Removalists’ dodgy alleged practices revealed
A removalist firm is accused of deliberately driving longer distances so it can charge customers more.
My Moovers - the subject of a Consumer Affairs Victoria public warning - also faces allegations staff were unprofessional, aggressive and failed to exercise due care.
But the company says it's worked to fix problems.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has received 122 reports about the Melbourne-based company over the last three years.
It this week issued a public warning about Ajanvi Pty Ltd - trading as My Moovers.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director Nicole Rich said: "Victorians moving house have the right to expect the job to be done properly."
"When you hire a removalist, you have the same rights under the law as you do with any other service provider," Ms Rich said.
"Your possessions are precious. Make sure you take the time to choose a removalist who is going to take as much care of them as you do."
The Consumer Affairs alert states similar warnings about My Moovers have been issued in Queensland and Western Australia, saying the measure is in the public interest given a disproportionately high number of recent complaints about the firm and the "high level of consumer detriment evident".
Complaints included allegations My Moovers failed to accept liability for damage caused to walls and items such as furniture, failed to provide services as agreed such as using inadequately sized vehicles and failed to attend jobs on time.
It's claimed the company also failed to disclose the total cost of services, charged above its quotation, failed to adequately deal with consumer complaints and purposely drove longer travel routes between properties to increase the amount charged for services.
Consumer Affairs noted such allegations had continued despite assurances in 2018 that the company had improved its business practices and that it had last year undertaken further remedial actions.
My Moovers advised it had gone through a recent restructure to address issues raised.
"My Moovers are aware that there are many areas for improvement ... and have begun 2021 by communicating our company standards and best practice to all staff,'' it said in a statement.
"The restructure spans our management and operations levels, and we have committed changes across the business to improve quality and technology to support staff.
"My Moovers has also implemented quality programs in 2021 to identify issues in real time, from reviewing customer feedback for staff in the field, call recording and monitoring for logistics and sales, and a strict complaint handling process for our compliance team.
"My Moovers are taking clear steps to ensure our professional standards are upheld, as we drive down customer complaints and improve our operational standards."
Consumer Affairs last year fielded 726 reports about removalists, up from 656 the previous year.
Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne said: "Moving house can be a stressful time, so it's important to know your rights to avoid dodgy removalists taking advantage of the situation."
"Do your research, document the move, read contracts carefully and ask about any terms and conditions that don't seem right. Being vigilant during your move can save you a lot of time, energy and money in the long run."
Consumer Affairs Victoria, 1300 55 81 81.
Originally published as Removalists' dodgy alleged practices revealed