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Removal firm didn't move all our stuff

(47 Posts)
RakshaMK Thu 25-May-23 12:17:37

I shopped around and chose a mid range 'company', stressing that we were disabled and wouldn't be able to do much. They quoted for a 3 bed house, which is what we had. Nearer the date I realised I would need help packing, so this was added at the cost of £890, on top of the £1600 for the removal. The packer mentioned to me that we had a lot of 'stuff', and he was going to have to bring in more boxes (which we weren't charged extra for). I contacted the removal company and highlighted to them that there would be more stuff to move than they might have thought (nobody came to view for themselves) and his response was 'we won't leave you in the lurch '
Hah! That's exactly what happened. My family have managed to consolidate most of the stuff that was left behind and the 10' X 18' living room is now full of stuff waiting to come up here...
Personally I'm very annoyed with the removal company (promised 3 porters verbally, only 2 turned up, so #2 son rolled his sleeves up and helped, the vehicle was marked with another company's livery very faded, I suspect had been sold and was being used by an independent driver and agency worker, they obviously had no relationship), said all the right things, but over promised and under delivered.
Am I being unreasonable in thinking they quoted for the job and should have completed the move, even if it means sending a 2nd vehicle and crew. Or should I move on and start trying to find a man with a big van to go and collect the rest of my home?
I've done almost all the arrangements up to now, OH has claimed 'brain fog' and left me to it, more on that later

eddiecat78 Thu 25-May-23 12:58:31

A reputable company would have insisted on visiting to do a home survey so they could see how much stuff you had and would then have decided how many vehicles and men would be needed. They should also belong to one of the trade organisations which specify what you are entitled to expect from them. If your firm didn't I don't know if you will get anywhere pursuing them

Smileless2012 Thu 25-May-23 13:02:37

No you are not being unreasonable. When we moved, the firm came to see how much we had and if there were any valuable items that would need careful packaging and transportation.

They quoted for the job and should complete it.

Good luck.

silverlining48 Thu 25-May-23 13:26:14

It’s a long time since Moved but am surprised how expensive it is. The removers should have moved everything.
They ought to be reported to trading standards.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 25-May-23 13:29:57

I don’t know what you mean by a mid range company. How much research did you do? Membership of trade association? Reviews?

I have never experienced a removal company giving a quote without looking at the house to see how much has to be dealt with. It sounds as though you have a lot more stuff than they expected. Some houses are furnished quite sparsely and the owners don’t have clutter. Others are packed to the rafters. It sounds as though you might be in the latter camp.

Beyond asking them politely but forcefully to finish the job there’s nothing you can do. They’re obviously a cowboy outfit not worth suing.

silverlining48 Thu 25-May-23 13:45:34

I assume it was mid price range.

NotSpaghetti Thu 25-May-23 13:55:01

Could they have done the pricing by video?
Not that that is an issue.

I would look up their trade body/trading standards and complain if you have no joy. A letter 1st to say you will be doing this if no resolution within 21 days.

Failing that, pay someone else and then small claims?

Callistemon21 Thu 25-May-23 14:50:14

Many years ago we chose what we thought was a reputable company to relocate us across the country.
The written quote I had included packing everything and the person I spoke to advised me to take crockery, glassware etc and put it all on the kitchen worktops and dining table, which I did. They said if I packed it, I'd be responsible for anything which got broken, if they packed then it was their responsibility.

When the team arrived one very unpleasant man walked in and swore and asked me why I hadn't packed it all in boxes. I explained why, showed him the quote, he swore some more and said no-one had warned him that was the case and it could take all day (it didn't).

The next day guess who turned up to unload at the other end - him! He was unpleasant again and I should have reported him but I was upset enough about moving and he was the final straw.

I'm not sure what their pay and working conditions are like but I did see a Pickfords boss go back to join a team and he had no idea of the conditions his workers put up with and promised to improve things.

No, you ANBU.

M0nica Thu 25-May-23 15:56:40

Warning lights should have flashed when the did not do a home visit. Contents of a house can be immensley variable, even from identical houses.

I would insist that they completete te move and, whether they hassle you or not, contact Trading Standards at your local council to see whether you would be in your rights refusing to pay all the bill.

What you have had is very bad service from a bunch of fly-by-nights.

Davida1968 Thu 25-May-23 16:11:04

I agree fully with M0nica. We've moved thrice with removal firms (one was 35 years ago) and in each case knew we needed a home visit for a reputable removal firm to give a quote. (Very ordinary homes and "stuff"!) I wouldn't consider a firm who didn't insist on this. Perhaps Trading Standards can help, as M0nica suggests.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 25-May-23 16:28:31

I assume OP has already paid - if by credit card she should contact the card company and ask for a refund as the service promised hasn’t been supplied.

11unicorn Thu 25-May-23 16:35:47

not unreasonable at all, they should have done the job they quoted for and it's their fault if not coming to check out the items first.
Though saying that, for packing and moving your quote was quite low.
We moved overseas so not much of an comparison but we paid 4x that for not quite 1 room full of boxes.

M0nica Thu 25-May-23 17:06:25

Would a fly-by-night company accept credit cards? Would probabaly want cheque or bank tranfer, or, even, cash.

These days I would check a company out on Trust Pilot or other rating site like that before booking. Several years ago, in a hurry, we booked a supposedly 4 star hotel, it was dreadful. After the event we checked Trust Pilot - and had we done that first we wouldn't have booked the hotel.

