Whether it is within your city or interstate, moving house is stressful and completely unenjoyable. No one likes uprooting their lives and doing the tedious work of packing up their worldly belongings and transferring the utilities and changing addresses a million times, and the stress is compounded when the search through the cheap removalists often begins.
You want to stay on budget, but how can you know whether you are getting an affordable but dedicated removalist or a scam artist? While most furniture removalists are honest – in fact, most of the cheap interstate removalists you will find across the country are honest – there are always bad apples to watch out for. So here is five things you should always consider when searching for furniture removalists for your next move.
One: AFRA Membership
The Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) is a national organisation dedicated to regulating the removalist industry and ensuring best practices. It currently has 270 members, who put up a $2,000 bond and agree to allow an immediate and follow-up audit of their business practices, with annual re-audits afterwards. The goal of AFRA is to raise the professionalism and reputation of the removalist industry overall, and membership in it is a key way to tell that the cheap removalists you have found are reliable.
Make sure the removalists you are considering hold insurance. This does not mean that they simply have marketing content about guaranteeing your possessions, but that they are fully licensed and insured as a company. This is a vital protection for your possessions when in the care of the moving company. Not holding insurance is a clear Red Flag.
First of all, any removalist company you hire should offer you a clear and detailed estimate of their costs. Read it carefully, and make sure you are not charged up front for hours automatically no matter how long the actual move takes, and that any extra charges are clearly listed and explained.
Make sure you know the size of the van being provided by your furniture removalists and how many men will be on the team, and consider whether it is enough to move your house – or too much. There is no need to pay for men and truck space you do not need, but the flip side is there is no benefit in an undersized truck and a team that is not big enough.
Even the cheap removalists should be able to refer you to several satisfied customers. If they are unable to offer up even a few names for you to contact, that is the biggest red flag of all. When you contact the references, have a short list of questions regarding price (any surprise charges?), quality (any damaged or lost items?), and service (how were they to deal with?).
Just because a removalist is affordable does not mean they are not professional and experienced. All it takes is a little due diligence to avoid disaster.
Jorge Cervantes is a research writer and a contributor with City Move. He believes in providing informative and quality content to his readers.