Protect yourself from dodgy movers and removal companies
Moving home, or from any property to another, can be a stressful time. Realising just how many things you have to move, finding ways to pack them up and the time it takes to do so, carrying heavy items down flights of stairs etc. If you own anything larger than a small flat, you’ll find it’s often in your best interest to hire a removal company to take a lot of the weight off your shoulders. But, like any company, there are cowboys and scammers waiting just around the corner to make the experience far worse for you or even to steal your hard-earned money. Take a look at these four tips below to help you protect yourself:
1) If it sounds (financially) too good to be true, it probably is.
There are plenty of good deals out there, and there are plenty of companies with reasonable prices. However, when a price is rock-bottom, there’s usually a catch. The classic trick is to offer an almost unbelievably low price to get you to hire them, and then suddenly bring up some extra charges that are required to actually do the job - meaning that you end up with a much higher bill than expected. Also, make sure to get a physical copy of a quote, don’t just take someone’s word for it over the phone or in a meeting. Always remember, sometimes you do just have to pay that bit extra for quality.
2) The company doesn’t seem to exist outside of social media or personal ad sites.
Where is their website? Where is their customer feedback? Do their staff even have any skills or training in what they do? If the only thing you can really find about them is in their own words in the short description in their ad on Gumtree, then you don’t really know anything about them. We can all create an ad on a free website and claim to be good at something, but if you want to protect your possessions, you should choose a company that has evidence of their skills and reliability.
3) A good removal company asks questions, and pays attention to your answers.
The moving needs of someone with a one bedroom house is different to those living in a mansion. Someone who wants to transport some old second-hand furniture has different needs to someone who wants to move their collection of Picasso paintings. A good removal company needs to know how much you have to move, if you have expensive/fragile items and how you want the move done. If a company you’ve hired is content to ‘wing it’ without even knowing if one van is enough, you may end up paying a lot more than you wanted to or, worse, not seeing your items again.
4) Finally, and most obviously, avoid companies with bad reviews.
It sounds obvious, but it can be tempting to hire a mover who has an amazing price and seems good enough without searching out reviews for them. There are even websites dedicated to reviews and price comparison to help you out. A lot of companies may have a bad review in their history, for various reasons, but if you notice a trend of poor reviews: stay well away!
A little research, as well as trusting your gut instinct, can protect you from a lot of tears and wasted money.