Many businesses nowadays have headed paper and office walls that are heaving with
the names of the various professional bodies to which they belong. This is all very
well when you are choosing a GP or a dentist, but should it matter when you are
pondering over which removals company to use? Martin Rose, who is a consultant for
the National Guild of Removers and Storers, certainly believes that it does matter,
warning that choosing a mover who is not a member of such a body could leave the
customer high and dry come moving day, with only the courts as a means of gaining
“We have plenty of horror stories,” says Rose. “Our members are often rung up late
on a Friday because a remover has not turned up and the customer is stuck. All our
members operate under a code of practice, so the company is near-guaranteed to turn
up on the day of the move. We also promote learning in the industry. Both bodies
do a lot of operational training and also management training, so they know how
to look after customers and how to run their business.”
There are two main professional associations for removals businesses, these being
the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS)
and the British Association of Removers (BAR).
Both are keen to inform the public that their members are not just unskilled labourers
who are simply chosen for their ability to carry heavy items. These associations
also operate feedback schemes, which make sure that your moving company is always
on their toes and providing the optimum service.
“We have a monitoring service and our members give a quality questionnaire out for
every move, which comes back to us,” says Rose, who has also worked for the BAR.
“We give out awards each month and every year for excellence and that helps to ensure
that our members do the best every time. We also develop terms and conditions of
trading, which the customer will be required to sign. They are lodged with the Office
of Fair Trading, so they are fair to the customer.”
These bodies may be mostly for the people who are going to come round and move your
sofa, kitchenware and CD collection to your new home, but they are, it seems, names
well worth noting if you don’t want to be stuck outside on the pavement with your
worldly possessions come moving day. Or, for that matter, ever see your worldly
possessions again, as NGRS’s Martin Rose points out.
“There was a case in Hull when a company just went off with a load of people’s possessions,”
he says. “They were not a part of any industry organisation. Anyone can just set
up as a remover. The police were involved.” The case was eventually resolved, but
not before a lot of stress for those who had their goods taken by this company,
which makes for another good reason to check the credentials of your company before
you hand over payment.