Chapter 1: Spotting A Good Remover

It is so important when moving home that you choose wisely.  It’s NOT as easy as you’d think!

The fact that you are reading this probably means you are not really sure who is a good reliable remover and who is an unscrupulous uncaring cowboy. This is never more evident than in today’s market where the majority of business advertising is conducted on line. There are some real horror stories, but how do you avoid them? Buy the wrong washing powder one week and you will buy another brand next time. Buy the wrong removal and you could literally be changing your life- for the worse for months or years to come. Bear in mind people don’t move very often, so you need to get it right.

Most removal advertising in the past was a combination of directory advertising and on line advertising, usually an even amount. Nowadays the directories are shrinking and will possibly disappear altogether, replaced by more on-line advertising. Here lies the problem. Setting up on-line campaigns is so easy and instant, with very little vetting required. It is really hard to distinguish a good company from a bad one. In a lot of cases the best looking sites represent no more than man and van services, whereas a lot of well run professional removers have old, dated and unattractive websites. Just because someone can design a good website doesn’t mean they can run a good removal company! So how do you spot the good ones?

The main way of doing this is by looking for trade association membership, and seeing if they are members of the Ombudsman Scheme. Quite a few companies are members of transport trade associations such as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) or the Freight Transport Association (FTA), and although these are reputable trade associations they are really only for road transport and haulage not specifically for household removals. The only two dedicated removal trade associations in the UK are the British Association of Removers (BAR) and the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS). Membership of one of these is essential and Membership of the Ombudsman Scheme is highly desirable. NGRS is the only trade association that insists that its members belong to the Ombudsman Scheme and whose members have to pass an annual Independent Inspection and undergo a continual quality monitoring programme. Both Trade associations have a code of practice that their members must adhere to.

The links here will enable you to find out more about these associations and find their members in your area. www.ngrs.co.uk, www.bar.co.uk

For more information on the Ombudsman scheme follow this link – www.removalsombudsman.org.uk

If there are no members in your area, make sure the company has been established for a number of years and has a number of qualified testimonials on view or available on request. Only consider quotes for full removals from companies who will come to see you and will send a written quotation which has its terms and conditions clearly marked, and get any verbal promises put in writing. Most importantly get any dates you have booked with your remover put in writing- this way you will dramatically reduce the chance of falling foul of the Rogue Remover.