As with anything that has to do with products or services, the way we hire movers comes with its own caveat. Most removal companies are known to be honest and adhere to high standards of professionalism. However, there are still a number of rogue companies that are out to short-change Australians out of their hard-earned money (and help themselves to their customers belongings) through spurious practices and empty promises.
In today’s feature, we’ll be pointing out three key issues you need to look out for if you’re planning to hire moving help to ferry your stuff from one location to another.
Red Flag #1: Services That Sound Too Good to be True
When you hire a professional moving company, you tend to look at the specifics of the type of service that they offer as well as the quality of service that they promise. In which case, removalist services that promise the sun, moon, and stars to customers are a major red flag.
The following should ring alarm bells for you if the removal company in question offers them:
- An extremely low service quote that is considerably cheaper than other quotes you’ve seen;
- Offers to move your stuff in two hours or less (which, to be honest, is physically impossible); and
- No inspection of either your current home or your new location – how can they give you a cost estimate if they refuse to see the sites? Spurious, indeed.
Red Flag #2: You Could be Dealing with a Non-entity or a Fly-by-night Operation
In the old days, it was a joke that a business without a sign out front was a sign of no business. But it’s a joke with a strong vein of truth running through it: you cannot trust a removal company that doesn’t have any of the following:
- A local address featured on its website, which means that you may have trouble recovering a deposit or sending necessary documents. Likewise, if they do have a local address listed on their website, it usually helps to pay the company a visit. The appearance of their office says a lot about their work practices and their sense of ethics. If it looks too decrepit and a lot of things appear to be in disrepair, then there is no way by which they’ll be able to ferry your stuff over in good condition;
- Proof of membership in or accreditation from the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) is important as it serves as proof that the company has the necessary tools, vehicles, and trained staff with which to perform house moves. No certification? Then you’d best look for a different removal service. Also, it’s better to play safe than be sorry – if you see an AFRA certificate or proof of accreditation on the premises, we suggest you make a call to the local AFRA chapter if only to confirm that the company is a part of or recognised by the organisation; and
- Its own fleet of vehicles – after all, how can you move people’s belongings if you have neither trucks or vans? It’s a serious red flag if a company says they’ll be using rental vans or trucks – especially those that don’t seem equipped for house moves – on the day of the move.
Red Flag #3: Hey, It’s All About the Money
Yes, we know that moving from one home to another means spending a considerable amount of money. But this doesn’t mean that you should pay any fees upfront!
For the most part, moving companies require a certain percentage of the overall fee quoted as a down payment prior to the move, with the balance paid off sometime afterward. However, you’d best be on your guard if the company you’re thinking of engaging demands a larger down payment than usual or, worse, the full payment for services yet to be rendered.
What can happen is that the company may run away with your money and leave you hanging on the day of the move. Or, worse, they could come in, get your belongings, then refuse to release them to you unless you pay additional fees which weren’t in the contract.
We also recommend questioning any removalist firm that assures you that your belongings are covered by their own insurance without provisions for third-party coverage. It’s a highly spurious practice that may leave you a lot poorer in the event that they either lose or damage your stuff in transit.
Give Smoothmoves a Try
Whether you’re looking for home or office moving assistance, Smoothmoves offers the best range of removal services within the Greater Sydney Area.
We take the hassle and guesswork out of moving thanks to our highly qualified team and the relevant technologies to make every transfer a smooth and easy one. Request a quotation today!