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How to choose a socially responsible removals service

  1. 02 February 2018
  2. By Andi Michael

Chris Smallwood from Anchor Removals, discusses the ethics and social responsibilities of a removals service, and what questions you can ask when you hire a removals team.

We are all seeking for value when looking to employ a service provider, and choosing a house moving company is no different. But how do we define value?
Every moving company will tell you they provide a first class service, with fully trained, qualified and experienced people. However, in 2008 the removals industry experienced a crash like no other in living memory and upwards of 50% of the industry resources were lost, including many experienced and skilled removals operatives.
Many people found life a struggle and disposable income became squeezed, leaving customers to re-evaluate what they were willing to sacrifice - the cost or the service, as it seemed they could never have both. This led to the rise of poor quality, unregulated man and van removals, with people experiencing additional stress and horror stories a plenty.
However, we are 10 years on now and disposable income is increasing and we have more freedom to choose the right people to do the best job at a good rate. To start we look for the BAR (British Association of Removers) badge, coupled with the Consumer Code of Practice recognised and monitored by Trading Standards. We may even consider the BSEN 12522 Quality Standard. These accreditations are both proactive and reactive protectors for clients, including after service dispute resolution.
So to truly define a reliable and trustworthy removals supplier we need to scratch beneath the surface and not ask just if they are a good service provider, but what makes them different and why?
We all want to play our part in making society better and, believe it or not, by choosing the right company you can have a major impact on your own community and society. Sounds good, right?
For example, for us at Anchor, “doing the right thing” is really important as part of how we do business. That’s why we’re really proud to be a Living Wage employer – we pay our employees the hourly wage recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, guarantee earning every week, avoid zero hour contracts and we make them part of the decision-making process in the company. This means that our team is totally engaged, dedicated to the company and can focus on offering great customer service.
Community engagement can set a removals company apart – working with charities, community projects and good causes, making sure that their social impact benefits the whole community. How they choose their staff can also have an impact – employing people who are on the peripherals of society and may have been forgotten, helping them to become earning, active workers. This can only be good for local communities and reduces the costs on the government, as well as giving someone a chance when no one else did.
You can make a huge difference to not only your own experience of a removals service but other people’s lives by simply asking the right questions of your removals supplier.
Ask how the staff are paid, what opportunities and training they receive. Ask about zero hour contracts, and whether the movers are part of the company or have been subcontracted. Choosing a removals company, much like any other service, can be done with a social conscience.
Can the removals company produce evidence of what they say? Look for key badges such as the Living Wage logo, the BAR, Trading Standards and BSEN accreditations.
It’s like fair trade for removals – removals with a heart– a win-win for everyone involved. In some cases, you may pay a little bit more, but the impact of choosing a socially responsible removals team will impact your local community, and you’ll know that you’re hiring people who are fairly paid and passionate about what they do.
In a world where choices about food, packaging, transport and multiple other purchases are made with social responsibility in mind, there’s no reason your removals firm should be any different.

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