ORIGINAL REVIEW - rating 6/10
(originally published Nov 23, 2009) - also, see Addendum below (Dec 10, 2009)
Overall, we were not that happy with our move experience with Ultimate Choice. We were really optimistic about choosing them given their great Homestars.ca review (9.6 when we moved), but unfortunately our expectations were not met.
Working with Michelle and Keith, the owners of the company, was great. Keith came by to do the in-home estimate and was kind and professional. Michelle had a great phone manner and was always courteous and prompt.
However, the move experience was a different story altogether.
The movers arrived an hour late. We tried our best to help them out, moving and dismantling things on our own, and bringing things from the basement and top floors to the ground floor so it would be easier for them to load the truck. Despite the estimate of 8 hours and one trip, the move still took close to nine hours, despite our efforts to help - and also required two trips. This surprised us as we had actually gotten rid of some of the things that had been counted in the estimate.
Mud tracked into house:
The movers did not come with shoe-covers despite the rainy day, telling us that they had to be pre-ordered in advance. If this is the case, then perhaps company policy should be changed - it is clear that if there is rain (and, sometimes, when it is dry), mud and dirt will be tracked into the house, so why not be prepared for this? It seems silly to have the customer have to “pre-order” shoe-covers for the movers. Unfortunately, as was expected, they did track a fair bit of mud onto our carpets, especially after it started raining that day.
Many smoke breaks:
The team took many cigarette breaks. I understand the need to smoke and the inconvenience of doing so in the rain, however, by smoking either a) in the garage with the door to the house open, or b) in the moving truck where our furniture was, we ended up with cigarette smoke everywhere during the move. Fortunately they were receptive to our requests about this issue.
One of our biggest annoyances was that a lot of our furniture and boxes ended up wet - not just covered in a few sprinkles because of the rain, but certain sections or patches were completely drenched. I don’t know how this happened but I suspect that there was a fair amount of water entering the truck somehow, or maybe pooling on the floor of the truck. We had sofa cushions, etc. that ended up quite wet.
Stuff not wrapped:
They took the time to wrap some of the bigger furniture items, such as our sofas and desks. I was pleased that they dismantled the beds and reassembled them at our new home. However, I was surprised that they did not take the time to wrap up our pictures, mirrors, etc. These things were simply carried out into the truck and strapped against the interior wall of the truck. Thankfully these things were not broken. However....
Unfortunately there many nicks and scratches in our items after the move was completed. There was no major damage to the furniture but we were quite surprised and disappointed, as we unpacked our items over the next few days, about how many new scratches had been introduced to our things from the move.
The movers were pleasant enough. One of them seemed somewhat reluctant to work but the other two were both friendly and seemed experienced. They were receptive to our requests.
One final note - we used several of the coupons for Ultimate Choice that were offered on Homestars.ca. The free packing kit and 20 free boxes were fantastic and the $50 off coupon was nice as well. However, we also wanted to take advantage of the coupon for the free security system installation, so we informed one of the staff members (Phyllis) of this. Unfortunately, 4 weeks after the move, we have yet to hear from the alarm company.
In summary, we had high hopes for this move experience, which were not met. It's nice that so many other Ultimate Choice customers have had positive experiences with them, but in the end we were not one of their happy customers.
ADDENDUM to review - rating 11/10!
Posted December 10, 2009
After reading our review in Homestars, Michelle from Ultimate Choice contacted us so we could elaborate on our problems with the move. She apologized on the behalf of the movers and the company for our ordeal, and immediately offered to compensate us for our carpet cleaning costs. She also arranged for a furniture detailer to come by, evaluate the damage to any wood furniture, and touch it up. Finally, she sent an upholstery cleaner in to shampoo our sofa and couch. She was, as usual, very professional about everything and I repeat that she has always been a pleasure to work with. We have been working over the last couple of weeks to resolve the issues, arranging an appointment for the furniture detailer to evaluate the damage and a second appointment to touch up the furniture. Michelle and I have communicated several times by telephone and email. I'm happy to say that we have received our cleaning compensation, and our follow-up experiences have been excellent. It's refreshing to see a company take such responsibility for their actions and we were very surprised and impressed with this followup. Well done! I would rate them as 11/10 for their follow-up, and I think they deserve an impressive final rating of 9/10. Thanks Michelle!