How to avoid rogue removals firms

Ballards Removals fleet of lorries

Moving house is always a daunting process, so you need to be confident that your removal service is reliable and trustworthy to reduce stress as much as possible.

Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that an increasing number of customers come to us after having been tricked into spending their hard earned money on far less reputable removals companies.

To help keep you and your belongings safe, here’s a list of things to look out for when searching for a reputable removal company (like Ballards!).

Look for a professional website

Most (if not all) reputable removals firms should have a good looking, well-designed and easy to use website to provide customers with information about the services they offer. It should also include contact details and authentic client testimonials.

There may be some smaller, independent businesses – a more ‘man with a van’ type service, that may not have their own website due to costs. If this is the case, it’s always good to have a thorough search on their social media profiles and on Google to look out for customer reviews on there, as well as images of previous jobs. It’s always good to check the comments section too to make sure there are no glaring complaints!

Do they hold any professional memberships?

Established removals firms often hold memberships in industry associations, such as the British Association of Removers (BAR). These will likely be displayed as logos on their website, or there may be a separate accreditations page.

Memberships will show that the company follows industry standards and best practice, and it will often mean that you’re covered too in the case of any significant problems, giving you more peace of mind. Always make sure to verify these credentials though, before making a decision – you’re well within your rights to request certificates if they’re not easily accessible online.

Check for reviews and testimonials

One of the most reliable ways to verify whether a removals firm is credible and trustworthy is to take a look at their reviews. This could be on their website (however these are likely to be cherry-picked so be careful), on Facebook, TrustPilot and Google. 

Many firms (like ourselves) also use external review services, such as ReferenceLine, to make it as easy as possible for clients to provide feedback.

Unfortunately, you should always be on the lookout for scams

Social media is generally a fantastic tool for both customers and businesses alike – for firms to advertise their services, and customers to find what they’re looking for. However, it can be an ideal place for scammers too.

Anyone who’s good with technology can create a professional, real-looking profile on a social media platform, but they’re not all to be trusted. Always be wary of firms that don’t have any online presence beyond a social media page or two. 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, it could simply be that they’re a small business not wanting to face the cost of a professional website (as these can be pricey), but have a thorough look at customer reviews. If there aren’t many, steer clear.

A reputable firm will communicate clearly and efficiently

Often, you’ll be able to gauge a firm based on the communication that you have with them. Do they come across clear, transparent and trustworthy? Do they provide professional looking quotes? If your communication with them is patchy, then you may need to be cautious.

Any trustworthy firm should be able to offer clear-cut terms and conditions (these should be provided automatically before booking), as well as transparent pricing – rather than just appearing to pluck a figure out of thin air. Try to avoid using companies that are vague, or simply avoid difficult questions.

It’s a good idea to get multiple quotes

It’s always advisable to get multiple quotes for whatever service you’re looking for, as it will help you to establish what the typical prices are, and to identify those that are severely under or over. If it seems very cheap, then it might be too good to be true!

Obtaining quotes is also useful in establishing good communication with the firm, and how professional they appear based on these interactions.

By following our guidance, you can help to minimise your risk of falling victim to fraudulent scams – click here to view an unfortunate example..

Of course, if you’d like to keep things completely simple and stress-free, why not contact us at Ballards? We’re a trusted, accredited, family-fun removals firm that has been helping families move for over 45 years – and with 332 reviews on Google, we’re rated 4.7 out for 5, which means we’re officially ‘Excellent’.

Get in touch with our team today for a free, no-obligation quote. 

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