During a move, your items are susceptible to various mishaps that can happen while they’re in transit. Damaged items and lost items are some of the most common issues with removalists, along with delays in schedule and damages in the house when transferring the items.
These are the reasons why choosing the right company is the most important aspect when planning a move. Whether you’re moving locally or interstate, it’s going to be one of your most expensive decisions and so you need to get it right.
To help you better assess the reliability of a removalist, here are the questions to ask movers. Their answers to these questions will help you determine whether they’re the right ones for the job.
- Are you AFRA Certified?
It is important to note that there is no formal licensing or regulation of the removal industry in Australia. To ensure the best possible service, you should always choose an AFRA certified removalist (Australian Furniture Removers Association). This ensures they must meet certain standards in relation to equipment, vehicles, premises and staff training to complete a professional move.
You shouldn’t assume that every business you see on classified ads or in the search engine results is accredited with AFRA. Some are operating on their own and they may cut corners to offer you a cheap quote. You don’t have an assurance that they will follow a set of rules and regulations about the safety of your items.
- What Equipment Do You Have?
The mover must have the necessary equipment to move all your items. They must have the right-sized truck – big enough to accommodate your biggest items. They should also have the basics like hoisting equipment and several dollies.
Do you have any special item that needs special handling? Make sure they have the equipment for that by asking. If they use a subcontractor for this part, check with that company, too.
- What Kind of Insurance Coverage Can You Offer?
You want to make sure that your belongings are properly covered should an accident occur. Ask for details of their transit insurance options; a legitimate removalist should be able to provide you with a choice of policy and cover.
You can, for instance, get coverage for local removals, interstate removals, and even storage based on full replacement or market value. The premiums will vary based on the cover that you choose but a good removalists will have an option that will work for you.
- Are Your Workers Covered?
Did you know that you can be liable for any injury that happened on your property? For instance, an accident happens while a mover was getting an item from your house. The accident then results in a major injury.
If they don’t have the proper workers’ and public liability insurance, you’ll have to pay for their injury. That’s because the worker was injured on your property.
Although the movers will only be staying for a short time on your property, their safety is still a responsibility to give you cause for concern.
- How Long Have You Been in Business?
A removalist that has been around for a while means they have a lot of experience. The oldest companies may have already encountered every delay, mistake, and other mishaps. This becomes important as you’ll be sure they’ll already know what to do if the same thing happens for your move.
It’s also a good sign that they’ve been producing satisfactory results to be able to stay afloat for so long. However, longevity doesn’t necessarily equate to quality service, so don’t base your decision on this alone.
- Do You Have Experience With My Type of Move?
That said, you also have to specifically ask if they have experience with your specific type of move. Are you moving to a high-rise apartment? Or a big city with limited parking places?
Ask this question, especially if you’re moving somewhere with added difficulties. Moving stuff to the fifth floor of a building is far harder than moving to a suburban home, for instance.
Still, ask if they’re prepared for any kind of scenario. What if there are limited parking spaces or there are no elevators in your building? Relay your concerns to them so they would also know what they can expect.
- Who Will Be Providing the Services at the Destination?
At the destination, the movers will have to unload, unpack, assemble furniture, and such like. However, not all moving companies take this responsibility.
That’s why it’s one of the most important questions to ask movers, especially if you’re doing a long-distance move.
Ask if they’ll be the ones to do these things or will they subcontract it to another company. If so, ask which company it is so you can research on your own. You might trust the moving company, but will you be entrusting your items to the other, as well?
- Do You Have References?
If you’re still not quite sure about a company, ask for references. Then, check on these references to see if their past customers have been happy with them.
Don’t forget to ask their references for their opinions on how they found the company’s service. Were they careful with the items? Did they provide updates? Were they prompt and courteous?
Another good way to check the reputation of a company is to read online reviews. Search on Google by using the keyword “removalist name + reviews.”
You may also ask your neighbours, friends, and acquaintances who may have used the company’s services before.
- Can You Provide a Fixed Quote?
A fixed quote means that you’re only expected to pay what the estimate says provided you have made no changes to the items being moved and that the circumstances have not change either. An hourly rates quote may leave you with surprises. In the event that your items are heavier than expected or the move took longer than expected, you’ll pay more than what you’re quoted for, but it’s also possible to pay less.
For many people, it’s better to get a fixed quote instead for this reason. They can be sure that the total cost they pay won’t exceed the final price the company offered unless the circumstances change. The best way is to have an in-home survey completed before your move. This means the removal company will visit you in your home to assess the size and complexity of your move, to provide an accurate quotation.
More Questions to Ask Movers
If you’re meticulous, don’t hesitate to ask more questions. Here are examples of other questions to ask movers:
- How do you ensure the safety of my furniture and items?
- Are you available on our preferred moving date?
- Do you offer shared loads at lower rates?
Always ask any questions that will help you ease your worries. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help.