I agree with others, the quote was on the low side. We paid easily that much nearly 30 years ago when we moved to our current house, but we were moving between bigger houses and had 2 research libraries to move.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 25-May-23 17:20:47

I have no idea of the going rate for removals now. Perhaps it varies from one area to another - no point trying to charge top dollar in a poor area. However OP doesn’t give this information and we don’t know whether she had anything in writing - the absence of written confirmation would be as damning as the failure to inspect. Nor do we know whether the fees included VAT - everything points to this being a somewhat informal arrangement with a an individual, not a limited company which is a member of a relevant trade body - a man with a van, perhaps paid in cash. Perhaps OP would like to tell us more. If ‘most of the stuff left behind’ is now filling a 10x18 room there must have been a heck of a lot and I very much doubt OP will see these people again. I would be pleased to be proved wrong.

Chardy Thu 25-May-23 19:54:15

I'm really sorry you had such an awful experience Raksha. Some years ago, I had a problem with a removal company who badly damaged the top of a dining table and then denied it, so I understand the frustration of feeling you've no redress. When I moved again (and DD has moved twice recently), I only go on personal recommendation of people I know. Apologies as that's no help to you at all. YANBU
Can you find out if they're on one if the websites, CheckATrade, RatedPeople or TrustATrader etc?

biglouis Fri 26-May-23 01:33:40

I had a horrendous time when moving from one flat to another. Movers did a home visit, saw the amount of stuff, and gave me a quote. They turned up with a van that was too small and then had to make a second trip. They tried to charge me extra but I told them I had no cash on me. This was long before credit cards were commonly accepted. Two days later they turned up and tried to demand money but fortunately my BF and his (big) mate were present and soon gave them short shrift. I never saw them again.

NotSpaghetti Fri 26-May-23 08:04:54

Biglouis - this reminds me of a move many years ago where we moved from a massive farmhouse and got several quotes and picked a middling one. They were a legitimate local company and insured but not a big one. The thing that swung it for us was that the owner of the company (who quoted and whom we met and liked) would actually be present on the day.

We were moving from a 3 storey house to another 3 storey one and by the end of the day the "lads" were exhausted and so were we.

It took them all day from very early morning and two trips even with two vehicles and the last of it was done in darkness. They refused to do a third trip with the last boxes of garden plants (which I think they had forgotten about) and said they would do it for a further fee.

It was done in the end... by about midnight - but did involve some of them going in one of our cars.

The owner admitted to being surprised that he had underestimated how much stuff we had. My parents and an elderly aunt had both recently died so we also had boxes from their homes to move with us as had not been able to sort them. He saw it all with his own eyes but still estimated wrongly.

On the other hand, my mother-in-law's move was over-estimated. She clearly had much less than "stuff" than they thought. Hers was going into storage first and the space it took up was only just over half of what she had paid for. We didn't realise this till it was actually delivered to the new house months later.

Foxygloves Fri 26-May-23 09:51:44

It’s easy for me to be wise after the event, but
1) was the quote for a 3-bed house unseen ?
2) in the same way, did they visit to see what packing would be involved?
3) apart from a legitimate deposit, why have you paid them for an incomplete job- assuming you have?

Foxygloves Fri 26-May-23 09:53:01

As GSM has pointed out, it all seems very vague and “man with a van” - ish.

Norah Fri 26-May-23 12:58:11


As GSM has pointed out, it all seems very vague and “man with a van” - ish.


It seems to me a signed contract was needed. Apart from what was done, what was accepted by both parties as 'to be done'?

tigger Sun 28-May-23 11:07:15

Hope you haven't paid or if so are seeking compensation. Disgraceful service they need to be outed.

Nannapat1 Sun 28-May-23 11:13:22

No you are not being unreasonable! When we last moved many years ago, the chosen company initially were happy to do the move without a visit based on a typical house of our size. When I pointed out that I had a loft room, full of 'stuff' and that it would be better if they viewed it, they agreed and indeed we did have rather more than they initially expected. I did have some crockery and glasses packed by them before the big day (the responsibility for breakages thing) and all went well on the day.
Above is what I would expect from a removal firm and if you didn't get it, you are right to complain.

Ellly Sun 28-May-23 11:13:31

Always best to use a member of BAR trade association. I would definitely be taking this up with the company

Koalama Sun 28-May-23 11:29:21

When we moved they came round to look 1st then quoted us, we were not allowed to help them either they said thats because if we were to break something we could, later blame them, so it was for insurance purposes, sounds like your company were not very professional or any good

Frizzywizzy Sun 28-May-23 11:37:33

Ah, well I’m glad I can put a bit of a different spin on it.
Exactly the same thing happened to us and we got a man with a van to remove the remainder.
In our case, the removal men were all extremely nice and helpful and the quote was reasonable. We only moved in 2018 and our quote was comparable to yours, but with no packing. So I believe your quote was very reasonable, comparing 2018 prices with 2023.
Our removal company were extremely apologetic, they simply didn’t think we had so much stuff! Even though they’d come and looked round to quote. I think we had quite a lot of stuff in the garden too and he hadn’t calculated very well.
It was an honest error and yes, possibly they should have put things right but we were personally happy to pay for a small van to remove the extra left behind. The men had been very pleasant throughout, making the day of moving far less stressful.
As the quote was reasonable, we were happy to pay extra for a man with a van. Not worth arguing over.
But only you can decide, depending on how the men were, depending on the reasonableness of the quote compared with others etc.
Good luck in your new home.