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How to choose a removals company: 8 questions to ask yourself when hiring a removals company

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If you are planning on moving house in the near future, you are probably in the process of shopping around and looking at different removal companies. You might be thinking to yourself “how do I choose a removals company?” Well, that’s a good question and one that I would like to help you with and answer in this article.

We know that moving house involves a lot of planning and organisation, and that you don’t want to waste any of your valuable time picking the right removals company.

You may recall that I mentioned in a previous blog a story about a family who hired a ‘removals company’ via Facebook, and unfortunately said ‘company’ disappeared with their belongs, never to return. We have received calls for other people who have told us that they have paid for a removal and no one has showed up! We would like to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

We have been in the removals trade for years and consider ourselves experts when it comes to helping people to move home. I appreciate that you may not know much about removals and struggle to choose between different removal companies. To help you make a more educated choice, follow our guidelines below to choose the right removals company for you.

If you regularly read our blogs, you would have already read about The British Association of Removers (BAR). Any removal company who is a member has to adhere to certain standards. This accreditation also means that the removals company is willing to be held to a minimum standard. Click here to find out if you’re elected removals company are a member of this professional body.

In short, my advice is to do a bit of research to find out as much as you can about a removals company. Don’t judge simply on price alone and follow these guidelines to help you make the right choice.

8 questions to ask yourself when hiring a removals company

1. Can I find the removals company online?

The most obvious thing to do first is search Google for ‘removals companies in Fife’ or ‘the best removals companies in Fife’ (replace Fife with your preferred location).

Any removals company worth working with will have a decent Internet presence and website.

Start by having a look at their website and see what you can find out about them. Most people judge a company online first before making any decisions.

You should be able to make a judgement call – does it look professional or does it give off an amateur vibe?

Check for the following important elements:

Trust is the most important factor when deciding which removals company to hire. Be wary of a mobile numbers and companies only doing their business via 3rd party websites including Facebook.

2. Do I trust this removals company?

When you are doing your Internet research look out for photos of their vehicles, staff and premises. Some companies use professional stock images on their websites, which is completely legitimate, but this won’t give you the ‘social proof’ that you are looking for.

Perhaps the best place to look for the most up to date information is on their blog and on social media – are they updating these platforms regularly?

When it comes to choosing a removals company that you can trust, I know as a customer myself that I would appreciate looking at photos of what’s really happening in the company.

3. Are they a member of The British Association of Removers (BAR)?

If you choose a removal company that are a member of The British Association of Removers (BAR) you can rest assured that they have to comply with regulations to be part of this professional body.

In short, if anything goes wrong with your removal, you have a professional unbiassed organisation to seek advice from. BAR also offers pre-payment protection, a free conciliation service, and is approved and monitored by the Trading Standards Institute.

Look out for the BAR logo on websites and any other marketing materials.

4. What are my insurance options?

It may be the last thing on your mind, but you need to find out what your insurance options are.  If you are hiring a professional removals company nothing should go wrong, but if it does, you want to make sure your belongings are covered.

Accidents do happen, so safeguard yourself just in case.

5. How much stuff am I moving?

I previously wrote an article about removals company vs white van man vs DIY: which is better? In this blog, I mentioned that if you don’t have a lot of goods hiring a professional removals company might not be the right option for you.

For example, if you are a single student your removal requirements will be very different from that of a large family house who has a lot more furniture and goods to move.

If you have quite a lot of stuff to move it would make sense to hire a professional removals company, and hiring a van and doing the removal yourself would perhaps be a better option for a single student.

6. How much will my removal cost?

Price is probably one of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to choosing a removals company.  However, its worthwhile pointing out that you don’t always have to go with the lowest quote. You need to check what type of service you are getting for your money.

My advice on price is to get quotes from a few different companies and pick the one that offers the best value and level of service you require.

Make sure you are comparing like for like and using the advice in this article before you make a decision based on the price.

7. What date are we moving home?

Many removals companies charge extra or higher rates for peak times, so don’t forget to ask about their policy for this in advance.

Thursday and Friday are popular days for moving, so if you want to have more options and the opportunity for a more competitive rate try to schedule your move mid-week if possible.

8. Do they have customer reviews and testimonials?

Reviews and ratings have become a major part of buying decisions, especially when buying online.

If you need a bit of reassurance before you decide to hire a removals company, check out their website for customer testimonials or ask to speak to some of their previous customers.

You can check for reviews on:

Before you choose which removals company is right for you, my advice is to shop around, find out what type of service you are getting and compare it like for like. Do a bit of online research and if in doubt, always ask what you are getting in advance. The more informed you are, the more likely you are to hire the best removals company that fits your needs.

I wish you every success in choosing the best removals company for you.

John Kilgour - Fife Group

 

John Kilgour

Managing Director

Fife Group



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