8. How to avoid cowboy removal companies
Cowboy removal companies can turn your exciting house moves into a nightmare through inflated prices and unreliable services. That’s why we aim to make sure that you are guaranteed a top-quality service that you can trust.
Here are 6 things to consider when trying to differentiate between professional removal companies and cowboy movers.
You should almost always expect to pay a deposit with legitimate removal companies. Deposits serve as a contract between tradesman and customers. You show your commitment to a removal service as you are not likely to back out, and you are guaranteed a reliable service in return.
Deposits are usually taken at the time that you book to your move. Some companies may offer a quote which is valid for a fixed period of time, and in order to benefit from that particular quote, a deposit might be taken even if you do not yet have a confirmed move date. It is also common practice to ask for full payment before work commences.
PLI and GIT insurance
Public Liability Insurance (PLI) is business insurance that covers compensation payments and legal costs should a customer or member of the general public sue a removals firm in the case of property damage or injury.
Public Liability Insurance protects businesses from third party claims and so, if they don’t have it, it’s likely they are trying to stay below the radar and operate unlawfully, or unreliably in the case of customers.
On the other hand, Goods in Transit insurance (GIT) covers business goods against loss or damage whilst being transported. All removal companies should have this coverage as it protects against damage to your property.
Hiring a removals company without PLI and GIT insurance is not worth the risk. Although they may be cheaper, this comes at the risk of damaged property that can’t be claimed. Do bear in mind, however, that many of the better removal companies offer Limited Liability as standard, where the customer’s property is covered up to a fixed amount per item (typically around £60), with an option to buy into full insurance cover for around 0.15% of the total value of the property.
Reputable home removal firms will conduct a survey before moving your things. This allows them to establish whether you have any valuable or fragile possessions that need to be protected and determine vehicle size for moving day.
Home surveys show that a removal company cares about your move enough to service your needs. They can also provide a more accurate and fairer quote, which is often dependent on the scale of your move.
Cowboy movers are less likely to waste time on home surveys and are more likely to provide cheap quotes to reel you in.
The general public is the ultimate indicator as to whether a service is reliable. Previous customers show that a removals company has been tried, tested, and approved by those in a similar position to you. One can usually get a pretty good sense of a company through reading reviews. Even if a removal service is not a cowboy company, you could find out that they are still unreliable or unfriendly by checking their reviews.
A serious company should have a website, Google page and social media. If they are a limited company, then they will be registered at Companies House, though it is very possible that they had already been trading prior to becoming incorporated, so don’t assume that the period of time that they have been registered at Companies House equates to the age of the company. Ask them. As a rule, if you type the company name into Google, there should be a number of search results for that company.
If you’re looking for a reliable removal service in Manchester or the North West of England, please feel free to contact us for more information and/or bookings.