Man and van companies are more popular today that at any other time before; they are flexible, affordable, and very convenient with most people. You will find lots of adverts whenever you go through online adverts, in local newspapers and Yellow Pages. You’ll even find man and van ads in newspaper vendor’s windows or pinned up in telephone boxes. But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff in an industry that is also notorious for the number of cons and scammers lurking nearby?
Having heard numerous sorry stories of movers and residents who got conned into booking online, only to be conned of their hard earned cash by a ghost man and van company; take a look at this guide from Big Yellow Express on how to identify a con from a genuine man and van service provider;
1 – The vans they use?
Alarm bells should sound if the house clearance firm you have appointed turns up in one of those rusty, caged tipper vans that scrap metal dealers use, or a small medium sized van. A reputable and established house clearance firm will have a fleet of new or almost new large furniture box vans that are fully branded.
2 – Where they are based?
Does the service provider have a registered business address? A lot of bogus house clearance firms are either run from home or from a van, with no traceable registered address of a business. This is for a reason. If things go wrong, they can simply melt into the thin air without a trace! Be on the lookout.
3 – What kind of licences do they have?
The law is harsh on you as the client and the removal firm you hired if found not to have the necessary licenses and permits. The onus is on you to verify and confirm that indeed you’re working with a licensed and accredited firm.
4 – Are they insured?
While it’s not compulsory for any house clearance firm to have public liability insurance, it should be necessary given the nature of the industry. After all, a house clearance firm will be handling waste and entering peoples’ valuables and property. Should the worst occur, such as a broken window, damage to the walls, spillage of waste etc., who is going to pay or cover that if there is no insurance in place? Often such disputes end up in a court of law or rarely ever get resolved. Furthermore, any vehicle that carries waste has to be fully insured to do so. This is why many bogus house clearance firms use hire vans or don’t declare to their insurance what purpose their vehicle is to be used for. That is an offence and illegal.
5 – Their staff?
Alarm bells should sound if you open the door to a gang of unkempt men wearing no uniform and generally looking like they don’t know what they are doing. A reputable house clearance company will typically send 3 men to clear a property and those men will be decent, sober, clean and fully uniformed. They should also have the required protective gear too.
6 – How you pay them?
Alarm bells should sound if the house clearance firm you employ asks for a deposit up front and insists on it. A reputable house clearance company will have confidence in their services and as such, they won’t mind offering their services and billing you afterwards. Most bogus house clearance companies won’t even have a bank account anyway. By law anyone setting up a business that deals with waste has to prove to a bank that they have the right licences, a registered business address and insurance before a bank agrees to create a business account for them.
From UK Business Blog https://business.clickdo.co.uk/
7 – What do they do with the house clearance contents?
You should also be very keen with how the removal teams behave when in your premises. Are they snooping around for valuable items or taking more interest in objects that may have some monetary value, than the junk or clutter that you’re paying them to take away for you? Quite a number of bogus house clearance firms also run second-hand shops, ebay stores or are on the look out for antiques – often unknown to the customer. A reputable house clearance company should actually concentrate more on getting your items arriving safely and wholly. Which is why insurance matters a lot, an insured removal company gives you the peace of mind from knowing that in case anything gets lost or damaged during moving, the company will be held responsible.
Don’t become a victim of crime or help perpetuate it by employing, hiring or appointing rogue and bogus house clearance firms. Insist on seeing a real and genuine copy of their waste carrier’s certificate and licences and keep a record of the details just in case.