Information | What is a damage waiver?
Most piano moves are booked site unseen to keep moving costs down for customers. They are booked and quoted based on information provided by either phone or email. Unfortunately until a mover physically shows up on site, there is no way for the mover to know for sure what 100\% is really involved. Movers are regularly requested to pull off moving miracles where objects like pianos are not designed to go into or through a space that a customer is requesting. When a professional mover arrives on site and realizes that this is one of those situations, he will explain the difficulties of the move to the customer and pull out a damage waiver that he will require to be signed before proceeding. Damage waivers usually state that the move cannot be guaranteed that it will be done 100\% damage free and that if the customer would still like him to proceed anyways that the customer will take responsibility for any damages that may occur in the attempt. Please understand that this means there is no longer insurance on your move. This does not mean the mover will not show the same professional care in your move, just that he has done his due diligence as a professional to explain situation and concerns to you before something bad happens so you can make a proper decision whether to proceed or not. It is important to remember that the mover can also refuse to do the move if he/she thinks the request is too dangerous and could injure one of the workers. According to the Ministry of Labour & WSIB: no one has the right to demand a person put themselves in personal danger of getting injured
The next question that always comes up, is "What happens if a customer refuses to sign the damage waiver?" That is actually really easy, the mover will then ask you for an alternative location to move the item. It is not the fault of the mover that you do not want to take the risks of the move, they do not either, that is why they have brought it to your attention. I need to highlight that this is a sign of a good mover because they are acting in your best interests whether you realize it or not. There could be extra charges involved at this point depending on what is decided. For example taking item to another location, which was not part of the original quote or an estimate charge to cover their time to come and explain options to you.
How do you aviod these situations: Pay for a physical estimate before your move, that way there should not be any surprises. Remember you get what you paid for and if you didn't pay for an estimate, why should you be surprised about something you did not anticpate. That said most professional piano movers can figure out 80-90\% over the phone and if you are worried they might be missing something important, remember we are now in the digital age, email them a picture(s). Pictures cannot tell everything, but they are definitely worth 1000 words and allow the mover to ask some additional questions that they might noticed that you overlooked.