You can’t always stop a scam from occurring, especially with some of the talent out there, but by taking the right precautions you can put yourself in the very best position to at least be protected should something go astray. So what can you do to protect yourself from a removalist scam in Australia?
AFRA, or the Australian Furniture Removalists Association, is your one-stop-shop for legitimate removalists. They have a function on their website where you can search for removalists near you and if you’re unsure or the business you’re considering has a similar name to one on their website, give them a call and ask them to help you ascertain who is real and who isn’t. Chess is proudly AFRA-Accredited.
Talk to them on the phone
While it can be easier to just email now days, picking up the phone is a great way to work out whether or not your removalist is legitimate. The shorter the phone call, the less likely they are who they say they are. Moving quotes take into account everything from how much you own to the weight of some of these items (think pianos, couches, fridges) and also the time of day. If they’re not asking the right questions, you should be hanging up.
Ask them when they want to visit
While some scam removalists might still make the effort to visit, most will just say they’ll see you on the day. If they do visit, look for signs like whether or not they open cupboards, measure items or take notes – these things suggest that they’re reputable as they care about your move. Questions about food in the pantry, plans for a garage sale/clean out or whether or not you’re going to buy any new big furniture items before moving day can help give you peace of mind that you’ve chosen the right removalist.
When are they taking payments?
A legitimate removalist will not ask for payment until the delivery has been completed, so if you’ve been asked to pay a hefty deposit or the entire bill up front, then hang up immediately! We also highly recommend paying your bill with a credit card so that it can be traced in the instance you do end up involved in a scam – as your credit card company can step in and assist you in recovering your money and hopefully help you claim insurance on any lost items.