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Choosing the right removals company

Matrix Moving Group offer their advice to homebuyers on how to find the right removals company.

House on back

Getting started

Having been in the business for over 20 years, I can understand why the subject of selecting the best removals company keeps cropping up.  After all, it is a minefield out there and all you need to do to enter this risky area is type ‘removals companies’ into your Google search engine and see what happens.

You will be offered page after page of potential suitors all claiming to be either the best or the next thing in the removals business, but if I were to tell you that 80% of those companies offering their services to you are most likely either Man and a Van, unregistered or uninsured carriers, would you believe me?

Before you even pick up the phone and invite a removal company round to quote there are a few things to consider.  Just because they rank highly from a Google search does not mean that they are well thought of or of a credible size, this could just mean they are paying Google to appear at the top of the listings.

Below is a simple check list of what to look out for from your potential moving partner, to insure that you are inviting the right people into your home from the get go.

  • Is the company a member of either the BAR (British Association of Removers) or the PMA (Professional Movers Association)? These are the closest thing to a governing body for removal companies in the UK.
  • Type in the name of the removal company followed by ‘independent reviews’ and see what comes up.
  • Read the testimonials on the removal companies’ website, but keep an open mind as, on occasion, these have been known to be fabricated.
  • Take a good look at the ‘about us’ section for trading history and longevity.
  • Pictures paint a thousand words so look at the photos for an indication to truck size and condition, warehouse facilities, uniformed staff etc.

Give them a call  

Now that you have found a removals company that you are somewhat happy with, the next step will of course be to make that phone call.  It is only at this stage that you will be able to get a good feel of what kind of company you are speaking with at the other end of the phone.

Get them round to size up the job

Only consider companies if they are prepared to perform a visual survey prior to written quotation.  This is very important on so many levels; the main one in being that you can begin to build up trust between yourself and your potential suitor (put a face to a name). It is impossible to estimate and plan a removal of any size with a degree of certainty and accuracy without seeing it first-hand.

Vehicular access to the property at both ends is crucial and can only really be ascertained by evaluating it first hand. The last thing we need is a very large vehicle arriving on a rainy moving day only to find that it can’t get within 500 metres of the property.

Key questions to ask

Now you’ve made the necessary phone calls and you have a representative of your chosen mover at your home, you have some questions to ask.

  • How long have both you as an individual and your company been in business?
  • How much notice do I need to give you if I were to book? (especially in the summer months)
  • Does your quote include insurance? And if so, is it indemnity or new for old insurance? What are the individual item thresholds and total loss limits? (Usually £10,000 individual item and £50,000 total loss for a proper removals policy).
  • How many members of staff will be here on the given days?
  • Are your staff full time employees or flexible to suit the needs of the business?
  • Can you provide me with a written move schedule? e.g. Day 1 – Pack and load, Day 2 – Load and deliver etc.
  • Finally, is the quoted price the final price? (Sounds simple, but on removal day if their estimator has underestimated your volume it protects you from accruing additional charges)

So, armed with this article you should have added another string or two to your bow when negotiating this minefield that is removals.  There is never a 100% fail safe method in choosing your moving partner but there are ways of giving yourself the best chance of choosing the right company.

With thanks to Anthony Monger at the Matrix Moving Group


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