Moving house is a hassle. So much so that the average Brit moves only 8 times in their life. Because this is something we don’t do very often, many of us don’t know what to look for in a good removal company. But the right mover can make your move faster and much less stressful. Here are 4 quick ways to tell between a good and a bad removal company.
1. No hidden fees
Some removal companies charge by the hour, but most will quote you a flat fee. Any good mover will be happy to give you a breakdown of their costs if you ask.
Many will have a terms and conditions document. This should set out all potential charges. For example, are there any cancellation fees if you have to change your moving date? Will they charge a waiting fee if you can’t get your keys at the time you thought you would? Are there any extra costs for stairs? For moving expensive items? For making more than one trip?
A bad company will be unclear about all of this, while a good one will be more open.
2. Lots of happy customers
This seems like an obvious point, yet it’s one that many people forget about. Yes, check the company’s website for online reviews and testimonials, and Google them to see if you can find out anything more.
But it’s also worth getting the contact details of a couple of recent happy customers so you can call them and ask what the company was like. It might sound like a hassle, but the more willing a company is to give you these details, the better it’s likely to be.
3. They ask the right questions
Your removal company needs to know several things in order to prepare for the job and quote a fair price.
- When are you moving?
- Is there any flexibility around that date or is it likely that it will change? (This happens around 80% of the time.)
- How much stuff are you moving? (They need this to know what size vehicle to bring. Contents of kitchen drawers, cabinets, wardrobes and chests of drawers tend to take up the most space in boxes, so be sure not to forget these.)
- Any fragile or expensive items that need particular care and attention? (They’ll want to check they have enough insurance to cover any possible damage, as well as prepare suitable packing materials to keep your belongings safe during the move.)
- How close can a vehicle get to your front door at your current address and your new address? (The further away they have to park from your door, the longer the move will take and the more it will cost.)
- When are you due to pick up the keys for the new property? (In most cases, people are expecting to get keys on the morning of the move. In practice, this is almost always delayed and doesn’t happen until the afternoon.)
- Is it part of a chain? (The delay on getting keys is even more likely if the new property is part of a chain; it pretty much guarantees the delay will happen.)
The more of these questions they ask you, the more professional they are likely to be. It’s worth making a note of these questions, so you can provide answers to them even if your removal company forgets to ask one or two of them.
4. They want to survey your belongings before giving you a final quote
The bigger the move, the truer this is. It may sound like a hassle, but a survey of your belongings in person will lead to a much more accurate estimate of the time your move will take, how many lifters and handlers to send, what size vehicle… and of course how much to charge.
The more they see, the smoother the move will be on the day. And of course this give you the chance to ask any more questions you need to before choosing which company to hire.
Follow these 4 tips and you’re sure to have a smoother, less stressful moving experience.
These house removal tips have been put together by Buzzmove, a removals comparison site that aims to reduce the stress of moving home.