1. Take time to visit the removal company in person
We invite all of our potential customers to discuss their moving requirements with us in a relaxed atmosphere, to inspect the warehouse and vehicles and to check out the range of packing materials we stock. However, other companies may not be as forthcoming when it comes to promoting their business address and this speaks for itself. Don't arrange everything over the telephone or you could be in for a nasty surprise.
2. Insist on a written
and binding quotation
Quotations ensure that prospective clients know exactly what they are going to pay for their removal, rather like ordering a meal from the menu at a restaurant. Once a pre-move survey has been carried out, the estimator will be able to determine the volume of the consignment, the manpower required to complete the move, the amount of packaging necessary and the most appropriate vehicles for the job. Most companies offer this service to potential clients without obligation and free of charge within their area.
3. Make sure you are handed a written inventory
If you are undertaking a long distance move or your goods are to be stored, you must insist on a written inventory. This is your receipt from the mover and an important document if any items should be missing or arrive damaged. To complement the inventory items must be individually labeled with the client's name along with an item number.
4. Don't be taken in by what is offered for "free"
To fully understand what's "free" in the trade, prospective clients must be aware of the small print not always visible in advertising campaigns:
This normally refers to the interim storage period starting from the day the goods are collected from the client's residence until the departure date of the next available truck for onward delivery. Most companies will offer up to two weeks free storage.
Quality packing materials along with the time needed to carefully wrap and pack full households significantly contribute to the overall cost of a move and should not be ignored. What is offered for free? the labour? the materials? both? How is the furniture going to be wrapped? with blankets? with thin bubble wrap? with laminated bubble wrap? How strong are the boxes? Are there different sized boxes?
If a company offers you free insurance it will certainly only be "in transit insurance". This won't cover you for breakages, damages or missing items during loading and unloading. Only reputable companies are able to provide an "all risk" cover subject to the client completing a proposal form. Insurance is calculated as a percentage of the declared value of the goods and is never "free".
Free Estimates / Advice
Moving companies will provide free quotations in writing to potential customers who are able to supply enough information, but not all will carry out on site surveys.
Free Collection / Delivery
Ensure your quote is for a "door to door" service. Many clients are enticed by ads offering cheap rates but often these are for a basic "depot to depot" service, with extra handout charges.
5. Only use legal and well established companies.
Ensure you're dealing with a VAT registered company. Without a proper invoice you're leaving yourself open to abuse. It's a known fact that insurance claims won't be processed without proof of transport. No invoice = No proof = No claim. If you think you're getting a good deal by not paying the VAT think again. Unfortunately there a many "man and van" and smaller companies advertising in the local press that don't fulfill these requirements and cannot offer the same level of service of the more established and reputable companies. National moving associations such as B.A.R.(UK) and Fedem(Spain) make sure their members adhere to strict codes of practice and this is always a guarantee for the consumer. Look out for the badge on the vehicles or in the advertisements.
6. Don't be mislead by fancy websites.
Nowadays it's very easy and cheap to have a fancy website but you'll be amazed at the lengths some companies will go to attract potential customers like copying photos of vehicles and warehouses from other websites (often quite visibly altered), boasting depots and branches that don't physically exist, fake company names, etc. Basically an "anything goes" approach without any principles to attract client interest.