According to TrustPilot, reviews are the 2nd most trusted source of information about companies (behind recommendations from family and friends). Anyone can create a great looking website but reviews help you understand the service they REALLY provide to their customers and which might be the best removal company for you.
In this post we'll explain where you can read reviews for removal companies and answer some other really important FAQs about reviews and choosing the right removal company for you.
Where can I find reviews for removal companies near me?
Reviews on company's own website
Most removal companies have lots of lovely testimonials vouching for a service on their own website (check out our reviews) so this is a good place to start.
When you're reading the comments look out for things that are important to you and try to get a feel for the type of company they are. For example did someone mention great support from a Move Manager which re-assures you that someone will keep you on track when you're really busy with everything else? Did someone talk about how the removals crew handled a valuable or fragile item which might re-assure you that your much loved belongings are in safe hands?
Independent review websites for removal companies
Bear in mind that most removal companies will only publish testimonials on their site and are unlikely to show you the bad reviews too. This is why it's important to also read reviews on independent websites. Here's a few we'd recommend:
Trustpilot is a website where anyone can leave a review about any company for free. You can search for a company name on Trustpilot to see previous reviews and find out their average 'Trust Score' based on their overall feedback.
• British Association of Removers Directory
The British Association of Removers (the UK's leading professional association for moving companies) includes reviews in it's online directory of members, allowing you to quickly view the ratings as determined by Referenceline (Trading standards approved feedback scheme provider). You can even click on the ratings to read some recent independent reviews to give you a better understanding of what you can expect from your mover, direct from the customers mouth.
CAUTION: Not all BAR members are part of the overseas group so if you're looking for an International Removals company look out for both the BAR badge AND the BAR Overseas badge too (the little blue ribbon underneath that says 'overseas remover'.
We'd definitely recommend the site if you're looking for a removal company in your area, here is our member listing to show you the kind of information the site provides. Bournes Removals Reviews
If your potential removal company is a Which? Trusted trader then their member profile on the Which? website will usually show a selection of previous customer reviews and an average score. Visit Bournes Which? Trusted Trader profile to see what this is like.
As well as being a great site for keeping up with your friends Facebook Business Pages also provide customers and opportunity to leave a review. Users must have their own facebook account to leave a review giving you confidence that they are written by real people. Companies also have the right of reply, so this is also a great way to see how they respond to any issues that might crop up.
Frequently asked questions about Removals Reviews
Where do I find International Removals Company reviews?
You can look in all the same places as above, they all cover international removals as well as moves in the UK. Remember, if you're looking for reviews on the BAR website make sure to look for the "Overseas Remover" badge to specifically identify companies who are qualified for international moves.
What if my preferred removal company has bad reviews?
Confession: Sometimes we get bad reviews. If any removal company tells you they never get complaints, I'd be REALLY impressed (and slightly dubious...).
Removals is a high risk highly emotionally charged industry, think about it, we move thousands of different objects every year, some heavy, fragile or awkward. We move those items from houses and buildings that are never quite the same, with different size doors, hallways, with different obstacles and different challenges every day. We do it in all sorts of weather from the height of summer to depths of winter where sometimes getting salt from the local shop to help us clear a path is the only option to get a move done (Yes, this has happened!). We use human beings to do this, oh, and we do it at a time when our customers are REALLY stressed and the smallest thing can be the straw that broke the camels back! (moving house rated as one of the 3 most stressful things we can do in life). For an incident or accident never to happen I think we'd have to invent teleporting, and whilst we've got some pretty good ideas, we're not quite there yet.
So we admit it, sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes one of our humans makes a mistake, sometimes something happens in our customers world that throws everything we planned so carefully into chaos and actually the move doesn't run as smoothly as we all tried so hard for and that can result in a complaint or a bad review online, and when that does happen:
We believe the most important thing is what happens next: What do we do to put it right or stop it happening again?
So, when you're evaluating removal companies and come across a few bad reviews for your preferred mover DON'T PANIC, here's some tips for how to read and evaluate those reviews further to inform your final choice.
• How does the removal company put things right when a move goes wrong?
Did their response change your impression of them? were they argumentative, making things worse? Did they take responsibility and offer the customer next steps for getting the problem resolved? Did they have a good attitude? Did they disclose personal details about the move which betrayed the customers confidentiality? Did they respect the customers right to complain? Is this the type of company you want handling your move if the worst happens?
Sometimes the company don't get a right of reply (not all review websites allow a company to respond to complaints) but if they did, use the above questions to get more of a feel for the customer service of the removal company you're considering. If they didn't, ask your company about his review and get them to tell you what they did?
• What does the company have in place to protect you if something like this happens to you?
Does the company have insurance in case something gets broken? Do they have a complaints procedure that shows they will work with you if something goes wrong? Are they a member of a professional association like the British Association of Removers which will require them to comply with a set code of conduct when it comes to complaints and provides an independent ombudsman in the event that a dispute can't be resolved?
• What do they do to learn from their mistakes?
As we said before, everyone makes mistakes, that's ok. But making the same mistakes over and over again for different customers isn't ok. We should learn from them and do whatever we can to prevent them happening again.
At Bournes for example we have a great 'continous improvement system' called Pulse. This is an online system that any employee can record a mistake, incident or even a 'whoah that nearly went wrong' near miss so that our training manager and management team can review where there are risks in our business so that we can fix them or do more training with our teams to stop them resulting in problems for our customers.
If you read a bad review ask your moving company what they have done to learn from this move so that the same thing shouldn't happen to you.
• Is the topic of the review important to you?
We are all different. What was a bad experience for one customer may not be a bad experience for you. Do you agree with how the customer leaving the bad review felt or do you think this wouldn't be something that bothered you? Is the subject of the review something that just won't happen with your move? Take a holiday company review for example, if someone didn't like the range of activities provided by the kids club you probably wouldn't worry about their 1 star review if you didn't have kids....
Final thought: Take reviews on balance.
Every good removal company that we know has bad reviews on the internet, but they have lots of good ones too. If you can only find bad reviews and no good reviews then you might have cause for concern, ask your removal company where you can find independent reviews about them and they should be happy to point you in the right direction.
What certifications should removal companies have alongside good reviews?
Understanding what quality systems a company has in place can help you evaluate what they do to make sure you have a good move experience and reduce the risk of anything going wrong.
Accreditations / certifications are important to look for here. It's a bit like using a Gas Safe registered plumber or an ATOL protected holiday company. For the Removals industry look out for these are some badges or certifications which are a great indication:
Certification to these organisations means they have been pre-vetted by indsutry experts to prove they are qualified and capable of undertaking a professsional removals service and whilst they don't eliminate the risks of something going wrong they significantly reduce them giving you peace of mind you're choosing a reputable mover. Click the links above to find out more about what each badge means or you can read more about Bournes Accreditations.
What else do I need to know to choose a good removal company?
From understanding costs and service options to getting a survey, arranging insurance and making sure you have a safe contract there is quite a lot that goes into choosing the right removal company for you. We've put together some helpful guides to walk you through the whole process of using and choosing a Removal Company.