believed in excellent customer service. I would refer them to anyone who needed good and reliable moving services.
Marjorie Harvey
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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Ten years ago, Kelly, Founder and Director of Darling Solutions, helped us move from our house to a condo with the help of a very small team. We could not have done it without them. We are delighted to see how Kelly’s business and team have grown into a sizable organization. We did not hesitate to ask her to help us with our recent move, from condo to retirement residence.

Again, we could not have done it without them! From decluttering and packing our condo to moving and setting us up in our new home, every member of the team was hardworking, helpful, warm and extremely competent. Their attention to detail in setting up our new place was remarkable. Honourable mention to the whole team: Kelly, Shawn, Ian, Phyllis, Barb M., Barb Y. Jack, Susan, Glen and Paul. Barb M., our team leader, and Ruth, in the office, were particularly good at calming a nervous client.

We recommend Darling Solutions without reservation. We can’t thank them enough.

Marj and Weldon
Susanne Cork
Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
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We recently engaged Darling Movers to move my Mother from one Senior's residence to another. This move also required a secondary stop to pick up some additional items and then move everything into her new home. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the Darling team. Right from the first phone call, we knew we were in good hands. The team was so gracious handling my Mother's questions and anxiety about making a move at 93! The quotation we received was very reasonable with no surprises or hidden charges along the way, and everything was accomplished with great efficiency and care. I will be recommending Darling Movers without reservation, to my family, friends and colleagues - this was by far the most worry free move we have made, and we will certainly be engaging them again.
Paul Saker
Recommend? Yes
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My in laws were recently given an opprtunity to move into a retirement facility. This was very much smaller than the home they had been living in for the past 40 years.
Adding COVID into the mix it was almost paralysing to think about. After a recommendation to Contact Darling most of that fear went away.
Professional, competent and most importantly Caring.
They made this move so smooth for my wife and her parents.
On moving day they left their old home and at the end of the day arrived in a new home with all their belongings unpacked and arranged. Completely stress and back pain free. The next day Darling took care of removing items targeted for donation and all remaining items for waste.
I cannot recommend this service enough.
Thank you so much.
Jennifer Perry
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I wanted to thank you so much for all of your help with my parents move.

Frankly thank-you does not even cover it. Your team, led by Julie, was absolutely incredible from the first moment we met down to the beautiful new plant for my mom and our goodbyes at the door.

They were so organized, thoughtful, friendly and polite. It was a sincere pleasure to work with all of them. I enjoyed the experience so much I am almost sad that the move is finished but happy that we will meet again when my parents are ready to hang their many pictures.

Again, I am in awe and am telling anyone with ears about Darling Solutions so they will hopefully in turn tell their friends and family.

Very best regards and please send our thanks once again to your team.
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