Finding a reputable removal company can be a challenge with hundreds of companies listing themselves on the internet and many appearing to be professionals, even when that may not be the case. So how do you find a trustworthy company that will give you a good move experience?
You can avoid rogue movers and find a reputable removal company by:
- Choosing a BAR removal company
- Reading reviews
- Asking for recommendations
- Reviewing website and social media
- Asking questions
- Getting an in home survey
- Getting a quote and contract in writing
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ROGUE MOVERS AND UN-REPUATBLE REMOVAL COMPANIES?
Companies who aren't qualified or experienced in handling removals (or worse those who aren't legally operating) don't just put you at risk of a bad move experience, but you could risk losing everything you own too.
In this story covered by the Daily Mail a young family were left with nothing when they hired a 'man with a van' from Facebook to help them move house.
The family hired a company via their facebook page who arrived and loaded up all their worldly goods, once the company drove off, the family didn't see them again and so far appear to have lost £10,000 worth of belongings including a lot of items that were simply irreplacable. You can. read the full article here.
Choosing a reputable removal company
1) Choose a BAR removal company
The first thing you should look into with any removal company you’re considering is whether they are members of the BAR. The British Association of Removers (BAR) is dedicated to promoting professional excellence, so if the removal company you’ve chosen is listed on their website then you know they have been pre-vetted to ensure the standards of service they offer will be of the very highest quality.
All BAR member companies must:
- Adhere to a strict code of practice
- Offer an advance payment guarantee so any pre-payments are protected
- Provide independent dispute resolution in the unlikely event something goes wrong
Find out more about why you should move with a BAR removal company.
2) Read reviews or ask for testimonials
One of the best ways to gain some perspective on the companies you’re looking into is through their customer feedback.
Where to find removal company reviews
A good place to start is on an independent reviews website like Which? Trusted Traders, Referenceline, Google (just search the company and look for star ratings in the results) or Facebook.
This is great if you’re at the beginning of your search for a removal company and want to get a good idea of some reputable companies to contact in your area. Customer feedback should also be available to you through a removal company’s website or even their social media pages.
If you’re worried after reading a few bad comments about a company you would otherwise have contacted then don’t let it put you off – remember people are more likely to talk about negative experiences than positive ones, and it’s unlikely companies are 100% perfect, every time. A professional company will never try to hide negative feedback; instead it’s important to assess how they went about dealing with it to work with the customer to resolve the situation quickly and efficiently. Don't ignore bad feedback though, check out our post 'What should I do if my preferred removal company has bad reviews?' to find out how to evaluate bad feedback and what to do next.
3) Ask for recommendations from family or friends
It’s a well-known fact that we’re more comfortable choosing things based on the recommendations of those we know and trust. If the removal company you’re considering has a good local reputation and friends or family can vouch for the service they offered based on their own experiences then you’re definitely heading in the right direction! If no one in your closest circle can recommend anyone why not try asking your friends on facebook?
4) Carefully review your removal companies website and social media
How professional does the removal company’s website look? Does it offer lots of information, customer feedback and is regularly updated? And what about their social media? Are the company on Twitter or Facebook? If they are, then take a look at how they interact with customers. You could even strike up a conversation with them yourself on one of their social media platforms – a reputable company will be more than happy to interact with you and answer any questions you might have.
5) Make sure your mover can answer your questions
If you're not sure about something there is no harm in asking. This way you will get a taste first hand of how the company interacts with customers face-to-face. Basic questions such as those below should be easy for them to answer and evidence.
- the types of insurance cover available
- whether the company is a BAR member
- how long have they been trading/the history of the company
- how will the move will be carried out
If they have a depot or warehouse nearby you could always ask if you could drop in for a visit.
6) Ask for an in home move consultation and survey
Inviting a removal company to quote for your move will usually involve an in-home move consultation. These help to accurately estimate the amount of goods you need to be moved, should always be free and leave you under no obligation to book the company after the quotation is produced. The move consultant should be confident in his knowledge of the company and how it will help you with your move.
A quick note though, don’t be put off by self-survey’s or online quotations – with modern technology more customers are comfortable with getting a quote and booking online and companies are building tools to help them do this, some of them pretty intelligent ones too! This is perfectly normal and doesn’t need to be risky, just make sure that you are aware of your rights, responsibilities and the terms and conditions of your contract - for example if you miss something off your item list or fail to point out a problem with access.
7) Get a quote and contract in writing
It is really important to get your quote and contract in writing. You should be provided with the movers full terms and conditions which you are responsible for reading and understanding. Make sure your quote and contract cover:
- Everything you expect to be included and understand what happens if something changes, for example if you have to move your dates or cancel the move.
- If the removal company hasn’t been to visit you what extra charges are applicable if your volume is different to what they expect or if there are access problems?
- Your agreed move plan
If you feel uncomfortable with something then ask questions and have them amend the quote and contract until you’re happy. Whilst a piece of paper doesn't guarantee a smooth move, the contract will give you better legal protection if the worst happens, and if your mover won't provide one alarm bells should be ringing!
Want to know more?
Find out everything you need to know about finding and choosing the right removal company for you with How to find a removal company