Once you have accepted an offer for your property, the next step in the process is the exchange of contracts & completion. Completion is typically ‘move day’ and comes with its own set of considerations and decisions. In this article Compare My Move – an online removal companies comparison site – provides some sound advice on how to chose the right removal company and avoid being ripped off.
Choosing a removal company sounds like a simple task, but you shouldn’t just go with the first option that comes your way. You need to do your research, identify what services you need, and be aware of any potential scams that come your way. Here are out top tips for choosing the right removal company for you.
Price isn’t the only factor
Your items are valuable and should be kept safe and handled with care. You should be confident that your worldly possessions are treated with respect throughout every stage of moving day.
Of course, price will inevitably influence your decision but generally you get what you pay for, so research the company you’re considering fully before committing.
Make sure to compare different quotes removal companies give you, and use the feedback previous customers have left to get an idea of what the company is like. If you receive your quotes but want to use the more expensive company, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Be honest with them and tell them you want to use them if you can get a cheaper quote; many companies are open to negotiation.
What makes a legitimate removal company?
When you do your research, you need to be aware of the features that make up a legitimate removal company:
- They will conduct a home survey and take a detailed description of the requirements of your move.
- They have an official website
- Provide a comprehensive and understandable quotation with no hidden charges. If anything is unclear, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Their staff will be trained, uniformed and conduct themselves professionally.
- Have insurance in place to cover the true value of customer belongings.
- They will ensure the customer service is at a high standard
Understandably, not everyone has the time to organise and pack for a house move. Many removal companies offer additional services for people moving house, including:
- Supply of packing materials, such as boxes, wrapping paper, bubble wrap and tape.
- Securely pack your items ahead of moving day.
- Keep your items in storage for any amount of time.
- If you have any large or awkwardly shaped furniture, your removal company will dismantle and reassemble it at your new property.
How to avoid being ripped off or scammed
During a house move, some people are more at risk of hiring companies that scam them, and in some cases steal their possessions. Here are some common tactics used:
- Very low prices – Be aware that some removal companies advertises very low prices to draw customers in, and then add on charges once they have your service. That said, you won’t necessarily get the best service from the most expensive company, but very low prices are usually indicative of substandard quality of service.
- Give quotes over the phone – You should always request an official estimate on paper and check the reviews on the company online. If they refuse and you notice some negative reviews, they are not likely legitimate or ethical.
- No website – Many illegitimate removal companies advertise their services through Facebook or Craigslist, without an actual website, and usually consisting of one or two unqualified movers. If they don’t rob you, they can still end up damaging your items due to lack of expertise or experience. Instead, look for an official website and find out if staff are trained.
- Load and go – The movers arrive, load your possessions and then simply don’t deliver them; they will either keep them or sell them on. Many scam companies go as far as creating fake documents, giving quotes over the phone, and then usually advertise on Facebook and Gumtree, with no official website
- The Van is ‘too small’ – In this case the movers will tell you the van is too small to fit everything and you must pay extra for them to bring another van. Most legitimate companies will send a representative in advance to find out the size and scale of your move so they can prepare and bring the right vehicles.
What if you’re a victim of a scam?
If you are a victim of a removal scam, you should contact the police as soon as possible, to give them a chance of finding the culprits. It’s a good idea for you to write a review online so you can warn other potential victims.
Ultimately, choosing the right removal company will require some research; as long as you know what to look out for, you will find a legitimate and reliable company to take care of your house move.
About the Author
Compare My Move is an online comparison site, dedicated to helping home movers find quality removal companies. The company has helped over 100,000 people move across the UK using our network of verified removal companies. Not only will customers receive six free quotes when they sign up, but they will also save up to 70% on their moving costs.