Removalists - Alleged scams & other complaints

An article regarding alleged scams by My Moovers.

Of course, the pathetic ACCC declines to get involved.

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This is interesting but a bit late for me. Last move, 2 years ago, I thought I would try the online agencies (don’t quite know what to call them) where you go to a category, eg Removalists, and they give you a list of eg 20 that are on their books, who work in that area. I got some quotes, and My Moovers seemed reasonable. The website was very professional, they gave a lot of reassurances about professional experienced staff, etc. I won’t go into the gory details but the move was a terrible experience. I went back to the original search site and left feedback ‘do not use this removalist’. Looking around after that, I noticed that there were a lot of similarities in the websites, and I was getting the same people responding to queries. So I think the whole thing is a racket - a multiple websites fishing for clients, all run by a central ‘customer service’ office, then the jobs are just farmed out to random guys with trucks. I have to move again soon (sigh) but I am using the yellow pages and only getting quotes from professional removalists with industry registration, etc, ad checking them out thoroughly first.

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A warning from the Qld Government to avoid My Moovers like the palgue.

And some reviews for them.

What a disgusting bunch of rip-off merchants.

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Indeed. So - if DFT issues a warning, why are they still in business??? Rhetorical question :unamused:

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Another article regarding this outfit.

https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/rogue-furniture-removalists-my-movers-receive-avalanche-of-complaints-after-consumer-watchdog-warning/bc3275fb-b8fb-43e2-aa1b-7eec2c262194

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Not having moved house for nearly 20 years we were nervous about how well our chosen removalist would do the job. Settlement date was the 29th of December so finding someone who was prepared to do the job on the day was a bit of a stumbling block; most were closed down for the Christmas - New Year break. “Mike” from Mymoovers responded to my email enquiry with what seemed like a reasonable price and his team of “professionals” would be ready to start between 8am and 9am. We booked Mymoovers on Nov 10th - more than a month prior to the moving date. We were only moving 4 km, so figured we’d be out of the house well before handover time at noon. The house had already been partially emptied of furniture because it had been decorated for sale and the stylist had removed all of her furniture a week prior, leaving only what would have easily fitted into a large moving van. It was already packed in labelled cartons, ready to be loaded onto the truck.
The first inkling of trouble came when “Mike”, in a strong Indian accent, informed me on the afternoon before the move, that the van would be 2 hours late because it needed repairs. The following morning, around 9 am, he rang again and said it wouldn’t be there until mid day. I pointed out that the new owners would be moving in then and that they should have a spare truck available, to which there was no response. The removalists turned up at 12 and proceeded to load the furniture and boxes into what looked to be a remarkably small van. As it turned out, 2 trips were needed to bring a half a household of furniture.
The 2 men were both wearing uniforms with a cleaning company logo on them and seemed to have no idea of how to manouver unwieldy furniture or stack it carefully for transport. Leather sofas were scratched, torn and scuffed, painted timber shelves were scratched and dented and a timber trolley fell over in the back of the truck causing significant damage. The walls and doorways in both old and new houses were damaged.
The kitchen table was dismantled unnecessarily and both the queen sized bed and kitchen table were left at the new house unassembled. Boxes were stacked upside down despite “Fragile - This side up” labels being clearly visible and at the end of it all, they had left the freezer and microwave oven behind!
At day’s end, I was pretty annoyed and refused to sign the electronic direct debit authority to pay them, because it said that by paying, I was saying that the work had been performed satisfactorily which was a very long way from being correct.
The following day I noticed that the amount had been debited from my account despite the fact I had not signed an authority to debit. I had paid $100 deposit via direct debit, so that is how they got my bank details. That $100 deposit was not credited to my charges either - it was an addition.
Numerous emails have elicited absolutely no response and telephone calls always lead to a sympathetic ear and a lady who asks us to go to the website and submit a form - which we have done. The claim forms go to the same junk box as the emails.
I believe that my next course of action is either the Small Claims Court or the Consumer and Business Services branch of the SA govt., but in the meantime, I’ll just put it out there that Mymoovers are a great reason to stay where you are!

