Moving house is considered to be one of life’s most stressful events – it’s up there with losing your job and getting a divorce, according to many who’ve experienced all three. So after potentially years of searching for the right house, putting an offer in, securing a mortgage, and sometimes preparing your family to move miles away from their old home, making sure the removal process goes to plan is one of the last hurdles.
Choosing a company to handle all of your possessions during this stressful time isn’t a decision we take lightly, whether your furniture is largely from Ikea, or antiques you bought at Christie’s. But when the market seems saturated with removal companies all fighting for business, how do you choose?
The first essential consideration is to choose a firm that is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR). If a removal company isn’t a member of BAR, there’s no way of confirming that they’re a legitimate, reliable company, so they could be someone that you really don’t want handling your great aunt’s mahogany sideboard. According to Trusted Mover, “97% of consumers recommend their BAR remover”, so sidestepping this regulation could lead to damaged goods and little chance of a refund.
Looking at testimonials will further inform your decision, but don’t always rely on what a company is willing to put on its site, which could be hand-picked from a sea of terrible reviews. Search for the company’s name in Google and see if anyone’s posted negative comments on external sites the company has no control over. If they provide a dissatisfactory service, it’s likely to have made an impact on social media, so Twitter is also a valuable resource. Sites like Trust Pilot and Reference Line show both comments and satisfaction ratings, so you can make an informed decision with much more objective results. Alarm bells should ring if you can’t find any at all, if they’re all a few years old, or, for obvious reasons, they’re overwhelmingly negative.
Consider the age of a company, as the removals business is largely based on recommendations and who dominates particular regions of the UK. An established company will have the self-confidence and history of such, but they might demand a higher price. And a new company isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but checking testimonials is particularly important if they’re only a couple of years old, just to make sure you’re in good hands.
The BAR recommends that consumers get three quotes from different companies, before they choose a domestic removal company. Affordability will always be a consideration, but be sure to weigh up other aspects of a service before instinctively choosing the cheapest. Moving house isn’t a budget service, no matter what the age or location of your chosen company, but a suspiciously cheap quote is one to stay well away from. Avoid heavily discounted services, as it’s likely they’re not a member of BAR and following the unreliable ‘man with a van’ model.
And most importantly, when you’ve considered all of these, ask around friends, family and colleagues. If someone you know has recently moved, find out who they used, how the service was the how affordable it was. Word of mouth will always be a good removal company’s best friend.