VANCOUVER -- The Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C. says families trying to move during the pandemic could be facing price-gouging, poor service, and movers ignoring physical distancing precautions.

In a release, the organization says last year it received 600 complaints about movers and moving companies, and almost 200,500 inquiries from across the country. The complaints ranged all the way from missing items and late deliveries, to possessions being held hostage for additional money. 

And finding a good mover is even more crucial during the COVID-19 crisis. 

"Unfortunately, fly-by-night and no-name ‘truck-for-hire’ movers can take advantage of the fact that consumers are under emotional, financial and time pressures when moving,” Danielle Primrose, president and CEO at the Mainland B.C. BBB said in a news release. "The additional challenges introduced by the pandemic can leave consumers even more exposed to moving frauds.”

The moving industry, just like many others, has seen some businesses taking advantage of unsuspecting customers during this difficult time. But the BBB has a few tips you can follow to make sure your move goes smoothly. 

1. Check out a company’s rating with the BBB and with the Canadian Association of Movers.

2. Ask the mover about replacement valuation protection.

3. Get the details of your deal in writing.

4. Confirm the details on when payment is due, how much it costs, how to pay, and if a deposit is required.

5. Talk to the mover about any accessibility issues at both your new and old homes.

6. Prepare for some damage. It’s nearly impossible to move an entire household without some damage to possessions, no matter how careful the mover may be.

7. Watch for red flags, like no company street address, no replacement valuation protection details, or even a funny feeling.

8. File a complaint with the BBB if things go wrong.