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7 ways to avoid shonky removalists

By Tim Neary
04 March 2019 | 10 minute read
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Australians are a mobile bunch, according to one removal expert, and with many removalists to choose from, it’s important to choose wisely. Here are seven tips to avoid booking a shonky removalist.

Founder and CEO of movepal.com.au Peter Borain said that while there are a lot of really trusted operators, the industry also attracts a lot of not-so-good ones because of its transient nature.

Here are his seven tips to steer clear of the dodgy ones:
1. Homework   

“The more positive reviews, the better,” Mr Borain said.

“Also, read the negative reviews for validity or if a customer is perhaps venting unreasonably.”

He said that reviews are a good indicator of the overall professionalism, trustworthiness and steadfastness of a moving company. 

“If you can’t find evidence of the mover’s history online with many positive reviews, avoid them as these often turn out to be backyard operators.”

And he said get referrals from friends and family and social media.
2. Public liability


Mr Borain said that you have to check that the moving company is insured for public liability which covers injury to third parties or damage to property.

“This info should be readily available on their website,” he added.
3. Damages

Also establish that they offer insurance for damages to goods, Mr Borain said.

“This is usually at an extra cost,” he said.

“If the insurance is included, ensure that you have access to the policy documents and product disclosure document. Again, this should be easily visible on their website.”
4. Extras

Look for transparency in a moving company, the founder added.

“All their terms and conditions and insurance documents and standard pricing charges should all be available to you before your movers arrive at your door.

“Many of these shonky operators hit you with extra charges on the day.”
5. Door to door

Check if the moving company charges you door to door, Mr Borain said, from the time they arrive at your pick-up address to the time they complete offloading at your delivery address.

“Or if they charge from depot to depot,” he said.

“Be sure to find out how these depot charges are worked out.”
6. Charges

He added that it is important to find out the minimum charge, and if there are any additional charges after hours.

“Also, find out what type of payment is accepted. If the removalist prefers ‘cash for the job’, this is a warning sign. The industry is rife with underpaid and unskilled workers paid cash by these dodgy moving companies.”

7. Writing

Finally, Mr Borain said that you have to make sure you get confirmation of your booking in writing.  

“Avoid any moving company that gives you a verbal confirmation and always be wary when you are promised the world.”

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