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Welcome to the forum. Your post has been moved to an existing thread with a littany of issues involving My Movers.

So as you will see, you are not the first one to have an unpleasant experience with this firm.

I would suggest that you have a look at your contract to see whether you agreed to My Moovers withdrawing further funds as payment (regardless of whether or not you signed after the move). If you haven’t you could approach your bank and ask for the transaction to be reversed.

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This story should remind people of the dangers of direct debit. You lose control of how and when payment is done for goods or services. You give someone else your bank account details and authorise them to be able to withdraw money.
I hope the bank involved helps in getting money back, but I really wouldn’t be confident they would do anything more than refer you back to the business to work out the issue.

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My understanding of the meaning of “direct debit” is where I authorise a transfer of funds from my account to that of a creditor. They do not have any ability to take funds on their own initiative.

With credit card or debit card however once a creditor has the necessary details to make a charge they can do it again. This is how much card fraud is carried out. Unless the creditor can show they had authorisation for a disputed transaction you can expect the bank to reverse it back to your account and pursue the creditor for the money.

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@syncretic, your understanding is not right about direct debit.
The payee is authorised by the payer to debit funds from an account as and when claimed. The bank where the account is held is generally not involved in the authorisation per transaction or concerned.
The organisation involved is AusPayNet in Australia.
A lot of direct debit is done on a recurring basis, not just once. Could be utility providers who deduct the monthly bill, or health insurers, or yearly subscriptions to things like, well Choice.
And it could very well be variable amounts, not a specified transaction amount. And it could go on for ever unless the authorisation is rescinded.

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Ok direct debit works as a one off or a recurring payment. In either case there must be authorisation. The mere possession of account details is not sufficient. In the case of recurring payments that authorisation can be withdrawn. Is that right?

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Yes, direct debit authorisation can be cancelled. That should prevent future debits, but does nothing for debits that have already occured under the authorisation the payer gave to the payee.

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Choice has covered Direct Debits in the past:

Direct Debits can be used for one off payments (e.g, making a voluntary super contribution), multiple part payments (e.g. hire purchase arrangements) and recurring payments (e.g electricity bills). Any direct debit needs authorisation from the account holder and the authorisation will provide information about the nature of the direct debit.

I suspect that @AndyB agreed to a deposit and then final payment in the contract/direct debit authorisation signed with MyMoovers. If this is the case, the company can legally direct debit the authorised transactions. If they did say another transaction outside the ones which have been authorised, then this can be disputed with the relevant financial institution.

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WridgWays have gone into administration.

https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/future-of-australian-removalists-in-limbo/4ea9a329-8f87-49d3-b435-1bf94a90d4e7

Looks like My Moovers has some competition.

https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/apex-logistics-solution-boss-cut-off-by-melbourne-court-magistrate/bcec37e7-054e-4462-8d6e-f70a595d3d74

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Not sure if this is the right category for shonky removalists, but I’d like to share my experience in the form of a review I left on Google Reviews. Zoom Removalists have upwards of 1600 reviews on Google, but unless you start looking for the 1-star upwards instead of the other way around, you will fall into the same trap I did. I hope this can help others out there who are thinking of moving. All I can say is beware and do as much research as possible!

INDIANA JONES AND THE MOVERS FROM DOOM

If you saw the movie you will relate to that gut wrenching sensation you felt when you watched our hero run for his life from the giant ball which threatened DOOM for him unless he managed to get out of the way. Fortunately for Indie, he outran disaster and lived to see another day.

Unlike our hero, I was too trusting of Doom… Oops! I meant to say Zoom, and I didn’t run fast enough when I realised I had made a very bad choice by using the service (or lack thereof) of Zoom Removals. In a nutshell, and for an eye-watering $180 per hour, I got more misery, distress, and total chaos than Indie did in his first adventure plus the other three sequels that followed.

