With the proliferation of comparison sites on the internet these days, it seems so much easier to sit at home and sort your removal quotation out on line. After all, you just pop the details in and out comes the price, right? Not quite…
Third Party Operators
Most removals comparison sites are operated by third parties who pass the details onto often unchecked and unverified companies to see who will do your move the cheapest. Once they have passed on your details and taken their commission from the mover, the comparison site then has no further responsibility to you. If things go wrong, they are often quick to point out that your contract is not with them but with the moving company.
Result: When you buy on price alone, it is entirely possible that the company you have booked may not turn up at all on moving day if they have received a more profitable last minute job.
Inventory of effects
In order to get you an immediate price, the comparison sites use one of two methods. Sometimes they will simply ask you how many bedrooms your property has, a very quick and easy approach. However, think about the houses of your friends and relatives that have the same number of bedrooms as yours. Do you think they would contain exactly the same amount of furniture and belongings as your home? The answer is invariably no.
The second common method is to ask you to complete an inventory list of what you are moving. This sounds more scientific, but unfortunately it is highly unlikely that you will manage to list everything. We know that this won’t be an attempt to hide the true volume of effects that you have, but because when you live with the same things around you all the time, you don’t truly “see” them. When you are in your own familiar environment, it is very difficult to analyse and remember everything in each room. Even professional surveyors need extensive training to do this.
Result: If your inventory is inaccurate, your movers may turn up short-handed and potentially with a vehicle which is not big enough, meaning stress, long delays, and hefty additional charges on the day. If the error is large, they may not be able to carry out your move at all!
Do you really know how many boxes you are likely to need to pack up the entire contents of your home? We regularly see customers who pop in to buy boxes, and we always ask what they are packing so we can advise what materials they will need. The most common reason is that they are packing up a kitchen, and they think they’ll only need 2-3 boxes. However, we know that unless you only have a couple of cupboards, a kitchen is likely to require a minimum of 10 boxes to pack everything!
Result: Without the benefit of an expert quote, your removal company may turn up ill-equipped and with insufficient resources on moving day, leading to delays, extra costs or potentially lots of damage to your possessions.
So what is the alternative?
Contact a professional removal company direct and obtain a detailed quotation
Under this premise, a removal company will arrange for a trained surveyor to visit your home and assess the volume of effects to be moved, also determining the amount of packing material required to pack the contents of the house. In addition, this will give them the opportunity to make sure that any specialist handling equipment needed is allowed for. Once all the information has been gathered, a written quotation is then provided to you clearly stating what services are being provided and the schedule over which the move will take place. All of this is free, and gives you total peace of mind that the move will be carried out correctly.
In some circumstances, the company may arrange to carry out the survey via video link. In this case you will still see and speak directly to the surveyor, and you will show them around the property as if they were actually there, but it will all be done on a smartphone or tablet.
Result: A well-planned, properly resourced move with minimal stress and no nasty surprises.
Moving home can be a really emotional time. As professional movers, we understand that we’re not just handling inanimate objects; your entire life is in your home. Trusting that to a company who has simply taken your details from a third party website, with whom you haven’t spoken or had any contact seems very brave indeed.
Whilst price is always important, when you are choosing your moving company you should also consider their experience, equipment, the care with which they will handle your possessions, and how comfortable you are having them in your home. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to judge that from an online quote website.