Most removal companies are well-reputed, but selecting an amateurish or rogue removal service can prove to be a nightmare, and will add massive amounts of stress to an already stressful occasion! It’s easy to avoid bad removals experiences by asking your chosen provider the right questions to ensure they are not only registered but professional, courteous and thorough.
Request a surveyor’s visit
You should always request a surveyor’s visit to confirm the volume of your possessions and the difficulty of the job. You don’t want your moving company to turn up with two vans when you need three lorries. You shouldn’t be charged for this visit, but make sure you show everything to prevent last minute complications.
Ask for a written quotation and fixed price
You should request both, so if the job gets a little more difficult than at first thought, you won’t be charged a surplus. Household removals can easily run into unforeseen logistical problems, so a fixed price will give you added peace of mind.
Request details of their insurance policies
Depending on the level of their cover, you may have to supplement their standard policy if you have precious or intricate items that they don’t cover. Many household contents policies do not cover household items in transit.
Look for removals firms with a landline and full postal address
Rogue companies often operate from a mobile phone and PO Box. You may also want to look for reviews online and check they have a legitimate VAT number.
Ask to see their VOSA number
All removals companies who operate vehicles above a certain weight must be in possession of a operator’s license issued by the Traffic Commissioners.
Are their staff trained? Who by?
The British Association of Removers and other trade associations run training programmes. Professional certification shows a degree of commitment and ability.
What type of vehicles do they use?
You really want your removal company to make only one trip. Many small vans may require several trips, complicating the removals process. Firms that use pantechnicons will be able to handle hefty removals with ease, particularly when it comes to large appliances and furniture.
Are their staff uniformed? How many removers will be involved in your move?
You want to know who’s in your house at all times. If the removers are uniformed, you’ll be able to easily identify them.
Do they supply packing boxes and are they included in the removals quote?
Some firms will sell you boxes and some include them in the removal package. You also want to find out if they are delivered in advance and how many you’ll receive. Ask for double walled – they’re stronger and provide more protection. Make sure you have plenty of packing tape and a utility knife to open your boxes at the other end. Tape up your boxes for protection AND security.
What type of moving equipment do they have?
Good removals firms have a good supply of moving equipment. A satnav will ensure they find your new home with ease and don’t leave you waiting around for them. Blankets are essential to wrap large furniture and mattress covers can be useful to maintain hygiene standards. These can make the difference between a good and bad move so make sure you’re fully satisfied.
How will they accept payment?
Rogue removal services often request cash only. Reputable ones will generally accept debit cards, credit cards and cheques.
Will the movers involved with your move be fully employed or casual contractors?
Contractors are much less likely to worry about your possessions than full employees, so watch out for removal businesses that only hire casual workers.
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