It’s the old saying, pay peanuts – get monkeys. This rings true as much with the removals industry as it does with any other industry that’s open to abuse from rogue traders and general all round cowboys.
Now firstly, I’d like to stress that this article isn’t a shameless sales pitch or any kind of purposeful scare tactic – it’s simply a fact and by reading to the end you could save yourself a lot of time and sometimes heartbreak by choosing the right removals company from the offset.
What To Watch For
Like any service that serves the public sector, such as any you’ll find on Yell or Thomson Local, the potential to encounter Jack the Lad is never really far off. In fact you could probably throw a stone at a major business directory these days and hit one in the dark from a mile away.
The problem is, with all this wonderful new technology being a mere button click away, anything that’s generally free to use and can connect people en-mass on a semi anonymous basis will without doubt bring out at least some bad apples looking for easy pickings.
The worst thing to happen to small independent companies in recent years was the rapid expansion of the Internet…
I read this one liner a few months ago while flicking through somebody’s blog and didn’t get it at first. It truly was a bold statement but as I read through the article it became clear what he meant and I generally agreed with his points.
Had he had used these words instead though, I might have got the drift from the get go and his article would’ve been clear from the beginning – and I wouldn’t have had to think…
The best thing to happen for rogue traders in recent years was the rapid expansion of the Internet…
You see the difference in context. It was still a good well written article though.
— Back in the day of the good old Yellow Pages, everyone had a copy and if you needed anything from a plumber to a butler, you could it find in there. Even a quarter page spread back then would’ve probably set you back around £1200 depending on what category you wanted to be listed in. Some were cheaper, some not so but as noone ever really paid attention to the free text ads that were scattered among the big bold adverts and anonymous pay as you go mobile phones didn’t exist, rogues and their likes just took their wares door to door and were easy to spot.
These days though – everyone is connected through smart phones, tablets, laptops and desk tops and of course Gumtree, Facebook, Craigslist and Twitter are all free services where anybody can have a free page or place a free ad in a bid to tout for your custom but the question is simply this…
Is it worth the risk to use cheap Facebook/Gumtree removals services?
Well at the end of the day it’s your decision and what you’re comfortable with but for the most part the answer is generally no. Especially if your move involves valuables, breakables or sentimentals.
But that’s not to say that every man with a van is a cowboy – there are a lot of decent guys starting up in the industry and if they stick at it will develop a good reputation for themselves and make something of it, if they stick at it.
Things You Can Check
Well of course all legitimate companies have their social media presence and small ads here and there – nothing fishy about that – but they also have physical premises, well aged websites, contact numbers, contact details, lots of good reviews/references and can offer goods in transit insurance certificates upon request.
Other than due diligence and all round common sense, these are the simple things you can check to ensure that the company you are making initial enquiries with are in fact genuine – and most are funnily enough but it’s the old “it only take a couple to spoil it for everybody” thing that’s plagued everyday life since the dawn of physical money.
In the end, and although the Internet truly is a marvel and a wonder – in fact I can’t picture a world without it – the problem is with all its bells and whistles, you’ll never really know what you’ve booked until it it gets there – if it even actually turns up.
Be vigilant, check credentials and don’t be shy to ask questions. Any legitimate removals firm will be happy to answer them and even if you’re looking to move and decide not to book with us, do yourself a favour and steer clear of Facebook pages with no parent websites, definitely avoid free ad websites to make sure you do book with another well established company who know what they’re doing and you should be fine.
To close – a genuine removals firm will go out their way to reassure you that your move will be safe in their hands. If a company is running as a legitimate business, a website, physical address and proper contact details are expected. If any of the above are missing then that should be your first red flag.
Feel free to share this article. If it can help even one person then it was worth the hour I just spent writing it 🙂
Here is a link just to give you an idea of what’s out there…
All the best,
The Falkirk Van hire & Removals Team.