Seven ways to spot a bad removals company

Removals are a responsible job and you need to make sure you’re hiring the right service provider if you want the job done well.

There are lots of good removal businesses out there. Unfortunately, there are some rogues as well. You want to be handing your money over to the right people. The question is, how do you avoid handing it over to the wrong ones? Here are seven red flags to help you steer of a (potentially) bad removals company:

1.  No or little online visibility

It’s crucial in business today to have some kind of online visibility. Customers want to be able to check out potential service providers before they hire them. If a business doesn’t have a website or anywhere they can read reviews to help you decide whether to hire them or not, it’s not a good sign. They may be a bad service provider and not want to be found.

2.  Nothing but sparkling reviews

When you’re doing your due diligence, be wary of any company that has nothing but absolutely sparkling reviews. It’s not unknown for businesses to pay other companies to write and publish fake reviews on their behalf. As you can imagine, these reviews will paint the removal company as the best thing since sliced bread.

 

Of course, there are some real professionals out there, but all companies have dissatisfied customers from time to time. That’s just part of business. If you’re not sure of the reviews, speak to people you know who have used the company’s services and hear it from the horse’s mouth.

3.  Stock website photography

The composition’s nice and so is the quality, but what does stock photography tell you about a business? Not a great deal. A good removal company will have pictures of the business or from its projects on the website and show you what you’re getting from them. If the company only uses stock photography, it’s hard not to think they have something to hide.

4.  Moonlighting or side hustling

If a removals business rocks up to your property with a logo on its van that suggests the owner specialises full time in a different line of work, it’s a bad sign. Removal work isn’t the type of work you should do as a side hustle. That’s not necessarily to say the removal service provider isn’t capable of doing a good job, but to perform removals well and tackle professionally the different situations removal work presents takes years of experience and dedication to the role.

5.  Poor vehicle condition

Performing removals is a physical job and vehicles will endure some wear and tear. That’s unavoidable, but what kind of condition is the vehicle in? Is it rusting? Are the doors barely hanging onto their hinges?

A poorly maintained vehicle looks far from professional, to say the least. More importantly, how can you trust a business with your belongings if it isn’t even taking care of its own equipment?

6.  No insurance

This is a big one. Obviously, you’re paying the removal company to transport your belongings responsibly from A to B. They’ll endeavour to do that, but it’s always possible that something can break or become lost along the way.

 

Professional removals companies know this and will have insurance cover. As a precaution, you should take out your own cover (and check your own home insurance to see if removals are covered), but ask to see their cover anywhere. If they refuse to show you, or if they don’t have and don’t wish to purchase any, walk away. There are plenty of insured professionals out there who can do the job for you.

7.  Random quotes

Often companies will charge you based on the number of items they have to transport, plus factors such as types of items, distance and whether you live on the top floor or the bottom floor. They don’t just pluck a random number out of the air. Good companies also like to visit, see the job first and provide a quote (although this has been harder during the pandemic). If not, be wary that the costs might escalate during the project.

Removal work is a responsible job and you need to be sure you’re hiring the right people for your move. If you experience any of the above, then be on your guard because they might not be the best people for the job. Trust your instincts. You’re the one in the driving seat, at the end of the day and if something doesn’t feel right, it’s perfectly fine to keep looking for the right specialist.

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