Chapter 7: True Stories

Now in this section I have got to be a little bit careful, so I won’t be naming and shaming anyone. All I will say is that all the stories are based on first hand information and experiences. Some have happened several times in different areas over the years so it seems that it is pretty much said that the following examples actually happened. I’ve touched on a few in earlier emails so I’ll start with them so here goes.

Remember the lady moving to Scotland in the second email? Well this lady had received a quotation from me to move her.  She decided to move with another company that was cheaper. I had to accept her decision but after a month had passed, we received a call from her in a very distressed state. She wanted to know if we could collect her belongings from a field where they had been dumped, and take them to Scotland.  “What happened?”  We asked. Well, the other company had loaded everything up, taken details of the delivery address and had said they would expect to deliver in 3 days time. They took full payment in cash and off they went. To the nearest secluded field and dumped the items there retaining anything of value.

After asking about the company it transpired that all she had was a printed leaflet put through her door as she had a sold sign, and there was only a mobile number given. She realised what a mistake she had made but just wanted her items collected and delivered that day. We were unable to assist and she found another remover to do the job. This is a very rare example of an unscrupulous remover but you can see how it happened, especially when it`s really busy and there’s not much choice, and you’ve just been let down…

There’s the story of the coffee morning ladies discussing the usual when one of them gets on to the subject of being burgled, and went on to say that she felt really upset as she had just moved to her new house. One of the other ladies said that had happened to her just after moving the year before. In total 3 of the ladies had firsthand experience of this happening. What also transpired was that they had all used the same remover, although nothing was ever proved.  Can you imagine a more perfect opportunity for someone with bad intentions to offer to work for a removals company on a cash in hand basis, still claiming benefits and going into peoples` homes moving and packing them? They know what’s there, where it is, what the security is like they may even have had some inside information on the customer`s movements!  This is no reflection on the honesty of the company that employed this individual but highlights the dangers that are there if the correct checks aren’t made.

We had to go to Southend a few years back and pack a flat and put into store after flood damage. What had happened was that after the customer moved in 6 months before there had been a steady leak from her washing machine which in time had got under her nice wooden floors and warped them. It had also seeped through to downstairs and damaged the ceilings below. This was a very expensive and frustrating experience for her especially since the insurance would only pay for certain parts of the claim, the removals company had plumbed in the machine incorrectly and now denied any involvement, the whole experience cost the customer well over £4000 and some major inconvenience.

We moved a customer a couple of years ago, our crew had loaded up by 11.30am and went to the delivery address knowing that the money had been transferred and they should be finished reasonably early. Only problem was that when they got there, there was a small van on the drive with a couple of rough and fed up looking men sitting in the cab. Our crew thought they had the wrong house but soon realised that one of our major annoyances was about to unfold. The money hadn’t quite gone through and although the people moving out were only moving to the next road they couldn’t get the keys yet. Now the small van had been loaded for well over 2 hours and there were at least 3 more trips required before the house would be cleared. So why only one small van? Well after our crew spoke to the other customer they were told that their removers had expected to unload straight away and was only told there would be enough for 2 van loads and now they were really angry and demanding more money. Our crew felt really sorry for these people and tried to help by moving items to one side of the rooms so they could start to unload. The only problem was that they needed the garage and it was full up and it was starting to rain.

As it transpired the move was delayed a couple of hours and it wasn’t the end of the world but for our customer and theirs for that matter it wasn’t the experience it should have been. The ironic thing is that the other customer ended up paying £100 more than our customer, when in reality they should have been getting compensation. Unfortunately they weren’t backed by the Ombudsman Scheme!