“If you want to swim with the fishes, you must get used to the water”
– Chinese Proverb
What is the most vague word in a Vancouver movers’ advertisement? “Professional.” And if you were to scratch at this thin veneer of competence, you will expose a more authentic identity. An identity, based on deception in a variety of guises, from multiple websites and phone numbers under single ownership to bait and switch, overcharging, counterfeit testimonials, website content theft, concealed company ownership and more. Why is this?
The moving business is a rara avis. In an age of government over regulation it stands out as a refractory and unregulated industry with no defined professional standard. Yet it is precisely a professional standard which could bring about much-needed change to our industry. For example, I worked overseas for a government department that mandated mover testing before a contract was signed. The test was a simple one; you were asked to pack properly 45 cubic metres of furniture into a 40 cubic metre space, in a specified amount of time*. This scrutinizes the spatial recognition and time management skills of a mover; precisely the skills which should be benchmarks of a professional standard in Canada. These benchmarks wouldn’t clean up the industry entirely, but they would be a significant step toward allowing skilled movers in Vancouver to differentiate themselves from the masses, with government accreditation.
*The trick was to put boxes inside wardrobes or large cabinets!