June 05, 2017
Anxiety and excitement are inevitable when it comes to relocating from one place to another, one city to another or one country to another. It’s really stressful for the individual or family when it comes to packing and moving of their invaluable assets It’s not just about moving these personal effects, it’s about relocating with items which have a lot of emotions attached. It could be about that first anniversary gift, that inherited piece of furniture, an exquisite piece of art or for that matter your child’s first picture frame. Basically everything that matters to you has to be relocated. At such point of time, choosing the right and genuine Packing and Moving company is the 1st step to a hassle-free move.
While we spend a lot of time selecting the best things for our house, I feel that do not spend any time in evaluating the companies that we select to get quotations. There is rarely a due diligence we do to know the background of the organisation and the kind of services they could offer and the market credibility. This casual approach of selection a packing and moving company without investigating more about them results in bad experiences which cannot get rectified. Packing and moving is a serious activity and not all understand this well. Most transporters today consider them as packers and movers because they feel that its about transporting goods. While, transporting the goods are certainly a part of packing and moving, there are other critical areas like the quality of surveyors, packing crew, material, loading of the assets and most important the empathy that the team must have towards the customers and their goods during the stressful time.
As the entry level barriers are negligible, the so called packers and movers can buy old cartons from a scrap dealers, get some roadside labour who do not have any background check and a truck from a truck hiring stand to initiate a packing. Many of these companies use the name of reputed moving companies to dupe the customer and in most cases end up being successful in securing the business. We have also been reading about it at a lot of places that how people have been duped by such fakesters. With the requirement for packing and moving increasing every day and there being no recognised association to certify moving companies and provide ratings, we have tried to suggest some simple yet comprehensive methodology to select the right moving company for your next move:
1. Choose a FIDI certified mover: It is highly recommended to select a FIDI accredited company in your country. FIDI is the only recognized affiliation globally for the moving industry which is given to a company after a physical audit by the Ernst & Young. This ensures that certain global standards being met by the Moving company in each market. FIDI also checks the financials of the company to ensure that they have a sound financial position and are covered for the liabilities which cannot be forecasted. They also look at files and rate your claim as well as customer satisfaction ratio. This 1st level of filter can get you to the list of companies who are certified globally and are different from the hordes of unorganized so called packers. You can check for a FIDI certified mover from the FIDI website which is www.fidi.com.
2. Pre move survey: This becomes the most critical aspect once you have shortlisted the moving companies whom you wish to work with. Either a physical survey or a video pre move survey will be the best way to assess the shortlisted companies. That way you can understand the local infrastructure, move process and references which will enable you to further shortlist the moving companies. During a video survey you could ask the surveyor to take you around his facility, material and store area as well which will give you an overview about the business model. This also is less time consuming for you and gets you a 1st hand view about your prospective mover.
3. Visit their office: This maybe time consuming but in an event of you not having much clarity, it’s worthwhile to drop by at the movers office without any intimation and see for yourself what happens.
4. Quotation Review: Once you have made the quality valuation, it’s important to do the commercial valuation. Please ask for a door to door service and check all the exclusions provided by each mover very clearly. This will help you to understand if it’s an apple to apple comparison with no hidden charges. Do check the volume estimated, transit time, service inclusions / exclusions, door to door rate, insurance premium, union charges, taxes to arrive at the final number to make a clear comparison between the selected moving companies.
5. Transit Insurance: Underwriting the risk during the door to door movement will be a key as that could at times be really painful. Like we do life insurance, health insurance or vehicle insurance, transit insurance of your household goods while being packed and moved is very critical. It is important to understand the features of the policy that is being offered by the shortlisted moving companies and check the following:
a. Insurance premium rate
b. Declare goods basis replacement cost and not as per depreciation rate.
c. Minimum deductions in case of a claim?
d. What does the policy include and exclude?
e. Claim processing timelines?
6. Get everything in writing: Business does not understand verbal communication. Proof is imperative. So, get everything in writing. Be it the quote, commitments given by the mover, list of inventory, insurance documents, promises, terms and conditions, etc. Also, each relevant document and mail should be carefully checked in order to avoid future trouble.
If the above points are covered, there is a high chance that you will be able to have a seamless move with the least of heart burns.
Stories by U Batra