How to spot a cowboy removals company


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If you’re looking for a removals company, it always pay to do a bit of research before agreeing anything.

Unfortunately, there are lots of cowboy removal companies out there just waiting to rip you off.

So in this week’s blog, we are going to arm you with everything you need to know to spot a cowboy miles away!

How to spot a cowboy removals company

Sometimes it’s better to go for a local company

Sometimes it’s better to go with a local removals company, as you’re more likely to have heard of them before.

A lot can be said for reputation, so ask around to find out what you can about them. If you can’t find out anything about them through word of mouth, go to their website and see what you can find.

The issue with going outside your local area, is that you’ll get removal companies you’ve never heard of before and you might struggle to find out much about them.

Check their website

The first thing to do is to check their website and look out for the following:

From a marketing perspective, you should be able to tell a lot about a company from their website. The chances are if there website doesn’t look professional and credible, then they could potentially be a cowboy operation.

If you’re unsure, meet them in person

You can tell a lot from a company when you meet their representatives in person.  Are they smart and respectable? Would you want them handling your goods in transit? What type of vehicle did they show up in?

Most removal companies should be able to offer you a home survey, so once you meet them, you should be able to get a bit more information about the company and their service. Ask yourself the questions above to gage whether you want to do business with them or not.

Check their vehicles

A professional removals outfit will have good vehicles that are branded and are fit for purpose.

As I’ve mentioned, if you get a home visit, you should be able to see what vehicle they arrive in.  If it says ‘Gardens and Maintenance’ chances are they are jacks of all trades and shouldn’t be trusted with your possessions.

Believe it or not, but moving house is an art form which takes years to master. Our staff are trained, and they know exactly how to protect your goods when moving.

A professional removals company will have well trained staff, the right vehicles, blankets or tie rails to secure larger items for transit.

You have a right to ask for references

As a potential customer, you have every right to ask for references should you require them. They should be able to provide you with this, or at least point you to testimonials on their website.

If they kick up a fuss, chances are they aren’t the right removals company for you.

Do a check on companies house, if they’re a limited company

If they are a limited company, you’ll be able to check if they’re legitimate by looking on the companies house website.

A legal limited company should be on record there. You can find out quite a bit about the company from this website, so take your time doing your homework.

You can also cross reference the companies address on companies house to the address listed on their website.

It’s a bargain price, but check what you’re getting

If you can’t quite believe the price, or feel like you’ve bagged yourself a bargain, then steady on a minute. Always check the finer details, how many removal men are carrying out your job, are they loading and unloading your goods?

The saying you get what you pay for is often very true. So always check the fine print, and be clear on what level of service you are getting for your money.

Also be wary of untrained removal men, as you could find that you’re prized possessions could be damaged.

Look out for accreditations

We are members of BAR – The British Association of Removers.

To have this accreditation, we have to adhere to BAR standards and make sure our removals service meets the BAR criteria.

If you see the BAR logo, then you can be rest assured that your removals firm is a professional company. You can search for BAR members by clicking here.


You wouldn’t let someone who isn’t insured drive your car – well the same principle should be applied to your removal.

Check that your removal firm has the appropriate insurance to cover any losses or damages. If they don’t have insurance, then don’t hire them.

Good luck with your removal, and give the cowboys a miss!

Brian Munro - Fife Group


Brian Munro

Operations Director

Fife Group 

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