If you’re moving house, and you don’t want to risk all kinds of horrendous, stress-fuelled arguments, then you’ll probably want to hire a removal company. However, like any niche, not all of these businesses were created equal. Removal companies range from people who magic away all the hassle to shameless scam “artists” who will hold your possessions for ransom. Not to mention the ones I’ve experienced who broke half our stuff and, because they were being payed hourly, took things beyond slowly. I’m pretty sure I can guess which one you’d prefer! Here’s some handy advice on choosing the removal company that’s right for you!
First and foremost, be sure to get a number of different quotes. Just like with any service, it’s important to get a few professional quotes well in advance of the completion date you’re shooting for. Take the price into account, along with the extent of the service you’re going to receive, and definite dates when the firm will be able to start and finish their work. There are now many comparison sites for removal services, such as Shipley, which may be able to help with this part of the process. However, you should avoid taking any quotes you find online as a guarantee. Make sure the company is able to send out a sales estimator, who will come to your home, go through everything you wish to move in detail, and adjust their quote accordingly. There’s enough stress involved in moving house without finding out you have to pay more than expected! This is especially important if you have especially awkward or bulky items, for me and my boyfriend we have around 9 guitars between us and a drum kit which can push the price up slightly, though its worth it to ensure they’re not broken.
Before agreeing to a quote or even contacting the company you have your eye on, it’s important for you to take steps to gauge their level of professionalism. After all, these are the people you’re going to trust to move your most treasured possessions from one side of town to another in a lorry, and in our case through the Mersey Tunnel too! Obviously you’ll want to know you have the right people for the job. The company’s website is often a great indicator of their professionalism. Do they have any testimonials or case studies? Are the graphics and layout up-to-date? Is the navigation easy to use? If a removals company does a half-hearted job on their own website, then it’s fairly likely they’ll do the same thing when handling your house move. Also, its always worth giving them a quick google to see if there are any reviews independently of their site, just to be sure!
Finally, be aware for any signs of cowboys and scammers. Although I’ve met some truly excellent removal workers in my time, there are a lot of others who will use the removal company as a front to lure in unsuspecting people, and cheat them out of their money or possessions. Fortunately, there are a few red flags you can look out for to steer clear of these criminals. If the company refuses to provide an in-house estimate of your belongings, or doesn’t provide you with a written estimate, then you should move onto someone else. The mover asking for a substantial cash payment up-front is another big warning sign that you’re walking into a trap. A lack of insurance or unwillingness to talk about it is a massive no-no, too. Watching out for these signs can save you a huge amount of time and hassle. Remember, they’ve got your stuff so usually that should be enough to ensure they don’t need upfront payment!