Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moving Fiasco – AMJ Campbell you should be ashamed of your service


AMJ Campbell Oakville hired to move contents of house at 1134 Ballantry Rd. Oakville ON L6H 5N1 to 306-1359 White Oaks Blvd. Oakville ON L6H 2R8 Distance between two residences 2.9km (travel time 5-6 min)




Carolyne Darimont


Albert Darimont


Greg Wayland

Estimator (Oakville)


Crew boss

Bob Smallhorn

Estimator (Mississauga)

Gary Kofoed

Manager/partner AMJ Oakville

Garnet Pettipas

Customer Service

Cameron Scheel

Crew Manager



Mover – name unknown


June 24

Estimator (Greg Wayland) appointment 11am-noon. Walked around entire house. I told the estimator that our goods are often underestimated and wanted to make sure he had full understanding of what was involved.

June 29

Received quote of $1700 for move 10:49 am. (attached to end of document) Estimate for 8 hr minimum, one truck, three men, 70,000 lb of goods. AMJ Campbell moved us into this house and it took them about five hours.

June 30

Email permission for credit card to be used for deposit of $250 only with signed statement needed for final billing. Credit card number given over phone.


I called them a week before the move to confirm that all was on track. I also asked which items could stay in dresser drawers. Told to take things out of heavy furniture. Done.

July 30

Before 8am - Received two phone calls saying they were on their way. One from estimator (Greg Wayland) and one from, I assume, the crew.

8:00 am – all packed. Waiting for movers. Cars moved out of driveway.

8:30 am – Crew arrived. One truck. 3 men. Steve was in charge. No contact number provided by crew. No introductions of other crew members. Crew did not wrap soft furniture in plastic as is standard, simply put in truck as is.

9am-1pm – Carolyne at house. Albert at house until approx 11 am. and then took one load to storage. Albert back by 1. Carolyne packed items from fridge. Fridge (and all other appliances) staying with house. Carolyne cleaning kitchen. Crew did not want items in drawers. Packed those items quickly into available boxes. Obtained four wardrobe boxes, barely enough. Packed them for crew.

11 am – Carolyne looking for shovel to move a plant. Shovel was missing from front door area where it had been placed at 8:30 am. None of the three knew where the shovel was when asked. Shovel found behind recycle bins in part of garage crew had been told was not being moved. Shovel full of broken glass. Asked crew about glass. Told about broken lamp. Asked crew what happened. Was informed Ricky broke it and that they had told me about the broken lamp which they hadn’t. Steve then went on to tell me it was our fault it was broken. End of conversation.

1 pm. – Steve informed us both that truck was full and not everything would fit. He said they would unload and come back for the rest of the stuff. Crew said they were leaving their runners on floor of house for later (we still have these). Crew and truck left for lunch and said they would be at condo before 2.

1-3:30 – Andrew at house alone, Emma at condo with floor plan.

2 pm – crew arrives at condo and expresses dislike of this particular building’s moving room and access as they have been here many times before. (They have to park in parking lot and carry items across ½ width of building up two small sets of stairs and around a corner into the moving room) Steve starts talking about MTO limitations on drivers and how he should not be working. Tells me he is doing us a “big favour” by actually working and carrying the items as he is the driver and can only work 13 hours. Tells us we need more men. Spends a lot of time on cell phone looking for more men.

2:30 – new owners of house arrive at house expecting access

3 pm – Steve tells me again he is doing us a “big favour” by staying on the job and can only work 13 hours. Says he will have to lie on his time sheet and say he was sleeping in truck. Steve tells me he has found more men and that they are on their way. I tell him everything must be moved and to do what needs to be done to ensure that we are all moved. Tells me that they can have the truck empty and all boxes in condo in an hour. Says when done will go back to house for rest of items. I tell him I will meet them there in an hour or so when they arrive.

3:30 – Carolyne go to house to wait for crew to arrive to pick up remaining items and explain situation to new owners. Do some cleaning. Do some moving of items to main floor. Call for messages on both home and cell phone every 30 min.

4:30 – 6:30 – elevator off service – building rules. Crew appears to be waiting in truck much of this time. Somewhere in this time period another crew (5 men) and truck arrive and unload truck and then leave. Carolyne never saw them.

