Fife Group Removals

Problems with removals – 8 common problems with hiring a removals company and how to solve them


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If you are thinking about moving home in the near future there’s a good chance that you have done some research online to find a suitable removals company. By the time you are reading this you may have even chosen your removals company and you are looking forward to moving home.

What could go wrong I hear you say? Nothing should go wrong, but occasionally problems do arise with removals. There are lots of horror stories and even videos online about removals that will make you think twice about hiring a removals company. That’s why its so important to take your time choosing a reputable removals company.

We don’t want you to have any problems with your move, and because we have been in the removals business for a significant number of years, we are in a fortunate position where we can share our expertise to highlight the potential problems. However, we’re not going to leave it there, we’ll also provide you with some solutions to make sure that any potential problems are minimised and your removal doesn’t end up as one of the horror stories found on the internet in the near future.

8 common problems that can occur when hiring a removals company

1. Damaged belongings

Your items should always be handled with care and we always follow the ethos of ‘we handle your belongings like we were moving our own belongings‘. The last thing you want is to find smashed or damaged goods when you start unpacking.

However, occasionally things can get damaged and this can easily happen if goods are not well packaged and protected for the journey ahead. It pays to wrap your fragile items correctly and to make sure your movers aren’t heavy handed with any fragile boxes.

Heavy furniture can get knocked, dented and scratched if a removals team are unexperienced or untrained. In most circumstances your removals team will take great care when lifting and securing furniture into the removals vehicle to make sure its safe to travel in transit. But it’s best practice to make sure fragile items are marked clearly and that you removals team have clear instructions.

Always check your insurance cover, and the insurance cover of the removals company in advance to ensure that if the worst happens, your belongings will be protected.

2. Damage to your property

During a move with bulky furniture and the logistics of moving it is possible that your property can be damaged. In most cases it’s not something to worry about, but it can happen and sometimes damage can take place even with the greatest of care.

Typical examples of damage to your property is knocks and dents to door frames when moving furniture, or a removals vehicle driving up your lawn and damaging your grass/driveway.

To ensure this doesn’t happen your removals team will plan out exactly how they are going to move bulky furniture and the optimum place to park their vehicle to minimise damage and maximise time.

If you are concerned the best course of action is to provide your removals team with specific instructions to avoid and prevent any damage.

If the worst does happen, take photographs of the damaged area, so you can ensure it is repaired and any insurance claims are supported with documented evidence.

3. The removals vehicle is the wrong size

There are two reasons why this might happen. Firstly, the removals calculator was not completed accurately, and secondly, the removals company have misjudged the quantity of your belongings.

Either way, the result will impact the time required to move home, and potentially lead to an impact in the total cost of your move.

This shouldn’t happen if your removal has been calculated correctly. Many removal companies have an online calculator or you can request an estimator to visit your home to calculate your removal for you. This is why it’s important to take your time when completing the online calculator to make sure it is as accurate as possible.

If you feel your removal company has misjudged the volume of goods and/or delayed your removal, you should talk to them directly about this.

4. You run out of packing materials

Running out of packing materials becomes a problem when it happens close to the time for the removals team arriving. In most circumstances this problem is solved with good planning. In other words, not leaving the packing until the last minute.

The obvious problem is that your belongings won’t be well protected in transit. The additional issue is that it will take more time for your removals team to load and unload the van.

The solution is simple: make sure you have enough packaging materials to protect your items for moving, and that you get everything ready for the move in advance.

You can usually purchase packing materials from your removal company, or you can find an online supplier.

If you do find yourself in a sticky situation you can use pillow cases and cushions to pad out boxes and use old newspapers to wrap fragile items.

The majority of removal companies offer full or part packaging services at an additional cost, which could save you having to worry about this problem all together.

5. The movers are late

Any professional removals company will plan out your move with care and an eye on the detail to make sure everything goes to plan.

However, your removals team can be delayed for several reasons – busy traffic on the roads, getting lost and can’t find your address, if it takes longer than expected to load/unload.

Either way, if your movers don’t leave themselves enough time to pack up to get your new house, you could find yourself spending the night in a hotel, and we don’t want that.

What you can do to minimise any problems with timing is to make sure the movers have the correct addresses, mobile numbers and parking permits for loading and unloading and agree the exact times with your removals company.

It is also worth pointing out that sometimes getting the keys to your new address takes longer than anticipated and your movers are left waiting around until you get the keys.  There isn’t much you can do about this and you often have to wait it out.

6. Missing belongings

How could something go missing simply moving from point A to point B? Although your removals team strive to make sure this never happens, it can happen from time to time.

Te ensure nothing goes missing, or is perceived to be missing, make sure you keep an accurate itinerary of your items, that your removals team have the correct address and that your possessions are not left unattended on the street, in the removals vehicle or in your garden.

If something seems to be missing, check with your removals company as soon as possible.

7. You are charged more than quoted

This could happen if the move takes longer than expected or runs into an extra day.

There are a few reasons why this problem might occur:

I have heard horror stories of removals companies refusing to leave properties until they get paid for any extra work carried out. You will be glad to hear that we certainly don’t take this approach with our customers!

In most circumstances this is not something to worry about as your removals team will do what they can to plan the move accurately.

However, if the team arrive at your property and there is a significant difference between the amount of belongings you said you had, versus what you actually have, then you should expect an additional charge to compensate for the extra work required.

8. Insurance claims

No one really wants to go down the route of an insurance claim – it can be stressful and time consuming for both yourself and the removals company. The best approach is to be as proactive as possible and minimise any potential problems before they arise.

However, it’s worthwhile checking with both your insurance provider and the removals company to ensure they have adequate policies if the worst was to happen.

Professional removals companies will be members of The British Association of Removers (BAR), which is an industry standard service level agreement that removals companies have to adhere to if they want to achieve this professional level of accreditation.

Planning makes perfect

There’s a lot of information here and hopefully you can see that there’s an element of team work involved. In other words, both yourself and the removals company have to work together to ensure your move goes to plan and problems are completely minimised.

There are so many variables involved in every move and I hope that the removals company you choose is as helpful and as professional as possible.

I hope you have found this article useful and helpful and if you are unsure of anything the best course of action is to speak to your removals company in the first instance.

Happy moving.

John Kilgour Managing Director - Fife Group


John Kilgour

Managing Director

Fife Group

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