5 Common Pitfalls When Choosing a Removalist

With so many moving companies in Australia (industry reports put the number at over 8000!), it can be difficult to know who to trust with your treasured belongings. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of 5 common pitfalls when choosing a removals company.

You’ve found a buyer for your house, and you’ve secured your perfect new home. Now it’s time to start thinking about the move. Whether you’re moving interstate, or you only need a local moving company to relocate you a couple of suburbs over, moving is stressful. If you’ve made the decision to hire professionals, great choice – but that doesn’t necessarily mean the stress of moving is over.

With so many moving companies in Australia (industry reports put the number at over 8000!), it can be difficult to know who to trust with your treasured belongings. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of 5 common pitfalls when choosing a removals company.

Check recent reviews in detail

While review websites like Product Review or Word of Mouth do a great job at giving us a star-rating for most services we might use, the devil can often be in the detail. Moving companies can undergo big changes in how they run their businesses in respond to external cost pressures. For that reason, a company with a good star rating might have made recent changes that mean their service has changed.

To ensure a company is still living up to the standard suggested in its overall star rating, take some time to read through recent reviews from customers on a third-party review site. When reading, pay special attention to the names of customers and their accounts. Customers who have taken the time to set up a profile on the third-party review site, leave their name and write a decent-length review are likely to be more credible. We recommend third-party sites, as reviews can be too easily manipulated on a company’s own website.

Ask if they own their own trucks

This one is important, particularly when using an interstate removals company to relocate. Labour costs are a significant part of a removal companies overhead costs. To minimize these costs, companies can often use subcontracted labour to complete jobs. This can be fantastic for you, because there are many owner-operators out there who do a great job and who take a considerable amount of care in their work. But, it can also mean that you don’t know who you’re going to get on moving day.

What to look for: if a company has a lot of 5 star reviews, but a decent amount of 1 star reviews as well (with nothing in the middle range of 2, 3 and 4 star reviews), it can be a sign that their service is inconsistent due to using subcontracted labour. There’s no harm in asking a company if their removals staff are on their payroll, and if they own their own trucks before booking with them.

Ask about complimentary storage

Many moving companies also have a storage aspect to their business. As a value-added benefit, many companies will throw in a few weeks of storage for free (particularly with interstate moves) if you ask for it. If there’s going to be a delay between your move out and move in dates, this is a good thing to know.

Make sure you check what sort of insurance is offered

Understand the types of insurances that are available for your move. Most companies will standardly include Goods in Transit insurance and Public Liability insurance. The former means you’re covered if the truck is involved in an accident or stolen; the latter means you’re covered in case the company is found to be legally liable for damages to your premises.

Both of the aforementioned insurances do not cover scratches or accidental damages to your belongings during loading and unloading or while the truck is traveling. To insure your items against accidental breakage, you’ll need to take out a separate removals insurance policy that covers this. However, it’s a good idea to check your home and contents policy first to see if it covers moving, as some list moving house as an “event” that is covered as standard.

To help in any insurance claim, make sure you have an inventory list or detailed summary of the items you are moving. If you have the time, pictures or a video of the items help too.

Book a backload

This one is specifically for people looking to move interstate. The cheapest way to move interstate is by utilizing backloading. Backloading is when your items fit in the available space on a truck or in a container travelling interstate, OR in the return journey of a truck that’s already gone one way. Companies like Muval make finding cheap interstate removals easy and save you the bother of calling multiple companies looking for one that has space when you need it. It’s also better for the environment and for road safety, because it’s helping to keep the number of trucks on the road to a minimum!

Muval also helps you to find local removal companies who have spare trucks or special rates coming up. You can find them at www.muval.com.au

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