Moving house is for many one of life’s most stressful experiences and most people will have at least one disaster story in their lifetime. In my 50 years experience in the furniture removal industry I have heard every horror story in the book – most concerning lost or damaged belongings or being overcharged on the day.
As Executive Director of the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA), a key industry body that audits and accredits removalists, I have discovered that one of the main contributors to stressful moves is choosing an unreliable removalist. People will often just book the first mover they find in the phone book.
They don’t research whether or not the company is reputable or if the removalists they have booked have the appropriate qualifications.
Many movers seem to be under the impression that removalists are required to be officially accredited and qualified. Unfortunately this is not the case. In Australia, anyone who has a truck and a friend can set themselves up in business claiming to be a removalist.
This can leave you open to all sorts of problems. A common complaint we receive from people moving house is that they didn’t sign a contract, and simply left instructions for a removalist to pack and deliver. Their belongings don’t arrive at the scheduled time, and can take up to several weeks to be delivered.
Disputes over cost are also common – where a removalist provides a verbal quote that is different from their invoice on the day. It’s surprising how many people don’t know what they are paying for when they book a removalist. My advice is to do your background research and know the right questions to ask. Be thorough about how much you have to pack when you request a quote and always ensure you have the right insurance and documentation. Also consider choosing an accredited removalist to avoid some of the potential pitfalls. Accredited removalists have completed a registered training course and must adhere to an industry code of conduct.
If your removalist is not accredited with AFRA, you will need to contact Fair Trading over any disputes. To search for an accredited removalist, or to find further tips and advice on moving house, visit www.afra.com.au – See more at: http://www.stratavoice.com.au/blog/maintenance/29-how-to-choose-a-removalist/#sthash.DMomvO4z.dpuf