Moving Interstate Tips

Questions You Should Ask When Moving Interstate in Australia

Besides death and divorce, moving your precious belongings is rated as the third most stressful experience anyone fears. Therefore, selecting the correct method and furniture removal company is critical. Never base your decision on price alone, as it is very easy for any individual to apply and succeed in getting a truck license. This doesn’t automatically make them an experienced removalist. Continue reading for some handy advice and tips for moving interstate in Australia.

How can you move interstate on a budget?

Moving interstate when you have a budget to stick to can seem like an overwhelming prospect, but there are certain things you can do to help save money. The best way to reduce costs for an interstate move is to opt for backloading removals, allowing you to take advantage of truck space that’s either shared with another person or that would otherwise have gone to waste. Other ways to save money on your move include completing all packing and unpacking yourself and hiring a reputable removalist that won’t rip you off with added charges.

Who do I call if I have any problems communicating with the removal driver?

If you take anything away from our moving interstate tips, it should be this: Do NOT directly select a one man, one truck outfit, because the removalist is more likely to have problems with times, dates and money, and your communication with them will be limited as they are continuously on the road. They may decide to divert elsewhere to make extra money, and any extra delays may be risking all of your belongings, causing you a lot of stress. Only select a removal company that has an office where communication lines are always open.

Are they an AFRA (Australian Furniture Removers Association) member?

Without a doubt, DO NOT entertain a non AFRA removal company to perform your move, as you will not have any support from this organisation should something go wrong with your move. Many times, AFRA members are called upon (by AFRA head office) to help clients that have been wrongly dealt with by a non AFRA removalist. This ends up costing the client as much as twice the amount. AFRA members need to adhere to strict guidelines in Australia and maintain a professional and well-structured organisation. AFRA accredits only those furniture removalists that have the necessary procedures and equipment in place and follow strict OH&S standards. If your move happens to go wrong with an AFRA accredited removal company and you can’t solve it directly with your removalist, you can call on AFRA to help mediate a resolution and save you much time, money and effort.

What type of insurance does the removalist offer in case of damages and how do I claim if anything happens?

One of the most important tips for moving interstate is to consider insurance. In almost all cases, your removal charge covers for labour only, whilst any transit (trucks on the road) or loading/unloading accidents (out of the removalist’s control) are NOT covered. If you require transit and/or accidental damage insurance, you should seriously consider transit insurance that covers you for this type of potential damage(s). Any AFRA accredited removalists with the necessary insurance qualification will have the ability to directly offer this type of insurance. The cost of the transit insurance is typically a percentage based on the insured value that you wish to declare. A non AFRA removal company cannot directly insurance your goods and offer you a policy and certificate like an AFRA member can. Please visit Transcorp Insurance Information to learn more.

Do they use containers on rail or does the same truck that picked up my goods deliver as well?

Companies that use containers to move customers’ belongings may have a greater risk of damages because on most occasions the same removalist packing the container will not be the same removalist unloading the container (goods typically travel long distances via the rail network in Australia). At the delivery end, they will need to be extremely careful, as the removalist unloading the container will have limited knowledge of how it was stacked by the team at the uplift point. This can also become a ‘blame game’ of who is at fault should damages or missing items happen (was it the uplift or destination agent?). Containers typically have limited tie rails to safely secure your belongings to its walls, so goods are often pushed together to minimise their interstate movement. From time to time this can work, but if you take our advice, nothing beats safely wrapping and tying down your belongings inside a dedicated furniture removal truck. Typically, the same removal team that carefully loaded the furniture removal truck has ownership of how it is to be unloaded, as it will be the same removal team (you will see the same smiling faces at uplift and pick up). Although container transport has its purpose, and depending on your requirements may work best for you, it’s best to have the same team loading your goods and unloading them as well. This is particularly important when removal teams are disassembling furniture such as beds, cabinets and tables and need to be re-assembling them again at the delivery end.

Can they supply a proper written quote including confirming your inventory? (Very important)

Any company that is not prepared to supply a written quote (including their charges with terms and conditions) and an inventory of your goods should not be considered. This is one of the most important moving interstate tips, as without a written quote you’re extremely susceptible, and the removalist may increase charges when they arrive to pick up your belongings. If you have any problems with their service and you have no paperwork to prove what was expected from the outset, then you may have major issues. Companies performing removals this way are known as “Cowboys” who can hijack your belongings until you pay the additional charges. Do NOT risk it!

Do they have testimonials that you can read from happy customers?

Even though removal companies will boast about how good they are, it is wise to request written testimonials so you may read what others have to say about their experience with them.

What happens if the removalist is running late to pick up or drop off my belongings?

As most charges are based on competitive “backload” rates, it is still important that you clearly understand the removal company’s procedure for unforeseen delays that may occur from time to time. Do they have a corporate office so that you may be kept apprised of circumstances? Perhaps consider booking the entire removal truck, as this will assist in meeting the exact dates that you may have requested.

Do they have a website that you may review?

In today’s marketplace, a website tells you a lot about a company and its ability to service your move. One of the best tips for moving interstate is to take your time and read through their website content before booking in with a removalist.

Do they have the correct tools to disassemble and assemble beds, shelves, etc.?

As strange as it may seem, many small removal companies cut their costs by not having the latest equipment and tools to perform the work correctly. If you require items like beds and shelves to be disassembled and reassembled by them, then it is important they know about it and are prepared to assist you. Is this service included in their price quote to you?

Are there any potential charges? If so, what are they?

This is where the “Terms and Conditions” need to clearly spell out any potential charges that may need to be added to your original cost. Most people moving interstate in Australia aren’t sure what information to supply to receive a proper quote, so please spend time understanding your quote. Over the phone discussions with a removalist on the road will not have much bearing if your move goes wrong.

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