6 pm – still waiting at house for crew. Call husband. Told crew sitting in truck in parking lot. Husband went to truck to find out what was going on. Told they were not going back. Told there was no time. Told to call AMJ estimator (Greg) to get a cube van to pick up rest of stuff. Carolyne calls number Steve provides. No answer – it is now after hours. Left message. Called customer service. No answer – left message. Albert drops daughter at rugby game and comes to house to load remaining items into car and van. Obvious that all items will not fit in vehicles. Call friends to bring their van. Load it. Still will not fit. New owners hesitantly allow us to leave items in garage until next day.

Steve or crew never tried to locate us before leaving. They never called house phone. Never called cell phone. Never asked for our number. Never asked children for number.

7:00 – call Bob Smallhorn re issues with move. He is only one to answer phone so far. He promises to find an Oakville contact and have them call me.

While moving recycle bins to road for next day pickup find part of broken lamp stuffed down side of bin.

~7:30 – Steve comes to condo and tells son “what a disaster” and is never seen again. No charge slip signed or produced, no invoice for move, no paperwork at all left at condo.

7:45 pm - Carolyne and Albert leave house with all we can carry on way to condo.

Just before 8 – Bob calls me back and says Gary from Oakville will call me

8:00 pm – arrive condo after picking up daughter at rugby. No truck. No crew. No invoice. No paperwork.

9-11pm – telephone tag with Gary. When we finally talk he says Garnet will call me. States this is not how they do business. Asks where the left items are now. Is very apologetic. Promised to make things right.

11 pm – 7 am. Car and two vans left full of possessions overnight as we are too exhausted to unload them. Huge risk of theft and vandalism balanced against exhaustion. Exhaustion wins.

July 31

7am husband unloads van and returns to house for remaining items.

All day – no return call from AMJ Campbell

Follow-up call from Bob Smallhorn asking how things are. He is surprised no one has called.

Most furniture is in correct room and location when the movers leave. Boxes are not. All area rugs are in correct rooms however, they are still all rolled up and leaning in corners. We had to move all the furniture again to get rugs onto floors. All boxes in living room in unstable and dangerous piles. Cigarettes left in bathroom. Shelving left in moving room.

While moving and fixing the mess the movers left, Carolyne struck my face on a corner of a table and a large black eye developed.

August 1

All day – no return call from AMJ Campbell

August 2

All day – no return call from AMJ Campbell

August 3 – Statutory Holiday

All day – no return call from AMJ Campbell

August 4

8:30 am – Carolyne at AMJ Campbell offices on Bristol Circle on Oakville. Gary is in the office. I state who I am and who I want to see to the receptionist. Gary is walking around in the lobby. When he hears my name, he leaves the building. The receptionist follows him. I follow her. She speaks with Gary in his car through the window and so do I. He does not recognize my name even though he has called and spoken to me about this move!! It is hard to believe he has forgotten an upset client and a move that was not finished. He says Garnet will call me. I insist on a phone call that morning within the hour as he has told me “someone will call” for days now and no one does. He is provided with my work number as well as my home number again.

9:30 – Cameron Scheel from Mississauga calls me back – says Oakville hired his Mississauga crew for our move. Says he will talk with crew to find out what happened and call me back the next day.

August 5

Cameron calls back and offers me $250 for my inconvenience. Cameron tells me the crew never said they would go back, that the crew says that neither I nor my husband were at the condo to give them instructions, that I never told the crew they needed to go back. I tell him with all the problems and lying, that at least 10% (10% of $1700 quote is $170) is owed from their own guarantee and that $80 is an insult. He says take it or leave it. I tell him we won’t pay the bill until this is straightened out. He says that is my prerogative, but $250 is all we can expect.

Called Greg Wayland our estimator. Greg claimed not to know anything about the problem. Told him the whole story. He said someone would call me. Got Garnet Pettipas number from Greg Wayland.

4:30 pm - Called Garnet Pettipas – left message

Filed complaint with Better Business Bureau

Ms. Colleen Lander | Senior Complaints Officer
Tel: 905-526-1111
Fax: 905-526-1225
Better Business Bureau of South Central Ontario
100 James Street South
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 2Z2

August 6

11:11 am called Garnet Pettipas - left message

11:20 am Garnet Pettipas (customer service) called. Told me he would offer me $450 as a goodwill gesture to include all discounts, guarantees, and all damages. I asked if this was off the total of $1700 and he agreed it was. I told him I would call him back.

I spoke with my husband and we agreed as long as it was off the $1700.

