We are rapidly approaching the busy season for home movers and this is when we see the emergence of everyone with a small van that sets themselves up as a removal company. In the second in our series we look at how to avoid the rogue operators. Sadly as an unregulated industry anyone can say they are a removal company and then turn up and empty the entire contents of your home and drive off with it – yet people are still drawn to the cheap prices they offer
Avoiding the man & van
So you have managed to survive the whole buying and selling process and finally it’s time to leave your old house and move to your new one. Eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Removal Company you are disheartened to see a small Luton van pull up outside with 2 guys in tracksuit trousers and scruffy T shirts emerging – OK so not all man & van operations are like this but do you want to take the risk on a vehicle turning up that is ill equipped, too small and with inexperienced staff
So what to look for when choosing a removal company
There can’t be anything better than a family member or friend who has moved saying that the company they used were great and they were happy with the service. So first off check out your social media contacts and ask who has moved recently. Once people start commenting you should be able to come up with at least a couple of choices to short list
On line Reviews
Once you have a short list check out their on line reviews, but ensure you don’t just check out the ones on their own website. Do a google search for reviews of the company to give a better idea of the quality of the company, it is unfortunate but some review sites can be manipulated to create a much better image than the reality.
I know it sounds obvious but how do you contact them. Mobile number only would suggest they only operate from their vehicle. Do they have a proper branded e mail address or are they just using generic e mail addresses such a gmail or live. Is their address as stated on their website a proper business address or is it just their home, or worse just made up. How quickly do they respond to your questions and contact. If you are struggling to get hold of them before the move how do you think you will get on if something goes wrong. All of these things will point to whether or not you are dealing with a legitimate company
Arrange a pre move survey
Any professional removal company will want to carry out a pre move survey to ensure that they are fully prepared for what to expect when they move you. The survey will assess the volume of effects you are moving, the materials needed to ensure it is all packed properly and safely and any items that require special care or attention. Once a survey has been completed the company will then know the resources, materials and equipment needed to successfully move you and also the time scale.
The pre move survey will be conducted by the surveyor either visiting your house or by arranging a video survey. In either case this is your opportunity to meet face to face the companies that you are choosing from
Without a physical survey there is no way that a company can know what is required to move you correctly
Having carried out the pre move survey the company should then provide you with a written quotation to carry out your move which should detail exactly what is and isn’t included, a move schedule detailing how they intend to carry out your move as well as details of insurance cover and how to pay. Assuming all of this is correct then the price quoted is the price you should be paying.
If you are quoted an hourly rate it is generally because the person visiting is not experienced enough know how long the move will take or what equipment is needed. Whilst this may seem like an attractive offer you are entirely in their hands and reliant on them working efficiently and not taking any breaks you are paying for whilst en route
Please do leave the removal of all your most valued possessions to non-professionals. Just remember you need to feel comfortable that a group of strangers is going to turn up at your house and drive off with everything you possess whilst you hope they will turn up at your new property – is it really worth the risk just to save a few quid