Not only would I not recommend this company, I would advise avoiding it altogether.
I used Ultimate Choice Movers in July of 2009. The move itself was decent. The movers were there at the tail end of the 30 minute window Michelle had quoted me and they worked efficiently and effectively. However, I have to comment on the fact that all three movers smelled heavily of marijuana both when they first arrived and again when we got to my new place. I did not think it was appropriate for them to be handling large and expensive objects and driving while under the influence.
Also, through no fault of the worker's it was clear that Michelle had told me very different information from what the movers were expecting. For example, she told me to leave everything in my dresser drawers and the workers would remove the drawers and wrap them. The movers, however, were quite dismayed by the fact that my dressers were not unpacked and for them it made things more time consuming and complicated. There were other little similar things to this, like taking my own bed apart, wrapping pictures and painting, etc. Nothing caused a huge delay, but I felt like I failed at preparing for the movers. Nevertheless, like I said, the move itself went pretty well and quickly and the only broken item I noticed right after the move was the glass of a picture frame. No problem, I didn't even claim it to the company even though I had bought insurance.
The problem began, however, when after a few weeks of living in my new place and settling in, I finally sat down to play my piano and noticed a problem with it. I noticed both internal and external damage to the piano. The external damage consisted of a dent and a few scratches on the finishing and the internal damage consisted of a damaged silencer. If you don't what that is, it's this big piece of felt that moves up and down inside the piano with the push of a pedal and it makes the keys play more silently. I noticed that the silencer system was not responding to the pedal when I played. When I took a look inside, it appeared that a spring and some other part had come lose from the area that connects the pedal to the silencer and it no longer worked. I also knew that this was a direct result from the move because it just so happened that the morning of the move, while I waited for the movers, I played my piano, on silent, so as not to wake the neighbours. All in all, with the external damage and the silencer pedal repair, it worked out to about $500 dollars worth of repairs.
Upon my discovery, I didn't think it was a big deal because I had insured my piano with Ultimate movers for up to $9000. What I quickly came to learn, however, is that insuring your items with ultimate movers doesn't mean anything except more money out of your pocket and into theirs.
In early August, I contacted Michelle to let her know what happened and what I discovered. Initially, Michelle was out of the office until August 12 and so no one dealt with my claim for a few weeks. I still wasn't worried because, like I said, I had 9000 worth of insurance on my piano alone. When Michelle did get back to me right on August 12, she denied "my claim" via email without even speaking to me. She stated that because they "did not verify whether or not your silencer worked before the move" they could not say it was their fault. Also, Michelle essentially stated that because she had never heard of a "silencer system" before, she was going to call it "an electronic system" and therefore I was not eligible for coverage...electronics in a traditional piano??? I was pretty dismayed by that response because, not only had I paid the extra money for the insurance, I had asked a number of questions about piano moving PRIOR to choosing this company to ensure that they knew what they were doing and to ensure that my piano would NOT be damaged. Still, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and thought she was confused about the piano and responded via email on August 14. I clarified that a silencer was not an electronic item. I also told her that I knew it was working the morning prior to the move and not when I played it afterwards in my new home. I also referred to the Terms & Conditions that she had pointed out in her previous email and cited to Michelle that "Any damages prior to move will be noted for further reference," and that if Ultimate Choice Movers had failed to note any previous damage (i.e., they failed to note that my piano was in good working condition), this was their own omission to provide freedom from negligence for the damage to my piano. I concluded my response by clarifying that I had insured my piano for up to $9000, and simply wanted this insurance honoured to pay for a $500 repair.
This is where it really got sad on the part of any organization.
Throughout August, I did not hear anything back from Michelle. I called and emailed several times and was essentially "blown off" by her. At one point I even emailed her to let her know I was beginning consultation with a lawyer for possible bad faith, for delay and denial of a claim without proper, prompt, and thorough investigation, just to have her respond...nothing. Into September, I continued to make numerous phone calls to the office and Michelle's cell phone to attempt to resolve this issue, but I was continually ignored and told she was "not there". On one day in particular, I finally got a hold of Michelle on her cell phone, but she told me she had to go, and asked me to call back in 20 minutes, which I agreed to. Twenty minutes later, my call was ignored and then her phone was shut off. All attempts to resolve the issue proactively were avoided for over a month.
Finally, in mid September, I received a letter from Michelle letting me know that my "conclusion of being ignored is incorrect." Good to know she got all of my messages, but too bad she was unwilling to actually talk to me. Michelle also made four points in her letter to deny my claim. Three points ignored any accountability on Ultimate mover's part and placed the blame on me. She again stated: 1. "We didn't verify whether or not your silencer worked before the move" and so concluded that it didn't. 2. Because she had never heard of a silencer before, damage didn't happen to it. 3. Blatantly: the damage was my "problem". The fourth point stated something like: if we were going to pay for this, which we're not, we would have to pay a $500 deductible and since it's about $500 to fix, it makes no sense for us to do this and therefore your claim is denied.
I was pretty upset with the whole ordeal by this point and pretty put off by the lack of accountability, lack of upfrontness, and general bad faith for services rendered. I.e., I clearly paid for a service and insurance to ensure that service does not damage my property. Not only did that service damage my property and the company take no ownership for it, Michelle blatantly dodged me and acted like a child who had taken a piece of candy and refused to give it back.
ALSO, I waited SIXTEEN (16) months to finally submit a review. You know why? Because after reading Michelle's responses to other people's concerns, it seems that the theme is that Michelle tells them she's "working on it" and their "assumption" that she is not is erroneous. I assure you, after trying to get a hold of her for over 8 weeks and waiting over a year for ANYTHING is a pretty good indication that Ultimate Movers isn't going to pay the money they owe me to fix my INSURED piano and they are therefore a BAD COMPANY to deal with.
Do NOT USE ULTIMATE MOVERS. If everything goes well, you're golden, but any issues and you're on your own, with a bigger bill than you expected and the company will not take responsibility; they won't even talk to you!
This moving company is a scam, a sham, dishonest, and not trustworthy. And they likely don't even have insurance, which is why they avoid any "insurance claims". Take your business ELSEWHERE!
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