Chapter 10: A Removal Point To Remember
As the title suggests there is something that stands out as the main Disaster to Avoid. I have touched on it very briefly in the Packing section and it’s this. Whatever you do DON’T MOVE YOURSELF! (Unless you’re a student and only have a very few items and you can move over a period of time) You were probably not considering it as you were looking at removal companies, however it is surprising how many people look at the options and then conclude, ”we haven’t got much stuff, we can hire a Van and a couple of friends can help”. They don’t consider all the potential problems. Let me tell you a little story (This could be included in true stories as it’s all too common!)
Mr & Mrs Householder decide to move themselves so they go and buy some boxes and packing materials from a self store company, paying a premium (a remover will include these as part of the overall deal). They persuade a couple of reluctant friends/relatives to muck in on the promise of a beer and a pizza afterwards! They collect the van, but don’t get it back until 9.30 because of the paperwork involved, and then they realise that the van comes with no blankets/covers/straps/clothes carriers or a barrow. (Most removers will have all the correct equipment required for your move). They start loading but soon realise it’s not going to fit in (the remover will have done a survey and will have sent the correct size van). They get as much as they can on and call their estate agent and ask when they can get the keys to their new house. They are told that there has been a delay and it won’t be until at least 2 as the solicitors have gone to lunch! They pack as much of the remaining items in their cars, but now realise that they have a major problem. They are waiting for a call from the estate agent when the new people’s removal lorry turns up, and want to start unloading as the money has gone through on the sale. The removers soon realise what’s happening as it’s happened before! And explain that they will be charging £145 per hour while they have to wait for access to the property.
Our Self mover makes a frantic call to their solicitor and is told that they should be able to collect the keys in an hour or so. When they do eventually get keys, they unload the van as quickly as possible, and in the rush the wide screen TV is dropped, (this would usually be covered by the removers Insurance Policy). The friend who was responsible is reassured that it’s not a problem as it was an accident, but this doesn’t make him feel any better. They go back and load up again and realise that they still won’t get it on so they repeat the above and come back again and load up the final items, which have been dumped outside by the angry new owner. The angry new owner demands the waiting time money they have been charged by their remover- some £290, or they will be taking them to court for this plus some compensation for the inconvenience. Finally after a trip to the cash point, they are finally at their dream new home. Unfortunately a few more items are broken and the experience has pulled a muscle in the owners back. He now has to take time off work because of it. They also finally realise that the van was supposed to be back at 6 and it’s now 8 so they will have to pay another day`s hire.
It’s now 9pm and the offer of Pizza and beer doesn’t seem so appealing so the good Samaritans say “No its Ok- we`ll see you later” but they don’t. They have ended up paying far more than they were quoted by a remover and have had a complete disaster I know it sounds a bit dramatic but you get the picture!…
So to summarise-
If in any doubt, check and double check- Check with the Trade Association that the remover is in fact a member, check with the company that it has an operator’s licence, check with trading standards that the company has no record, or ongoing complaints. Check with The insurance company they have a good track record. And check they are members of the Ombudsman scheme. It is worth mentioning that a good remover won’t mind having his work monitored by a trade association, as it will demonstrate it is proud of the service it provides. The Guild runs a continual monitoring programme in the form of a quality questionnaire, for all its members.