4 pm – Called Garnet Pettipas and left a message that we would take the $450 as long as it was off the $1700 total for the move.

August 7

Garret calls back and leaves a message telling me the move is not $1700 but $2787 and he will put the credit of $450 through and VISA will only be charged $2337. He said the crew took so long because we were not packed or ready for the move. With them believing all the lies from the crew, I feel there is no point so I do not call him back. I call my lawyer and make an appointment to review our options.

Carolyne calls VISA to dispute payment. Finds out that $2787 has been charged to card as well as the $250 deposit. No credit has been posted.

Updated BBB complaint with this latest information.


August 18

Visit to lawyer. Lawyer thinks VISA should reverse payment. Lawyer says small claims court is the only real option at this point.

Carolyne returns to house for more items left behind which new owners have graciously set aside for us.

August 25

Carolyne puts in electronic claim for broken lamp on AMJ Campbell web site.

Carolyne writes this letter.

Called Oakville office for last name of Gary and Garnet.

Other comments:

They offer 10% discount for CAA members, but we were not offered it.

They offer Aeroplan miles but we were not offered them. (

We still do not have a copy of the final bill.

August 31

Mailed registered letter outlining issues to Bruce Bowser President AMJ Campbell. Also sent by email to all concerned:

Bob Smallhorn
Gary Kofoed
Greg Wayland
Cameron Scheel
Garnet Pettipas
Hamilton/Halton BBB

Email response from Garnet Pettipas.

Thank you for your comments that have already been reviewed and responded to both by email and by a telephone conversation.

As it stands the original offer of $450 rebate, as a PR offering, is the final and only offer that AMJ will be presenting. As indicated during our phone call the offering was to be subtracted off the total bill not the estimated amount of $1700. and at no time was this agreed upon.

In fact you mention several time, trying to assure yourself, that it was off that amount with myself not concurring on the final charges as I was not informed as what the final charges were.

In my opinion, and after viewing the facts of the days of events, the settlement for the service received is fair and just.

No additional settlement will be considered.

My response:

Am I to understand that you will not be standing by your local move guarantee?

Pettipas response

Your rebate was factored in on the 10% Guarantee.

This topic was asked and answered.

Thanks again for your comments.

My response

Is or is not your local guarantee is 10% per item not performed satisfactorily as in all your printed advertising. Shall I send you a copy?
As noted at least 5 areas of your guarantee were not performed at all, or to our satisfaction.
That is 50% min.
We have no copies of the invoice.
We were left in the lurch by your crew.
We are getting the run around from your employees.
Do you or do you not stand by your guarantee?

September 1

Registered letter delivered as per Canada Post below


September 4

Receive email from Michelle Sampson regarding electronic claim. They are allowing it.

I am writing in regards to your recent relocation with AMJ Campbell Van lines the subsequent claim resulting from your move. We are sorry that damages were incurred during your move with us and we sincerely regret any frustration or inconvenience this has caused you AMJ Campbell will cash settle with you on your broken floor lamp in the amount of $150 less your $100 deductible required for your transit/cargo protection plan for a total cash settlement of $50.

A cheque in the amount of $50 will be forwarded to you in 3-4 weeks. Endorsement of this cheque constitutes full and final settlement of your claim with us.

Still have not received copy of final bill.

Replied to Ms Sampson email asking about local move guarantee.

September 8

Reply from Ms Sampson

Please advise what issues you encountered with your moving crew and I will gladly discuss this with management.

Email to Pettipas from me

Please explain to me how deficiencies in at least four areas of your guarantee is 10% total and not 10% each?
I can send you a copy of your own brochure showing them to be additive.

Pettipas response

Please send me a copy and I will review.

Scanned and sent AMJ Campbell brochure to Pettipas as he requested.


September 11

Submitted complaint courier form to Ontario Ministry of Consumer Relations


September 13

Found more damage from move that was hidden from us/not reported. Antique spool bed was set up in bedroom. When we moved it a large piece fell off. It had been place in the correct position and then pushed against the wall to prevent the piece falling off. A break like that could only have been from hitting or banging the corner of the bed frame.

September 14

Email to Toronto Star Ellen Roseman who responded with suggestions about contacting the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Relations, and the Canadian Association of Movers (

Email to Pettipas asking if he got the brochure and that I need a reply today as I would be contacting the Star with more details tomorrow as well as the Canadian Association of Movers.

