Moving Scams: How To Avoid Bad Removalists In Melbourne

Moving Scams: How To Avoid Bad Removalists In Melbourne

Apr 07, 2021

The excitement of living in a new house is unparalleled as it’s a way to allow yourself and your family members to start anew. However, this excitement can be short-lived if you cannot find the right removalists in Melbourne or worse, find the wrong ones.

Due to mushrooming of companies in the removals industry, the competition is fierce, and many unethical companies try to get bookings by scamming naïve people planning to move. Every year different types of scams cost Australians millions of dollars and cause them mental plus emotional distress.

If you are planning to move, being cautious, proactive, and smart is the need of the hour to protect yourself from getting duped. Here is a complete guide outlining how to avoid hiring bad removalists in Melbourne and not get caught in a moving scam.

Never Hire an Unregistered Removals Company

Unlike companies registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), unregistered businesses don’t have to comply with the body’s obligations under the Australian law. They don’t need to set a registered office, keep financial records, create and maintain their business name, or fulfil other requirements to become a reliable business. Therefore, they can use false advertising, shift their office without any information, and not update ASIC on key changes.

Be Wary of Cheapest Rates Claim

Unregistered and unethical companies can scam unassuming people planning a move by promising to give packing and moving services at unbelievably cheap rates. In most cases, the prices quoted are too good to be true, and the removalists impose hidden charges or ask for extra money on the job date when the client has no option but to comply.

Therefore, while browsing and selecting removalists in Melbourne, make sure their rates are realistic, within your budget, and you can find reliable reviews/feedback from previous clients. Don’t blindly trust false claims of companies trying to get bookings with no intention of giving their service at the boasted rates.

Avoid Removalists Asking for Excessive Booking Amounts

Usually, removalists in Melbourne ask for a small amount to book a job and keep themselves available on specific dates as per discussion with clients. The booking amount is a token sum that is easily affordable for most people planning a move. It can be refunded if you cancel a booking within the stipulated time mentioned by the removalists.

If any removalist you are considering hiring asks for an excessive booking amount, it is best to look for other options. Scammers can take the amount and disappear, causing financial loss and mental distress as your moving budget is compromised.

Avoid Believing Claims of Fixed Free Quotes

Reputed and reliable removalists in Melbourne never claim to offer fixed or ironclad quotes over email or call. Free quotes provided by reckoned removalists are always subject to change depending on packing and moving load, rescheduling, weather, and various other factors.

Although the quotes don’t change drastically, reliable removalists in Melbourne are upfront about the added charges after analysing your property contents. Thus, if a company claims to offer fixed or unchangeable free quotes, it is probably lying and can impose hidden charges.

Never Trust a Removals Company Saying It Sells Moving Insurance

Legally removals companies in Melbourne or anywhere in Australia cannot sell moving insurance to their customers. They can arrange for you to purchase a policy of choice via a third-party insurance agency. If a removals company claims it sells moving insurance or supposedly covers everything, its claims are false, and you may end up getting scammed.

Reputed removalists in Melbourne provide minimum coverage with their services, but it is not enough to cover the cost of damage or loss of items. You can contact the insurance company suggested by your hired removalists or one you trust to get better coverage. Besides limited liability insurance, you can choose declared value protection or full replacement liability protection, which costs more than the basic insurance policy.

Don’t Choose a Business with History of Multiple Name Changes

Removalists with bad services, customer reviews, and market reputation use this tactic to clear their image. Always perform a background check on the companies you are considering for packing and moving your belongings. If you find records of a business changing its name frequently, it is probably because it wants to hide its negative coverage and get booking from unaware customers.

Also, it can point to the company being unregistered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission because registered members are required to create and maintain a business name.


Choosing bad removalists in Melbourne and getting scammed can mar the enthusiasm of moving into a new home. What’s more, besides suffering monetary loss, you experience mental and emotional distress by booking unreliable packing and moving professionals. Therefore, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above to recognise a moving scam and learn about things bad removalists do to trap customers.