While most moving companies are honest, the moving industry is unregulated therefore is vulnerable to scams and unfortunately has attracted some unscrupulous operators. Rogue movers typically work like this:
Without ever visiting your home or seeing the goods you want moved, they’ll give you a low-ball estimate over the phone or online. Then, once your goods are on their truck they’ll hold your goods to ransom and demand more money than was originally agreed to.
While you may have some legal recourse should you be put in this situation, such action is costly, time-consuming and is likely to add considerably to the stress you’re already experiencing due to the unsettling nature of moving house.
Your best defence: recognise a rogue mover before they have their claws in your goods.
Be on the lookout for these red flags:
- No Inspection: The mover doesn’t offer or agree to an on-site inspection of your goods and gives an estimate over the phone or internet – sight unseen. These estimates often sound too good to be true. They usually are.
- Upfront payment: While it’s common practice for reputable removalist companies to accept a small deposit upon acceptance of a quote to cover themselves should clients cancel at the last minute, it’s unreasonable for removals companies to demand full payment or a large deposit before the move. Be alert should such a request be made.
- No local address: The company’s website has no local address. Know who you’re dealing with by asking questions. And where will you go to recover your deposit should there be a no-show on move day?
- Office condition: Office and/or warehouses are in poor condition. Shoddy workplaces will often reflect shoddy work practices. How much do you value your possessions?
- Insurance claims: The moving company assures you all your goods are covered by their own insurance without providing options for third party cover. Why is this important? Please refer to our moving insurance page for more information.
- No company name: The telephone is answered with a generic, “Moving company” or “Movers”, never disclosing or revealing their company name (assuming they have one). Moving is costly enough without being ripped off as well – know who you’re dealing with.
- Rental trucks: On moving day along comes a rental truck with no specialist fit out, removals equipment or signage. Don’t expect your goods to arrive at their destination in the same serviceable condition they were in prior to being loaded into the truck.
- AFRA membership?: The Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) only accredits professional furniture removalists who possess the necessary equipment, vehicles, premises and trained staff to complete a professional move. It’s advisable to use AFRA members only.
And these are just a few of the warning signs!
If you’d like to enlist the services of a professional removalist company that possesses the goods to carry your goods, give Pittwater Removals & Storage a call on (02) 9971 2424 or send us a quick quote request and we’ll get back to you asap.