02 January 2013
How to avoid moving company scams
There are million things to think about when moving home, and another million things to do, which is why it’s easy to get scammed or duped by a less than reputable removal company. Unfortunately, it seems that at the most vulnerable times in life, there are countless people willing to take advantage of it, and cash in on carelessness, hurried decisions and those looking to save money through and obviously expensive time. This guide will help you in looking for signs to know and avoid a dodgy moving company. Get plenty of estimatesDon’t just settle for the cheapest price or the first estimate that seems reasonable. Research countless companies and get a few quotes to make an informed decision on which moving company to use. By researching companies online you can get a feel for their professionalism, service and history, as well as read reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Always listen to your gut instinct; if a site doesn’t look professional, don’t click any further; it probably says a lot about the company and its staff. If when calling the receptionist seems rude and unhelpful, hang up, as you don’t want to risk having to rely on excellent customer service if something doesn’t go to plan, and as ever, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is; how can this company charge half the price of other reputable services? Make sure the moving company visits your homeAt least once before moving and be wary of how much of an interest they are taking. A good removal company will be keen to know what is going in the van and when, if they’re offering logistic assistance then they should have a great interest into how items upstairs will be getting down as well as being aware of tight corners and the general ‘movability’ of your home. If a service isn’t taking much interest in how much stuff you’re moving and what size of removal vans they can offer you, they’re probably not keen on providing you with an excellent service and more importantly, they’re probably not intending to charge you the original price on the day, charging extra for ‘unforeseen circumstances’ such as waiting times and weight. Get a written contractBefore agreeing and finalising a service always ask for and thoroughly read through a contract, of course, a reputable company will provide you with a written agreement, but if you have any doubts it is imperative to check and double check it. Ensure it includes a price and the services provided, such as loading and unloading the van. If they have included services you never asked for, ask for it to be removed and the price to be lowered. Similarly, if there is no concrete price in writing or any mention of extra charges don’t sign it, and with the amount of removal companies available, don’t even bother asking for it to be reprinted, simply count yourself lucky and find someone else to do the job. Recommendations and regulations Thankfully in the UK there are countless official bodies and agencies representing and regulating removal companies, The British Association of Movers and The National Guild of Movers and Storers are just two. Check for any associations they are a member of and cross reference that with searching the association online. If in doubt call the body themselves and ask to get a company verified. Common sense goes a long way when avoiding being scammed, staying aware and vigilant is the only way to ensure you have the perfect move with reputable companies rather than being ripped off on poor services and scams.