With moving day just around the corner, the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) has shared some tips so you don't get scammed. Everyone who plans to use a moving company on July 1 should be on alert for surprise "COVID-19 fees" on their invoice. In certain cases, moving companies are authorized to charge extra fees, but only if they were agreed upon in the original contract. 

If you've retained the services of a moving company, make sure to know and understand the details of the contract.

If possible, the OPC recommends that you get these details in writing. 

"Take care to conclude a written agreement with your mover, where all the important details are recorded: the place of departure and the place of arrival; the date and time of the move; the agreed price or hourly rate, for how many movers and for the size of the truck; payment method, etc," suggests the OPC. 

Keep in mind that Quebec law doesn't allow any merchant or service provider to charge hidden fees after a contract was agreed upon. 

There shouldn't be any surprises on your bill by the end of moving day.

Remember, it's perfectly within your rights to refuse any hidden fees. 

"To preserve good understanding," writes the OPC, "it might be wise, if the sanitary measures actually entail a real additional cost for the mover, to agree on a reasonable additional amount." 

The OPC suggests that you should plan to have a witness or a friend with you to ensure that you're not taken advantage of. 

If you have lots of fragile items, make sure to take pictures and videos of their condition before moving day.

You're entitled to compensation if a moving company damages your stuff. It's suggested that you make separate arrangements for extra-delicate items.

You're also entitled to legal action in the event that a mover demands you pay more than what was in the contract, refuses to give back your things, or purposefully damages your items.

For more information, the government has released a handy guide on how to navigate moving day in the context of a pandemic. 

Happy moving day, Montreal. 

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