Should you pay for furniture removalist services upfront?
So you're moving, you've got a date in mind for the move and you're looking around for a suitable furniture removalist.
If you get a couple of quotes (and we recommend you do), you'll notice some differences in how removalist's quote, what they charge, how they charge and what they include.
The industry is, unfortunately, not regulated, which means backyard providers with little experience or the right equipment can submit amazingly low quotes. Please double check your provider is a legitimate and reputable business - a super cheap quote will usually mean a super cheap level of service.
One difference you'll probably come across is one we'd like to address here; should you pay upfront for furniture removalist services? Before you rule out a provider simply because they require an upfront payment or deposit, we want to highlight some reasons to consider going with a provider who does.
Go with a provider who requires an upfront deposit because...
There are some who advise that it's better to find a removalist that does not ask for upfront payments but we think this actually puts the consumer at risk. Here's 2 reasons why we think it's smart to pay a booking deposit:
1. A deposit locks in your booking.
It's common practice for reputable furniture removalists to charge an upfront booking deposit. This ensures your booking is locked in and confirmed. We're not saying pay 100% of the quote when you book, but definitely paying a deposit is a smart move.
2. Less chance of your booking being rescheduled / cancelled.
There's less chance of a cancellation or change to your booking if you've paid a deposit to lock in your booking.
Some less reputable providers will just not show up at all, or move your booking to suit their schedule or to fit in someone else who has paid a deposit. There are reported horror stories about people being left stranded after their removalist was a no-show or days late:
Thousands of consumers claim they’ve been left significantly out of pocket after having to pay extra rent, storage fees and other costs because the removalists didn’t show up on the scheduled date - or at all. Others have complained about receiving damaged goods.
Before you do pay a deposit:
- A detailed written contract once you've accepted their quote.
This is important as it's a binding contract for service deliverables, giving you piece of mind that you're getting a provider who recognises their contractual obligations and is committed to meeting them.
The contract should include complete details of the service they will be completing, moving dates, times and pick up and delivery addresses, an inventory of goods being moved, details of their insurance* (see below for more on this).
- Advice regarding insurance.
This one's really important as most customers don't realise that a removalist's insurance doesn't always cover damage to their goods. Here's some more info on what you need to know about removalist insurance.
Many customers assume damage resulting from a professional move will be covered by their own home and contents insurance or the removalist’s insurance, but this isn’t necessarily the case.