For me, the adventure or I should say misadventure was being landed with untrained movers who did not follow instructions, nor did they care to, and packed items they were not meant or asked to do, plus they broke a table lamp which ended up scattering shards of glass in the carpet at my new place and which I discovered after the movers left, they scratched many of my furniture pieces including an antique knee-hole desk, they connected the washing machine without shutting off the “hot” and only using the “cold” option (as I reminded them when I said I only do cold washes), and forget about them levelling the machine so it wouldn’t shake all over the place when in operation (as I discovered two days later). Further, the movers dismantled my bed, plus a single artists daybed I use as a sofa, neither of which they put back together again (oh, and they were using a standard hand-screw instead of a drill, so you can imagine how long that took to do).

After having wasted so much time on packing their truck sans moving blankets to protect my property, they left all the boxes which were meant to go into a storage cage at my new place lying about in my lounge instead because, again, the move went way over time and I had to cut it short after nine whole hours. And before I forget, they never labelled the boxes they decided to pack and as a result I couldn’t find anything I needed, on top of which they could not remember where they had put the bits and pieces of screws, nuts, bolts, etc, that would be needed to put the beds back together again. Although I managed to find these eventually, after many phone calls to the mover who packed them but could not remember where, I’m not sure everything will be okay with putting the bed frames together again, and I’ll probably have to buy a new bed or two.

In essence, the move ended up being half a move as after the nine hours—and this was going from one suburb to another, only a mere ten minutes away, plus I had moved several times between these two suburbs in the past and it only took six hours at most—my budget for the move went bust.

In the course of this nightmare of DOOM from ZOOM I must have spoken to four or five different customer service people at Zoom, but I felt I was being merely humoured, especially because I suffer from a chronic pain disability and so they probably thought I’d be a pushover. I did, however, end up getting 1.5 hours’ refund (hoorah!) after much complaining on my part, and while is was a good thing I am still left with sleeping on the floor with a mattress than may never have a whole frame again, a daybed with the same problem, a broken lamp with shards still embedded in the carpet and which I may step on as they are impossible to vacuum, a place that looks like a bombed out warzone on a bad day, and the prospect of having to now hire someone to attempt to fix the beds, level the washing machine, take all the boxes marked “storage” to the storage cage, and help me make sense of what is where as there are many boxes that have remained unlabelled—and I’m still dreading some nasty surprises that will surely arise along the way. There are other smaller details such as lack of punctuality and moving slowly to clock up more time, but I think the reader will get a picture of the horror I’ve been left to deal with.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY, at least for me, is to check the many Google Reviews from the one-star upwards rather than the five-star ones first for I would not be surprised if the many five-star reviews were in fact solicited by the company.

They say when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. And this is what I intend to do via CHOICE- a well trusted site Australia wide with a reputation next to none. I have already contacted them and they are keen to read about this atrocious experience. And who knows, like Indie’s film I may yet be in for three more sequels!

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Welcome to the forum. Your post has been moved to an existing thread to join a littany of issues involving removalists.

So as you will see, you are not the first one to have an unpleasant experience with a firm.

I think that you hit the nail on the head when you said:

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Thank you, Meltam. This is my first time posting a review on CHOICE and I wasn’t sure which category to select. I find it amazing how these companies can get away with their shonky behaviour, and I hope more people will be helped by reading credible reviews. There was one review I saw on Google Reviews where Zoom offered the customer a big refund if he would withdraw his negative review, but the guy stood firm. Good on him! It’s so refreshing to see someone with such integrity.

Oh, and as of today, which is seven days after my move, I’ve yet to hear anything from Zoom. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever hear from them again.

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Another removalist exposed by ‘not a government agency’. The industry appears to attract its share of cowboys, so beware.

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I went online to look at reviews several people mentioned how they damaged items and were not on time. Also the truck was not big enough. Ill be surely giving them a miss. Why should they be allowed to continue to operate baffles me. Seems cant even get a reliable removal business. Add a growing list of shoddy businesses. Add them to the annual shonky list.

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