Chapter 2: Some Of The Pitfalls Of Using An Unregulated Remover

There are many ways to achieve a goal; the trick is to find a safe and efficient partner!

There are so many horror stories of people who have moved home with the wrong remover, ranging from inappropriate comments to having their complete home contents stolen and paying for the privilege!  Now this may seem a bit extreme but this story is based on a true story of one of our potential clients who wanted to save some money on her move to Scotland, and ended up paying the ultimate price. (I will give more details later on in “True Stories”.)

One of the most common pitfalls that occur is when a customer books a removal with a company and is `dumped` by that remover a few weeks or even days before the date. Now why would they do that? Well what’s happened is that the remover in question has realised that they will only get work on price, not on service so they will always have a low starting price. For the unsuspecting householder this seems great! The company seems ok they have seen their vans around and they even had a recommendation from a friend! However, what they don’t know is that the date they want is becoming more and more popular so our remover in question is thinking `Well I’ve got my fallback move so let’s quote higher on these other people who want the same day`, and bingo here comes our unsuspecting householders call, or usually email or text saying that they cannot carry out the move on that day, but will be able to do a day either side! And they’re really sorry etc..   Another angle on this technique is the remover will call a few days before the move day and say they cannot do the date for unforeseen reasons and are really sorry etc. However they have managed to find someone that can do the date and pass over the number. Our unsuspecting (now incredibly stressed) householder calls the new remover and is told that they will be able to cover the move BUT (you’ve guessed it) due to the short notice there will be an additional £300 to pay!    Now the total price is now £150 more than the good remover`s quote they originally declined, and who are now busy when our desperate client tried to accept at short notice. This second technique can be used successfully when two unregulated removers agree to take it in turns.

The examples above are just two of the many problems that can be experienced by the unsuspecting uninformed householder .  Other pitfalls may include- “moving the goalposts”.   Eventually your furniture and contents are loaded after countless bouts of teeth sucking by your removers. Their call to their boss results in a demand for an additional payment.  Or “furniture contamination” This one doesn’t result in our householder being directly ripped off but more indirectly.  The van arrives with the two crew. Your furniture and effects are loaded and unloaded at the other end. They leave when you discover along with the expected scratches and dents, a smell and a few dirty marks. What our householder didn’t know was that the day before, the remover was moving rubbish removal which included a clearance of rotten furniture and discarded materials outside a rundown house where rats and other creatures had once lived. Or “daylight robbery”. Where you discover that when you are talking to your friends that they too had been burgled a few days after moving and happened to have moved with the same remover….    the list goes on and on.

Now I want to make it very clear that there are good independent removers around that do a good job and don’t feel the need to belong to a trade association. They will never conduct themselves in an inappropriate way and will be reliable and trustworthy. They usually have been trading for many years and are family companies where man and boy work together. I am in no way suggesting that these companies would act as I’ve described above. Many people move time and time again with the same small family firm. Fine but if you don’t know any removers, how do you tell?

To make sure you are not exposed to the rogue operator, who can be well disguised, you must make sure you get a written quote with terms and conditions, a code of practice, as many testimonials as possible and written confirmation letters as a bare minimum.  Never accept verbal or on-line estimates for full removals.  Guild companies will also be part of a continual monitoring programme where   clients will be issued with a quality questionnaire which goes back to the Guilds head office.