What to ask your South African removals company

Advice from the experts

Choosing the right moving company in South Africa is about asking the right questions. To help you with what to ask, we talked to Thomas de Mallman of AGS Movers about the essential questions you should have covered when hiring a removals company.

Are they a member of a removers’ association?

This will more or less guarantee that you hire a reputable and well-known company. While not all unassociated companies will be illegitimate, it is a common scam in South Africa to charge a deposit for a removals job and disappear with the money.

Your moving company should have International Organization for Standardization  certifications for quality, environment and security. Thomas de Mallman, of AGS Movers, suggests that you also pay attention to whether the company has uniformed personnel and marked vans, as this is a symbol of professionalism.

Do they make home visits?

A home visit is crucial because it allows the company to evaluate the amount of baggage that needs to be moved and whether there are any special requirements, like valuable paintings of antique furniture.

At the end of a home visit, an accurate quote should be agreed upon. “It’s important to note that this quote should not change in the future, unless an extra service has been agreed upon by both parties at a later date”, says Thomas de Mallman. Make sure you get a signed agreement of the quote before the move.

The quote should be clear and detailed, and should include any extra services.

Do they provide insurance?

Insurance should cover any damage to the packages, as well as lost or stolen property, and should apply from the moment your belongings are loaded into the van to when they are safely in your new home in South Africa. Crime levels against property are higher in South Africa than you might be used to, so your insurance policy should provide coverage for all eventualities.

“Insurance is also paramount in case something gets lost or is damaged”, adds Thomas de Mallman. Inquire about the extra charge for the insurance coverage, if late arrival of the shipment is covered, and for information on how to present an insurance claim, should this be necessary.

Do they offer secure storage services?

If your belongings are going to arrive in South Africa before you, they will need to be stored until they can be delivered to your home. Temporary storage is an essential service that should be included in your quote.

It is reasonable to have safety concerns for your items; South Africa still has elevated levels of theft and crime in general, and some areas of the country are considered unsafe. As a result, you should make sure that the storage facility is safe and secure. Thomas de Mallman says that they should be equipped with modern surveillance facilities and 24-hour guarding services for units in more remote locations.

What’s not included in the price?

Always double check that all the services you need are included in the final quote. Inquire about taxes and charges, and packing and unpacking services. This will decrease the likelihood that additional fees will be added later on in the process.

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