The 10 questions to ask to ensure a smooth move

Mike McCarthyManaging director of McCarthy’s Removals &

Do your homework when booking a removal firm
Do your homework when booking a removal firm

Finding a removals firm can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought in the process of moving house -despite the fact a homeowner is entrusting everything they own to a removals company,

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Tales of companies who didn’t turn up on move day, who held goods to ‘ransom’ for extra fees they suddenly required, or where items were treated poorly and arrived damaged and broken.

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A quick Google search brings up a multitude of removals firms and man and van services – how do you decide? Here are the 10 questions you should ask:

1. How will they assess what you need? A reputable company will come and visit you at home so you can talk them through what you need – or there are special online video surveys which can be used now if you prefer. It’s the only way to ensure you have an accurate quote, meaning no unexpected surprises. Meeting up also gives you an opportunity to ask questions about what is involved. If a company seems to be rushing you, alarm bells should ring.

2. Do they have an address? A big warning sign should be a company which only operates from a nmobile phone number. If, on move day, they don’t pick up the phone, or the phone is switched off, what would you do?

3. Are they a member of BAR? Members of the British Association of Removers have to sign up to, and prove they adhere to, a strict code of conduct and high level of customer service. It’s an extra level of reassurance for you.

4. Do they provide a packing service? Can they supply packing materials? Many removals companies offer a packing service – find out upfront if this is possible and what costs would be involved. If you wish to pack yourself, can the company provide good quality packing materials?

5. How will they handle any specialist items which need moving? If you have anything you’re particularly nervous about moving – for example, artwork, music equipment or something unusually heavy – ask the removals firm how they would move the item safely. They should have equipment and procedures in place.

6. How would they handle things like last minute delays/bad weather? Delays do happen – chains collapse, the ‘Beast from the East’ hits. But a good removals firm is dealing with this day-in, day-out, so shouldn’t be fazed. Ask how situations would be handled and what can be done to mitigate any risks.

7. Can they offer storage if needed? If delays happen sometimes it necessitates items being held in storage – either for a day or two, or over a longer period. Perhaps your sale goes ahead but your purchase falls through, and you’d rather stay with friends in the short term than lose your sale. If that happens, can your removals firm offer a storage option?

8. How experienced is the team ? An experienced team will have seen every situation before and take them in their stride. Not only that, they’ll be quick and efficient whilst ensuring your items are kept safe and secure for the duration of your move.

9. What about insurance? Be clear about what is covered by the removal firm’s insurance.

10. What will need to be done about parking and permits? A good company will ask the question of you.

McCarthy’s Removals & Storage, Leeds., tel: 0113 262 3000