Beware of removal companies that offer extraordinarily low prices | Property

I contacted Simpsons Removals in July to request a quote for my move across London from a four bedroom house to a three bedroom house. It was a very emotional step after the divorce settlement. After taking details of each room and its contents over the phone, the company estimated the process would take six hours and set £375, including VAT, for a single van and crew making several trips.

That day, a lonely young man arrived at 8am with little idea how to start loading, followed, an hour later, by a 17-year-old girl who told me she was doing a beauty therapy course and wasn’t strong enough to lift heavy boxes. My daughter ended up leading the move until the girl was replaced by a man who was more knowledgeable.

Halfway through, The Simpsons called me and told me the job was going to take over six hours and I’d have to turn in an extra £1,088 immediately, or he’d leave the team. The rest of the move was chaotic and it was midnight when the final load arrived at the new home.

There were still some large items left in the old house, some items were damaged, and I had to hire a separate white goods moving company. I sent a written complaint but no response and the company blocked my number.
RN, London

Perhaps alarm bells should have rung when you received the quote. According to Zoopla, the average removal cost from a four-bedroom house is £1,800, and other companies that quote you tell me even less: £375 an unusually low amount, which the company seems to have used to lure you into habit.

According to reviews on Trustpilot, you’re not the only customer forced to pay hundreds of extra pounds to finish the job halfway through this step.

It’s not just the quote that lacks transparency. Created in 2021, Simpsons Removals Ltd — not to be confused with an unrelated company, Simpsons International Removals — changed its registered name twice this year, according to Companies House records, and is currently trading as Removalsss.

Customer service is not reassuring. I asked why she offered a quote that she couldn’t meet, if she carried insurance for items lost or damaged in transit, and why she didn’t respond to your complaint.

Missing, she replied, she doesn’t use Trustpilot to collect reviews, and claims that 95% of her customers are happy. Customers aren’t “forced” to pay more, he insisted – they are given the option to pay or turn off the functionality, which, halfway through the step, amounts to pretty much the same thing.

“All of our crew members are fully trained and fully equipped,” she says. “Ask your girlfriend where she got the stuff for three trips? You can’t blame any of my crews, and our feedback is their credit.”

I have filed two claims for lost and damaged items with the county court. It is worth making sure that the company is a member of the British Association of Removers before hiring them. It will not guarantee a flawless service, but members do register with the Code of Practice and will be able to bring unresolved complaints to the Ombudsman. Needless to say, The Simpsons is not a member.

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