Avoiding Moving Day Horror Stories

TMAAT September 14, 2015

Friday Night Horror

Thinking it might be easier to move on a Friday afternoon, Sarah booked a removal company 6 weeks in advance. She was told the date and time was free and her moving truck was scheduled to arrive at 1pm.

What Sarah didn’t know was that Fridays are a notoriously busy day for removalist companies. Everyone wants to move the day before the weekend. The truck she hired was delayed completing another move for someone else in the morning.

Instead of arriving at 1pm, the truck turned up at 3.30pm. By the time Sarah’s belongings were packed into the truck and they were on the way to the new house, it was almost 5pm. What should have been a 30 minute drive to the new home took almost an hour through peak hour traffic. By the time the removalist guys had finished unloading the truck, it was 7.30pm and she was charged extra for the additional time taken.

It was also dark. Not just outside, but it was dark inside too. In the stress of the day’s delays, Sarah had forgotten to check whether the gas and electricity had been connected. The utilities company arranged for an emergency connection, but she was charged extra for an after-hours call out.

Solution: Sarah’s moving day could have been much smoother if she had chosen to move at any other time during the week than a Friday afternoon. Many people believe that moving on a Friday means having the whole weekend to unpack and settle in. The reality is that moving on Fridays can cause unexpected problems and delays that make the move more stressful. Sarah also should have checked and confirmed connections the day before the move to ensure the power and gas were switched on before she arrived.

DIY Crash Horror

Michael and Tammy decided they would try to save some money by doing a DIY move on a Saturday morning. They borrowed a mate’s cage-trailer and enlisted the help of a couple of friends to hoist the larger items.

Packing everything into the van was easy enough. However, on the drive over to the new home they were involved in an accident with another car. The cage-trailer was tipped over onto its side, damaging a lot of Michael and Tammy’s furniture and larger appliances.

It was late in the afternoon by the time they had re-loaded their belongings into the dented and slightly-twisted trailer and made it the rest of the way to their destination. Michael and Tammy knew they had to pay to fix or replace their friend’s cage-trailer. They also knew they had to replace a fridge, a TV, a sofa and a dining table, but they figured their insurance policy would cover it all.

Their insurance company refused to pay for any of the replacement costs. Their contents insurance policy didn’t cover any of their belongings during transit. Their policy also didn’t cover damage to the friend’s borrowed trailer. They had no choice but to pay for all the replacement items and repairs out of their own money.

Solution: Michael and Tammy could have saved themselves thousands of dollars by hiring a professional removalist company that offered Transit Insurance. Their possessions would have been covered by the policy and the move would have been much less stressful overall.

Cash Advance Horror

John and Suzie found an ad in Gumtree for a cheap local moving company. John called the mobile number given and got a quote for their move. Then he was told he would get a discount off the quoted price if he paid in cash. Thinking they were saving money, John and Suzie agreed.

On moving day, a rickety old moving truck pulled up outside their home and two men came to the door. The first man said they would need cash upfront before they started moving anything at all. John didn’t like the sound of the deal, so he agreed to pay 50% at the beginning, with the balance payable at their destination.

The men loaded all of their belongings into the truck and headed off towards the new home. Suzie was already at the new home waiting for them, while John remained at the old home to finish cleaning up. He called Suzie on her mobile to let her know the truck was on the way and should be there within the hour.

Four hours later the truck still hadn’t arrived. They started to think all of their belongings were gone for good. So John called the mobile number from the Gumtree ad to see where they were and was told they were still on the way. Another hour later the rickety truck finally arrived.

By this time it was late afternoon and starting to get dark. The men said they would need to pay an additional fee for the excess time taken, and demanded the rest of their payment within minutes of arriving before they would unload anything from the truck. John paid them the rest of the cash and they got to work, unloading everything quickly. Boxes and furniture was dumped wherever it fit in the first two rooms of the house. Within 35 minutes, they were gone.

It was only the next morning, when John and Suzie were trying to sort through the jumble of their belongings that had been dumped in the lounge room did they notice a TV and DVD player were missing. They were also missing their son’s laptop computer and their new barbecue was nowhere to be found. What’s more, Suzie learned that several boxes she had carefully labelled ‘fragile’ had been packed under other heavy items, so several of her plates, cups and glasses were chipped or broken.

When John called the company to ask where their items were, he was told the removalist guys had never seen them and didn’t pick them up at the old house. They simply denied any knowledge of the missing things and there was nothing John could do.

Solution: John and Suzie should have checked that they were dealing with a professional AFRA-accredited removalist company before making their booking. They also should have gotten their quote in writing before agreeing to a price.

There are lots of horror stories about things that can – and do – go wrong when moving to a new home. However, there are also things you can do to avoid your next house move becoming one of them.

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