Hi, and welcome to the first Access Removals blog post. In this post, we will be proving some advice on how to choose the right furniture removalist.
Moving is unfortunately something that happens to everyone sooner or later, however choosing the correct furniture removalist can make a stressful procedure less so. Here are a few tips that can help you ask the right questions when your time comes:
Probably the most important question to be asking. Larger companies will often give fixed price estimates, however these will require a site inspection. Fixed price quotes often work out more expensive however as the removalist supplying the quote may have to account for extenuating circumstances such as traffic on a long drive. Check out our pricing page for rates.
Are there any hidden extras?
Many removalists will charge travel on their jobs or base to base fees so it’s important to know beforehand if this is a cost you are likely to be facing. Also, the vast majority of companies will have some sort of minimum charge as well or charge in hourly blocks. Whilst it’s unethical to slap you with a load of additional costs when doing your bill, it’s not illegal if they have told you about it (eg. Small print in contract)
What kind of insurance do they provide?
This is the biggest grey area in removals! Generally most removalists can’t carry insurance to cover you for breakages as it usually has to be brokered on a case by case basis (eg. One day a removalist can be moving priceless art, another day IKEA furniture… the risk assessment is clearly different in these cases). Many removalists will say that they are ‘fully insured’ which may just mean they have public liability insurance and workers compensation so if they are not offering you insurance but saying that they are fully insured, you should definitely ask for a copy of their policy. Further to this, making a claim may actually be quite difficult as the removalist may not be responsible for damage caused! For example if you packed a carton with fragile items that were not properly protected and something broke in the box, as long as the removalist acted with all due care and skill, they are not responsible
Do they have employees or do they subcontract out their work?
This may not be something that one would consider when choosing a removalist. However many of the better known companies will have ‘owner-drivers’ working for them. What this means is that if you book a move with a company that you believe has a good name, you may not be getting someone who even works for that company! The owner-drivers will have their own truck and offsiders and might have contracts with several different removalists. Whilst this doesn’t mean that you would be getting a bad service, it may not be quite what you expected and if you have a referral to that company, actual results may vary widely!
How big is their truck?
Unless a removalist has specifically come to see what you have, they will not know for sure how much you have. This means that they may turn up in a truck that is either too small or too big, or may not have the correct tools needed for your move. Whilst it may not be a problem to do two trips if you are moving locally (it can actually save money if you are moving very close as it’s proportionally quicker to load a small truck) if there is a settlement involved or you are moving a large distance then it can be a problem.
There is a lot more I could talk about this topic, however I do have a tend to waffle at times so I’ll leave it there for the moment, however I will leave you with my top tips:
- Get a referral! Everyone knows someone who has moved, so ask them who they used! If they were happy with the service they received, then it’s probably a good place to start.
- Be prepared / PACK! Unless you are getting the furniture removalist in for packing, make sure everything that can go in a box does. Also, make sure you use the correct box for the correct things; glasses, plates & other fragiles in a large box is just asking for trouble… or a big box full of coins is going to be impracticable to move!
- Parking; try to secure somewhere for the removalists to park the truck. The job is going to take longer if they have to walk 100m to get to the truck
- Take anything precious or irreplaceable yourself. Whether this is a box full of your most fragile ornaments or a lady’s jewellery; no-one is going to be happy if Grandma’s engagement ring goes missing – was it the packers? was it the furniture removalist? did it get left behind? did it fall out the box?
Too many questions for a blog post, but if you need some advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thanks for reading.