Website Offers Advice & Tips for Frazzled Movers
Moving house can be one of life’s most stressful experiences – research has shown the stress levels are up there with a death of a family member, marriage breakdown or loss of a job.
Peak industry body the Australian Furniture Remover’s Association (AFRA) has this week launched a website to assist in taking the stress out of moving.
“Moving can actually be a really emotional experience, and we identified that many people were experiencing anxiety and stress when moving house,” says Executive Director of AFRA, Viv Hanley.
“A home contains memories, and there is a lot of hassle involved in picking up your life and all your possessions when relocating. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories in my 50 years in the industry – damaged property and hidden charges are among the most common.”
Mr Hanley’s advice to avoid the potential pitfalls of moving is to use an accredited removalist.
“A lot of people will just book the first mover they find in the phone book, but it’s important to do your research,” Mr Hanley says.
“Unlike non-regulated removalists, AFRA accredited members undergo training, are required to carry insurance and all vehicles are kept up to industry standards. If you have an issue with an accredited removal company, AFRA also offers a dispute resolution procedure.”
AFRA has launched a revamped version of its website www.afra.com.au for members of the public to search for an accredited removalist, as well as find advice and tips to assist in planning a hassle-free move.
AFRA suggests the following simple steps to take the stress out of moving house
Choose an AFRA accredited removal company — this means the company has conducted a registered training course and must adhere to an industry Code of Conduct – don’t use a moving company unless at least one of the removalists is accredited
Take out insurance — It is unlikely your belongings will be covered by home and contents insurance when you are moving, as the risk of damage is greater when goods are being relocated. Transit insurance, offered by accredited removalists, is in most instances the most economical way to cover your goods in transit.
Know what you’re paying for – double check that the quote you are provided with by the moving company includes the travel cost to and from the properties – especially for long distance moves.
Make an inventory of your belongings — if you are asking for a quote over the phone, take a thorough inventory of your belongings to ensure you are given an accurate quote – or even better, have the removalist visit your home to assess its contents before they prepare their quote.
It is not usual practice for a removalist to provide an inventory unless you are moving interstate. If you are moving interstate or into storage, you should make sure the removalist completes an inventory that is signed by both parties at pickup and at delivery.
What if your goods are damaged? — If you are insured, the insurance will cover any damage. If you are not insured, you may have no recourse to any compensation. If you believe the removalist was at fault for causing the damage, you should immediately contact the removal company and discuss any issues you may have.
What to do if you have a dispute with your removalist? — If you use an accredited removalist, and you have an issue such as damaged furniture or a dispute over a quote, AFRA offers dispute resolution.
In the event of a problem that cannot be resolved with your removalist company, you can approach AFRA for assistance in resolving the claim. If this is not successful, an independent disputes tribunal will adjudicate. The AFRA member has agreed to abide by its decision as part of the Code of Conduct.
If your removalist is not accredited with AFRA, you will need to contact Fair Trading over any disputes.
According to Mr Hanley, accredited members of AFRA range in size from small one truck owner operated companies to large multinational companies, covering virtually every region in Australia.
To search for an accredited removalist, or to find further tips and advice on moving house, visit www.afra.com.au