Called Consumer Relations and was informed that according to the Consumer Protection Act 2002 Section 10 a company cannot charge more than 10% over their estimate. She told me to fill out a complaints form (different from the complaint courier already submitted) and send that in.

10.  (1)  If a consumer agreement includes an estimate, the supplier shall not charge the consumer an amount that exceeds the estimate by more than 10 per cent. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 10 (1).

Performance of consumer agreement

(2)  If a supplier charges an amount that exceeds the estimate by more than 10 per cent, the consumer may require that the supplier provide the goods or services at the estimated price. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, s. 10 (2).

September 16

  • Sent Consumer Protection Act information to Bowser, Pettipas in email
  • Sent AMJ complaint into Canadian Association of Movers
  • Sent AMJ Letter to Toronto Star
  • Completed and faxed complaint form to Ministry of Consumer Protection (below)
  • Still have not received copy of final bill
  • Still have not received lamp cheque


Response from Canadian Association of Movers

Hello Carolyne:
We received your online complaint. We will review it with AMJ Campbell and will ask them to respond to you directly.
Marian McGuire
Tel. 905-848-6579
Toll-free 1-866-860-0065
Fax 905-848-8499

I then sent her a copy of this complete letter.

September 21

Acknowledgement by letter from VISA that they have requested documentation from AMJ Campbell financial institution and have, in the interim, taken my money back from AMJ.

September 23

Not much of a surprise after the Sept 21 letter  -- call from Greg Wayland requesting appointment with us to discuss the move.

He wanted to meet at our house with Garnet Pettipas. I refused. After the way we have been treated, we do not want these people in our home.

After a long discussion with Mr Wayland we agreed to meet at the condo, meet in the lobby, view unit as needed, and settle this.

September 24

1 pm - meeting with Greg Wayland

We asked for the original estimate +10% – the original goodwill/PR offer (1743+174.30-450= $1467.3)

He offered the final price – 10% wrapping –??i forget or approx $2300

We all  agreed to the original estimate + 10% for extra time – 10% for not wrapping furniture. This came to $1752.30. He also agreed to speak to Mr Bowser about the goodwill/PR offer previously offered by Mr. Pettipas.

September 25

Received statement and copy of final bill. It included a Goodwill/PR amount of $324.67. Don’t know where that number came from, but it made the final bill 1610.12. With the $50 for the lamp we paid $1560.12 or about half the original bill.

October 1

Email from Mr Wayland asking if all credits had been posted to my Visa.

They had not. In fact some had, but they had made more accounting errors. Always in their favour I noticed.

My email:

I just checked my VISA account and there is a credit posted.
Can you explain this credit. It is not an amount that we discussed at all.

His email:

I will look into WHY your refund was short this morning and I will get back to you later today as the credit should have been $1,610.12.

October 2

His reply

Your account will be credited with the difference of $470.24 today, as there was a computer input error at our end. Sorry for the confusion.


So, after  65 days and uncounted grief, it is all settled.





SEPT.24,2009 TOTAL COST OF RELOCATION $1,743.00 + 10% = $ 1,917.30

Sept.24,2009 Credit to Estimate $ (870.45)

Sept.24,2009 Credit Deposit Received $ (250.00)

Sept.24,2009 Credit 10% Service Issue $ (165.00)

total base cost of move $ 1,752.30

Total Payment received $ 3,037.75

additional Goodwill $ (324.67)

total paid - total cost of move $ 1,285.45

total to be paid (minus goodwill) $ 1,427.63

total credit owing $ 1,610.12

visa credit -1,139.88

visa credit -470.24

total owing $ -

From AMJ brochure: Local move guarantee
10% off for each item not done

  • On time performance – they left before the job was done
  • 5 wardrobe cartons – we were provided with these
  • Protect all upholstered with plastic wrapping – was not done
  • Professional courteous sale rep 48 hr responses – visit June 24 11-noon -- quote received June 29 10:49 am – not a 48 hr response
  • Call prior to move to confirm details – no one called until morning of move and only to confirm time.
  • Settled damage claims within 30 days – still waiting
  • Assembly of dissembled furniture - done
  • Professional courteous crews in full AMJ Campbell uniforms – crew broke things and lied about it, then hid the evidence. Uniforms -- Not obvious. All were wearing different, blue, clothing.
  • Provide floor protection, banister protection, mattress bags – no banister protection, mattress bags on some but not all mattresses.

