Skip to main content

Regina couple says movers lost or damaged $100K worth of items including cremated remains


A Regina couple says their moving experience was a nightmare that left their belongings damaged, destroyed or missing.

Doug Dovell is originally from Saskatchewan. He and his girlfriend recently made the decision to move back to Regina from their home in Prince George, British Columbia.

But Dovell says the move has left them devastated.

“It ended up taking us four days to go through everything. But not one box was undamaged … Not one piece of furniture made it undamaged. The worst part was the amount of stuff we didn't receive,” Dovell said.

Among the items that didn’t arrive were the cremated remains of a family member.

“Like you're talking $100,000 worth missing and damaged things and irreplaceable things. My wife's dad's ashes. He was cremated. They didn't come. You just can't replace that.”

Dovell said it looked like the moving van suffered a rollover based on the condition of his belongings. He claimed his boxes showed signs they were unpacked.

“The other part that was really disheartening. As we were going through stuff, we were finding stuff that we boxed in separate boxes were all kind of dumped into other boxes. We found a minimum of three other people's belongings.”

Dovell claims his issues started on the date of his move, March 15.

He alleges crews from the company he hired, Style Moving Van Lines, arrived at his home several hours late, leaving them to haul boxes till nearly 3 a.m.

The truck was not large enough for all of Dovell’s belongings, forcing him to leave some behind. None of which have returned.

Finally, once movers had arrived to Dovell’s new home in Regina on March 29, he discovered they weren’t even the same company he had hired.

“It's a completely different company. The company that I hired to move it from Prince George to Regina dropped this trailer off in Calgary and hired this company to bring it to me,” he explained.

After unloading his belongings, Dovell tried to call Style Moving Van Lines about the issues but wasn’t answered.

“About three hours later I get a text message back from them, saying ‘Sorry to hear that. I'll send you the forms to fill out to go through insurance.”

Dovell claims he sent over 19 pages of forms, detailing 130 missing items and 60 items that were damaged.

“I sent them 210 photos of the broken stuff and that was on March 31. I've yet to hear a single word from them,” he told CTV News.

“It's to the point that I have reached out to a lawyer because I'm at a loss. It's our entire lives like just gone.”

Style Moving responded to CTV News’ request for an interview with a statement.

In it, the company claimed to have not received any forms from Dovell.

“We have sent a claim form. Requesting him to fill it out so that [the] claim department can process his claim. We are waiting for him to [his] submit claim form,” the statement read.

A follow up request by CTV News for comment and more details was not responded to by the time of publication.

Dovell explained that the process has been incredibly hard on him and his girlfriend.

“We feel so violated because there's no resolution, there's no path that we're supposed to be going [on],” he said.

“Honestly, it's tough to even want to get out of bed everyday. Every time we turn around we're finding something else that's broken or missing. We sit down on our damaged furniture that wasn't damaged [before]. Every day is honestly a living hell because of what we've dealt with and what we’re dealing with.”

Dovell’s advice to those looking to use moving companies is to be cautious.

“Honestly, really do your homework,” he said.

“Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) make sure they're a part of there. Take out as much extra insurance as you can. Make sure you read the fine print of every single contract that they send. Honestly, it's hard to give advice because I honestly I thought I did my due diligence and I thought I did good.”

The company, based out of Langley B.C, has been in business for five years and has received 43 total complaints in the past three years according to the BBB.

For now, Dovell says he’s pursuing a legal route to try and recoup some of the cost of the incident.

“In their contract, they say they'll cover up to 50 cents of your damage per pound of what they moved. So really, poundage wise they moved I think it was 11,000 pounds. But 50 cents a pound, well, that's only going to be maybe $6,000. I'm not even going to get the cost of the move back. Let alone all the damage and everything that’s been done. That's why I'm trying to go after them for more. Like you got to make this right,” Dovell said.

“Like whether we have to share the burden of your insurance and my insurance, whatever. But the fact that they have yet to reach out and even acknowledge that anything has happened. It's just mind blowing.”


Nancy Irvine, President of the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) said situations like Dovell’s are unfortunate but frequent.

“Because the industry is unregulated, then it is the Wild West basically, and anybody can say they’re a mover,” she told CTV News.

“That's why the CAM exists because we really do a deep dive on moving companies and it annoys some of these companies that it can take us months to decide whether they're good enough or if they reach all the standards that the rest of the industry that's been around forever is upholding.”

In terms of recourse, Irvine said options are limited.

“No recourse. All they can do is make complaints. They can complain to CAM but we can't do anything unless the mover is a member and if the mover was a member, there's no way that their stuff would show up like that in the first place,” she said.

“They can't go to the police because it's a civil matter. It's a contractual obligation between the company that the person who hired them and money has been exchanged in all likelihood with a down payment.”

Irvine’s best practices for those looking for movers include:

  • Get some personal recommendations. Ask family, friends, others close to you about movers they’ve used in the past.
  • Do your own research. Refer to organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and Canadian Association of Movers to see if the orgainzation is a member.
  • Watch for trends in complaints. What complaints have been filed with the company and how has the company handed it?
  • Confirm that the company has a physical address.
  • Never deal in cash. You need to have proof that you sent an e-transfer, cheque or were charged on a credit card.

“Those are the big things and they're really common sense,” she said.

“But because everybody's so stressed, common sense goes out the window sometimes. So it's really important to put in that effort yourself.” Top Stories

Stay Connected