Spotting the Cowboys – Removal Reliability Checker

Spotting the Removal Cowboys

With the average Briton moving eight times during their life (Right Move stats), packing up every single item and belonging, it’s essential that you choose the right removal company and not a bunch of removal cowboys.

If you don’t choose wisely you’ll not only be extremely stressed, but you also run the risk of damaged or even worse, lost property. To help you along the way we’ve outlined 6 key things to look out for when choosing a removal company. Don’t choose the Removal Cowboys!

1) Removal Men, or Removal Cowboys?

Many people claim to be Removal Specialists, but it’s hard to agree with them when they turn up for the job in a landscaping liveried van!

It’s easy to masquerade as a Removal Man. All you need is a van, some straps, a few mates, a quick post on Facebook and you’re off! How many of these Man and Vans actually have any form of packing or wrapping training? It takes years to properly master and understand the intricate tips, tricks and concepts involved in Removals. If they’ve not got the experience, then they’re removal cowboys.

Book in Advance

The majority of our moves are booked about 4 weeks in advance. However, we still get calls from people looking for last minute moves. Unfortunately the most common reason for these last minute moves is due to these smaller Man with a Van companies cancelling on them last minute. This is because there is rarely a contract between the customer and a Man with a Van. As such there’s little the customer can do when you’ve got these types of Removal Cowboys.

When moving with a reputable removal company you should always have a proper contract and ensure you read and understand all of it. If there’s anything you don’t understand then give your removal company a call. They should be more than willing to help and answer any questions you might have.


2) Check the Vehicle

Ensure you take a look at the vehicle or trucks your proposed removers are using. Are they properly liveried? If not, ensure the van they’re using meets the regulations and is properly insured for removals.

The most common van used on removals is the humble 3.5t van. Many people think that 3.5 tonnes is the weight the vehicle can hold. However, that figure is the maximum total gross weight including the van, it’s load, and the passengers. By overloading these vans you’re not only running the risk of losing your goods but also endangering the lives of other road users.


So if your chosen mover’s van is covered in rust, or clearly not big enough for the load, walk away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

3) Are they Insured?

Everyone makes mistakes, even the best Removal Men can drop things on occassion. Accidents happy, that’s exactly what insurance is for. To protect not only you as the consumer, but also to protect the company and it’s standing.

So if the moving company you’ve chosen doesn’t offer, or even mention insurance, walk away. Any reliable moving company is usually a member of a trade organisation such as the BAR (The British Association of Removers). Which as part of it’s membership criteria states that all BAR members must have insurance in place and offer it to the customer when appropriate.

Even if the company you’ve picked does offer insurance, be sure to read all of the terms and conditions. If you have any high value items that are being moved make sure your movers are aware of these. They may have to put special insurance in place to ensure you’re fully covered. Again, if they don’t do this or offer insurance, they must be removal cowboys and you’d best just walk away.

4) Do they use Unique Imagery?

When looking for a reliable remover be sure to look at their website and any social media channels their actively engaged in. Are they using stock imagery? Or are all of the pictures they use completely unique and show actual pictures of their vans and staff. Not just stock photos they’ve stolen off the internet.

It says a lot about a company who is proud to take pictures of their staff and work and publish it online for all to see. A business that hides behind cartoon imagery and stock footage, as beautiful as it is, gives the impression they must be hiding something.


Find a business that is active on their website and social media. Choose one that actively engages on social media and isn’t afraid to publish their reviews or even reply to bad reviews. A sure sign of a reliable mover, and not removal cowboys, is one that responds to bad reviews with solutions not criticism.

A good example of unique imagery is the image to right showing our van below the one of Scotland’s most loved locations; Edinburgh Castle. Although we weren’t involved in moving anything in castle itself, we were working locally and took advantage of the weather and location to create an image that incorporates a well known Scottish icon and our branded removal truck.

5) Check the Reviews

Would you choose a mover than had zero feedback? Of course you wouldn’t. So pick a mover that has a good chunk of online reviews from a wide range of customers. This way you’re more likely to get an idea of what to expect if you’ve read someone’s review who was in similar situation to yourself.

Check out their Which! Trusted Trader page for starters. You can check out our Trustpilot page here.

Take a look at the date the last review was made. If it was more than a year in the past then the company aren’t actively engaging with their customers and we would class this as a bad sign. Obviously if there lots of bad reviews then it would make sense to skip these removal cowboys and move onto the next one.

If they do have a mix of reviews be sure to read the negative ones. See if the company actually replied and tried to resolve the situation. This will also give you an idea of the customer service level and what to expect for your move.

There are a number of other review sites, but the main ones we use are Trust Pilot, Facebook, and Google. So be sure to check at least these 3 sites for reviews before choosing your reliable mover.

6) How Quick did they Quote?

A professional and reliable removal company will never give out a quote without specific details. For example, you’ve asked the local Man with a Van to quote for your move from a 4 bed house, to another 4 bed house 10 miles down the road. If they give you a price straight away, walk away. It’s likely that the price they’ll give you will be their base rate and they’ll charge you extra on the day. Or in some instances we’ve heard reports of prices being doubled after a removal firm didn’t quote correctly. They then had to pay double to bring in another van and 2 men to complete the job.

Unique Custom Quotations

Here at Purdie Worldwide, we only send out a quote for when we have as much information as possible. To get this information we conduct a FREE no obligation survey (book yours here). One of our surveyors will come out to your property to assess the volume. They will examine not only the contents, but how good is the access to the property. They also check the number of stairs, width of doors, and if there are any parking restrictions. Using this information we construct a detailed removal plan that is customised to your specifications.

Due to the highly detailed nature of these quotes it does take a fair amount of time to construct the quote. So we usually ask any potentials clients to give us 2 days after the survey to put together a quote for them. This extra time also allows us to get costs for any extras like parking restrictions to be lifted. We also plan in advance the trucks and men being used. So you know what trucks to expect, and not only the names of your removal crew, but what they take in their teas and coffees too!

Get your FREE No Obligation Quote for a Home Removal Here!

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