AU Anger at removalists
Property Here - Thursday, May 16, 2013
DODGY removalists make shifting a nightmare.
Victoria's consumer watchdog is fielding an average of four or more complaints a week.
Among the top gripes are complaints about damaged or lost goods, hidden costs and unreasonable charges.
Rhonda Hirst, 35, of South Yarra, is taking her complaint to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, claiming she was overcharged hundreds of dollars to move just 5km and 15 minutes away from Hawthorn.
She says it took removalists almost 4 1/2 hours, at $122 an hour, to shift the belongings from her one-bedroom unit.
She said she was also charged an extra $60 for the drive back to the depot and costs for wrapping materials, making a total of $635 for the November move.
She said the last time she moved, from Williamstown, it took just over three hours and cost $380. She also claims freshly painted walls were marked and a light was broken.
"I was charged for almost five hours and was told unless I paid the full amount then they would take my items away on the truck.
"There needs to be some sort of watchdog to monitor the removalist industry to prevent people being misled,'' Ms Hirst said.
She plans to spend any reimbursement she receives on creating online advertisements to warn people of her experience.
Ms Hirst was offered a $50 reimbursement from the removalists, negotiated by Consumer Affairs Victoria, but declined it.
In the past two financial years, Consumer Affairs Victoria has received more than 400 complaints against removalists, including charges above the quoted price, the length of time taken to complete the job, and ruined furniture.
Consumer Affairs Victoria spokesman Kim Healey said consumers may be entitled to compensation if goods are lost or damaged.
Consumers should ask about extra charges such as callout fees, costs from the depot or if the move takes longer than expected.
CASE STUDIES COMPLAINTS ABOUT MOVERS
A MAN was locked out of his house by a removalist after they got into a verbal altercation
A REMOVALIST was drunk when he arrived at a woman's house
A WOMAN claimed her cat was thrown into a bathtub by a removalist
A WOMAN complained that most of her items were scratched, broken or otherwise damaged during a move from Sydney to Melbourne
ONE woman was charged $1400 more than what she was originally quoted when she moved from Brisbane to Melbourne
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/realestate/buying/anger-at-removalists/story-fndban6l-1226644327030#ixzz2TScGSl9I