May 31, 2024

Questions to Ask Removals Companies Before You Book

We’d always recommend putting some time into researching any business you plan to work with on your house move, and your intended removals company is certainly no exception – you’re entrusting them with your home and all your treasured possessions, after all.

‘Word of mouth’ recommendations from friends or family members is a great place to start – it’s unlikely loved ones would vouch for a company they don’t trust or that did a bad job. But even so, always check out Google, Trustpilot and Facebook reviews and testimonials to get a feel for how a removals company and their services have been perceived by previous clients.

You may also wish to consult professional organisations such as Move Assured (of which we’re a proud Affiliate Member), to search for accredited removals companies in your area.

Once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, it’s worth noting a few key questions to ask a removals company before you book; we’ve listed some of them below. A trustworthy and reliable business will be more than happy to answer your queries honestly and provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice.

Will you be conducting a pre-move survey? And if so, when?

A home visit in advance of providing a quote is a removals company’s opportunity to assess the upcoming job and ask you, the buyer, various questions. The visit will include inspecting any particularly awkward or precious items they’ll be required to move, considering any special requirements you may have, and assessing any specific challenges, such as narrow entryways, steps and stairs, parking issues, and access routes from the property to their vehicle(s). It’s also your chance to speak to the experts, ask any questions, and raise any issues you foresee might be a problem. The more honest and open you can be about what you need and expect, the more accurate the quote will be.

The pre-move survey is offered free of charge by most reputable removals companies. It allows for a thorough, comprehensive and specific moving plan to be created, and helps prevent any unforeseen issues or surprises on moving day that might hold up proceedings and/or incur additional charges. Importantly, this survey will also enable the company to provide you with an accurate estimate for the cost of the work involved ahead of providing a detailed quote. A company willing to quote without undertaking a pre-move survey may be one to avoid.

How long will the move take? Who will be doing it?

The duration of the move will, of course, depend on a variety of factors, including: the overall volume of all the items to be loaded and unloaded; whether your removals company is packing for you; the amount of items (eg, beds, flatpack wardrobes) that will requiring dismantling and reassembling by the moving company; whether there are any specialist or fragile items to be moved (eg, grandfather clock, piano, valuable artworks).

The time it takes to move will be impacted by the size of the removals team and how many vehicles they will be using. So, ask the removals company how many people you can expect to be coming and going from your property throughout moving day. You may also wish to ask if all removals staff are DBS checked, and whether they will all be wearing uniforms for easy identification.

Following a pre-move visit, your removals company will be able to provide specific timeframe and plan for staffing levels required.

What vehicles and moving equipment will you be using?

As leaders in the sector, we know very well how important it is to have the right and best moving equipment for the task at hand, and we count a large number of excellent professional removals firms among our clients. Our range of furniture skates and piano trolleys offer the ideal versatile solution to a wide range of moving tasks – and our customers agree!

Following a pre-move survey, your chosen company will be able to give you guidance about what size and type of vehicle(s) your specific move will require. For larger moves, smaller removals firms often team up with another trusted local company, working as one big team to load your furniture and possessions into the right number of suitable vehicles.

If specialist equipment such as stair-climbers or lifting equipment is going to be required, the company should be able to provide information about the tools and kit they have available, and whether they will need to call on the services of additional specialist providers to assist their team with your particular move.

How much will the work cost and what are your payment terms?

It’s standard practice to request a quotation from a removals company that you’re considering engaging – but it’s important to remember that, at the earliest stages, this will just be an estimate. Never assume that all your requirements will definitely be included within preliminary estimates or quoted prices, particularly if the company haven’t yet conducted a comprehensive survey, and checked out the home you are moving into, as well as the one you are leaving.

Do take the time and effort to clarify what is, and is not, included within standard costings. Are you expecting the firm to pack some or all of your possessions? If not, do check that your items will be fully insured against breakages if you pack them yourself. Many removals firms prefer to pack fragile items for you, using fully trained staff and suitable packing materials, to minimise the risk of any damage. Ask as many questions as necessary and highlight any specific needs or troublesome items during the pre-move survey. Your contact should be able to flag any tasks or items that fall outside of their standard costings.

Establish payment terms before signing any contracts; for example, is a deposit required? If so, how much will this be, and when does it need to be paid? When is final payment due? What are the company’s payment terms and conditions? Are there cancellation penalties if your move falls through at the last moment, or has to be postponed for some unforeseen reason?

Once your final quote is provided, make sure that everything you’re expecting, and that was discussed, is covered. And double-check with the company if anything is at all unclear, to ensure you won’t be faced with unexpected costs at a later point.

Are there any items, or restrictions, not covered by your insurance?

It’s worth having a conversation with your potential movers about any items that might not be covered by their removals insurance policies, so that you can make alternative arrangements where necessary. The company will be able to advise specifics, but excluded items may include legal documentation such as deeds or passports, perishables including opened food items, plants or animals, and potentially dangerous of spillable items such as paint, aerosols and garden chemicals. Additionally, if you have any unusual, fragile, high-value or precious items that will need to be transported on moving day, you must disclose these in advance to check they will be covered.

It’s also worth double-checking details about procedure and coverage for items which are lost or broken during the packing, loading and moving process – ensuring that should the worst happen and something is damaged or mislaid throughout the move, you have an idea of what to expect from the company you’re working with.

What is your feedback and complaints procedure?

Even with all the best plans in place, and with professionals on your side, unfortunately things can sometimes still go wrong. If you find yourself needing to log a complaint, it will help to know the necessary formal procedure – and any potential outcomes you can expect in terms of follow-up communications, reports, or refunds that may be applicable.

On the other hand, if everything goes well, remember that the removals industry thrives on ‘word of mouth’ recommendations and customer testimonials. If your moving company did a great job – tell them! And maybe give them a shout-out on social media too, including local groups. Consider leaving a public review – eg, on Trustpilot, Facebook or Google – to let other potential customers know why you’d recommend the company and their services. Positive feedback goes a long way and is every bit as helpful and valuable to other movers as highlighting areas for improvement.

Do you offer any other services that would be useful to me?

Most removals companies offer additional services such as the provision of packing materials such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap etc. Dismantling and reassembly of beds and other flatpack items is increasingly offered, either as standard, or as an add-on service.

Many larger companies have their own storage facilities, which can be particularly helpful if you’re not moving into your new property straight away, or if your move is too large, or too long-distance to complete in a single day.

If your removals company offers packing services, they may also offer unpacking at the other end. Removing and disposing of unwanted items left behind in your old property may also relieve you of a lot of tedious clearing up. Some companies also offer cleaning services, often in partnership with a local specialist team – particularly useful if you’re leaving a rental property.

Using such add-on services might well save you money, by keeping the work ‘in house’ with the company you’ve already engaged to move you, but could also reduce the time, energy and stress of having to research and employ multiple different firms at the same time.

Still looking for advice on planning your house move?

Check out Help for Movers for step-by-step guidance that will hold your hand through each stage of moving home, with checklists for almost everything you’ll need to do, from start to finish.

And don’t forget that here at Evo Supplies, we have years of experience within the removals sector and are here with help and guidance on the best moving equipment available on the market. Visit our online shop to browse our range of furniture skates and piano trolleys, or get in touch with our team on 01206 386683.