List of items remaining at house:

  • 3 computer monitors
  • 1 48” flat screen TV
  • 8-10 table lamps
  • 3 fans
  • 1 microwave
  • ½ lazy boy chair
  • All framed pictures from all walls in house
  • Ironing board
  • Full length mirror
  • ~12 boxes
  • IKEA trofast bins
  • Shovel full of glass and the broken top of lamp in recycle bin
  • Wooden Curtain rod
  • 2 hockey bags of equipment




Luke said...

Wow, that's just terrible. We were considering hiring AMJ Campbell - but not any more. You should sue them for gross infliction of emotional distress. Hang 'em in the public square, while we're at it.

Greg said...

Dear Mrs Darimont,
I trust we have addressed all of your concerns regarding your relocation. All movers are faced with challenges despite their efforts to supply high quality service. Should you find it neccessary to call upon a moving company in the future, we would welcome the opportunity to be of service to you once again. At this time I feel confident we would demonstrate that our service is first class and second to done.
Should you choose to remove your blog it would be greatful.
Thank you, Greg

Luke said...

Can't even put in enough effort to spell-check your request for the Darimont's to remove their blog?

That's classy, Greg. (And you certainly are "done" as a moving company, no doubt about that!)

Brian said...

I wish I had come across this blog post before I decided to move with AMJ. My goods are in their possession and I am receiving much of the same treatment that is described in this article. It pains me to think that I will have to battle tooth-and-nail to get what amounts to fair treatment.

As it stands, my goods are late, my estimated charges are higher than quoted and I don't want to think about what condition my items will be delivered in.

Please do all that you can to further promote this web post, I know that I will.

Ron Longhurst said...

We used AMJ Campbell to move from Innisfail, AB to Prince Albert, SK.
We had 3 quotes. Theirs was the lowest at 6200.
The others were 8500 and 11500.
We rented a Uhaul truck for 1200 and moved lots of belongings that they would not move and items that were very heavy (thinking to save some money on the weight thing).
Their bill at our front door was $10,200.
The difference was said that they had to pack more than they thought and the box-count was much higher also.
Oh yes, and the box packing was a trick ... many large boxes full of paper with a cup or a vase in it/them. "Smoke and mirrors" That's all these guys are good for.
It's like extortion you know.
"We have all your stuff on our truck and nothing comes off until your bill is paid in full and verified."
I felt so powerless and ripped-off with these guys.

Ron Longhurst said...

We used AMJ Campbell to move from Innisfail, AB to Prince Albert, SK.
We had 3 quotes. Theirs was the lowest at 6200.
The others were 8500 and 11500.
We rented a Uhaul truck for 1200 and moved lots of belongings that they would not move and items that were very heavy (thinking to save some money on the weight thing).
Their bill at our front door was $10,200.
The difference was said that they had to pack more than they thought and the box-count was much higher also.
Oh yes, and the box packing was a trick ... many large boxes full of paper with a cup or a vase in it/them. "Smoke and mirrors" That's all these guys are good for.
It's like extortion you know.
"We have all your stuff on our truck and nothing comes off until your bill is paid in full and verified."
I felt so powerless and ripped-off with these guys.

lylaburns123 said...

Oh man, you guys really had a bad experience with your moving company! It makes me nervous to hire someone now, but I guess this is why I'm doing my research. Hopefully we won't have an awful experience like you've had.

Denise Ashley said...

Your post is extremely helpful. I will keep following. Thank you for sharing this information.canada movers

Mike said...

Yeah. We hired AMJ to move our household from Canada to the US. We went with them because they assured us they could move my Motorcycle with the rest of our household goods, and also confirmed they would procure all necessary paperwork for importing a vehicle at the time of crossing.

Lo and behold...they arrive a week later than promised, and no paperwork for the bike.

Apparently the driver couldn't be arsed to pack the truck in such a way that would allow Customs easy access to it.

A month of back and forth between myself and the owner, and i'm now told that they are at the 'mercy' of Customs when it comes to getting the proper documentation at the time of crossing.
So either I was bold faced lied to and told they COULD process it properly just to get my business...or the owner that I spoke to when he came to assess our house has no idea how his own company works.....

If I could do it over again I would avoid these guys and go with someone with a lower quote, and just ship the vehicle separately with someone that knows what they're doing....