Moving house is a lot of work. Picking up your life and starting up in a new city or halfway across the country is one of the most difficult things you can do. Everything from making sure the kids have a new place to study to all the responsibilities you have to do for your job; there are countless responsibilities to worry about, without even thinking about the move itself.
To cut corners and costs, some Australians opt to use unlicensed “backyard businesses” to help them with their move. It might seem like a good idea – with so many other things on your mind, keeping your furniture removal costs as low as possible might feel like a great deal.
However, there are many huge problems you can run into when working with a backyard business. According to the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA), there have been nearly 2000 complaints about backyard businesses since 2015. During peak season, they receive an average of 20 complaints per week from unhappy customers with problematic moves.
Why Hire a Trusted Company, Not a “Backyard Business”
Backyard businesses are often exactly as they are called – they operate directly out of their backyard. They don’t have the offices, vehicles, equipment, licensing or training to do the work they offer. This means they lack the professionalism and necessary items and skills to help their customers move the way a team of professionals from a trusted brand could.
According to AFRA executive director Joe Lopino, the problem is that “anyone can buy a van” and begin offering furniture removals and storage services. Non-members of AFRA can’t be regulated by the organisation, which is why it is much more common for people to send in complaints regarding non-members rather than trusted companies.
Most of these complaints are related to:
- Furniture damages
- Late times
- Extra payments
- Holding goods for ransom
- Major discrepancies between expectations and results
The Dangers of Working with a Backyard Business
1. Wasted Time
When moving house, everything needs to be on schedule. You are expected to leave your home at a certain date, especially if you are planning to sell it or if you are renting. In one reported case, a 73-year-old woman reported that the removals service she had paid for was several days late. This ended up forcing her to stay longer than anticipated and paying extra rent.
When working with a trusted company, everything is on time, every time. Deadlines and schedules are met, and if any delays come about, the customer is informed of the reason and considerations are made to maximise customer satisfaction.
2. Damaged Goods
Furniture removal isn’t as easy as it looks. Moving items that weigh hundreds of kilos throughout the house and into a truck takes a ton of energy, and doing so without causing damage to anything requires the right knowledge, expertise, and tools. When working with a backyard business, you are guaranteed none of the above.
Many of the complaints with backyard businesses involve damaged goods, and not having the insurance to deal with it. Trusted companies always offer insurance that covers any damages that your furniture may incur, but damages are very unlikely to begin with when handled by trusted professionals.
3. Extra Payments and Ransomed Items
Oftentimes, a backyard business will force a customer to make an extra payment, paying more than the original quote. Even if the customer doesn’t feel that the extra cost is justified, the backyard business will hold their goods at ransom until the payment is made, thus forcing them to pay.
When working with an AFRA-partnered trusted company, you never have to deal with the possibility of unexpected payments and ransomed goods.
How to Make Sure You Work with a Trusted Business
- Make sure there’s paperwork: Backyard businesses might “guarantee” insurance, but paperwork is the only way to be sure. Ask for actual documents that detail the right insurance and the terms and conditions.
- Don’t book through a brokerage website: Generic brokerage websites are well known for giving contracts out to anyone who wants them. Instead, book through the website of a trusted company. You can find accredited removalists on AFRA’s website.
- Ask about backloading: Backloading is one reason why backyard businesses are often delayed or ask you to pay more. This is when they don’t use their own truck to deliver goods, but find someone else with a truck heading in your direction with extra space. No AFRA-accredited business uses backloading. Also, ask if they have a depot and an office.
Your Trusted Business: Giffen Furniture Removals
Save yourself the headache of working with just anyone with a truck, and schedule your furniture removal with the professionals at Giffen Furniture Removals today! We are a proud member of AFRA and have successfully served countless clients across the country.
Keep your items safe, secure, and in the right hands with Giffen Furniture Removals. Hire professionals who can guarantee a move with peace of mind. Contact us today and request a quote for all your moving and storage needs!