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UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

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Chunky
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UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:33 pm

Any recommendations or companies to avoid? Moving from London to Sg next month. Need stuff to be picked up and packed from 2 locations on 2 different occasions (West and North West London). Who would you suggest I go with? Have heard horror stories from seemingly every company. Just want the least hassle and am prepared to pay a bit more to avoid customs problems at the Sg side or damaged goods in transit or poor service on the UK side. Please help! Don't have much time left...

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 7:10 pm

Thanks Erik. Noted and probably best avoided then. Anyone have any positive recommendations? I need to try and book it this week ideally...

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 8:50 pm

@hairydragon - What was good about them?


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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 10:15 pm

Chunky wrote:@hairydragon - What was good about them?


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He's a spammer... one single post to recommend a company out of South Africa.

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 10:23 pm

It boils down to this. The cheapest services will use contract labor on each end to pack and unpack. They may use 3rd party forwarders. In short, you get a disjointed chain of control and filing claims for loss or damage, or trying to find out why your shipment is late, invariably results in finger pointing as no group will accept responsibility.

At least with the better known firms, they have contracts in place for everything. I used Allied Pickfords in SG... it was Allied Van Lines in Texas... there was never any issue about tracking, about who held ultimate responsibility. I had arguments with AP about what my final bill was... in the end, they backed down and honored their original estimate.

For anyone you interview:
a) Are the packers employed by the Mover or on contract?
b) Who handles container loading, freight forwarding, and customs inspections?
c) What are the exact total charges you will face? Example: custom clearance fees?
d) What are storage options and costs if your new home is delayed?
e) How long to get to the destination?
f) How to file a claim and what exemptions from liability do they have?

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UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 10:39 pm

Thanks Strong Eagle. Really helpful and useful advice. I'll definitely forward those questions on.

Am leaning towards Sterling Relocations at the moment. Seem to have been the most thorough and professional thus far. Let's see how they answer your questions above!

Thank you and will keep everyone posted.


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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby JR8 » Tue, 27 Oct 2015 11:58 pm

Also consider who a removal company interfaces with at the other end. You need to consider the reputations of both companies. That is more of an issue re: egregious over-packing (hence risk of going over vs the employers provided budget, and the bill for overage lands with you).

We recently had this issue with Asian Tigers ex-SIN, where the actual volume on the day ended up as something extraordinary like 50-80% over their original written estimate. The local unpackers were laughing at how under-packed many of the boxes were, we took photos as proof => Asian Tigers? No interest.

I was stunned later to learn they did exactly the same to my wife's very senior and influential SGn boss. Amazing!

[Obviously more of a risk from the SGn end, but I'd still be veeeery wary of any company that had a tie-up with them, i.e. the practises of one might reflect on the other].
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 12:15 am

Thank you JR8. I'll ask who the Sg agent is for each of these companies. Definitely worth knowing that in advance before I part with my money.

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby JR8 » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 12:28 am

Worth checking, to further illustrate; we had to personally foot a bill of several thousand S$, for shipping many boxes that were 90% air :mad:
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 12:47 am

JR8 wrote:Worth checking, to further illustrate; we had to personally foot a bill of several thousand S$, for shipping many boxes that were 90% air :mad:


This was my big argument with Allied Pickfords. They came in, I showed them what I would take. They gave me an estimate. One of the vans was half full. They tried to charge me for full. I was able to document promises made to me that it would be my actual volume, not van volume, that would be charged. I won the argument. And, I would have brought more stuff back except for the mis-estimates of volume... instead I sold or gave it away.

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 12:56 am

@Strong Eagle - that all sounds pretty shady. There's been no mention of van volume thus far although I can see how it arises.

@JR8 - the underpacking I suspect will be a commonly employed tactic to overcharge. Were you not ablet to comment on their packing (appreciating it was on the Sg side) and ask them to fill the boxes properly? What I suspect is that the companies then claim that any packing not done by their own team constitutes 'owner packing' and then potentially impacts on your insurance etc...

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Chunky » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 1:20 am

PS, thank you both for the advice thus far. Based on asking the right questions, i've been able to decide that I definitely do not want to employ one company already. For anyone else that will be in a similar position, I copied and pasted the following questions from mostly Strong Eagle but JR8 too:

a) Are the packers employed by yourselves or are they on contract?
b) Who handles container loading, freight forwarding, and customs inspections?
c) What are the exact total charges you will face? Example: custom clearance fees?
d) What are the storage options and costs if your new home is delayed?
e) How long will it take to get to the destination?
f) How do I file a claim and what exemptions from liability do they have?
g) Who are the local agents in Singapore that you employ?

One of the companies I was getting quotes from don't employ their own packers and subcontract out. They use a variety of companies at the Singaporean end and he wasn't sure how to answer some of the other questions without checking with others first.

The second company i'm dealing with only employ their own packers, use their own vehicles and also use a single company in Sg. They were also very clear about how to answer the other questions. It's a fantastic set of screening questions and all people moving should use them!

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 1:31 am

Chunky wrote:@Strong Eagle - that all sounds pretty shady. There's been no mention of van volume thus far although I can see how it arises.

@JR8 - the underpacking I suspect will be a commonly employed tactic to overcharge. Were you not ablet to comment on their packing (appreciating it was on the Sg side) and ask them to fill the boxes properly? What I suspect is that the companies then claim that any packing not done by their own team constitutes 'owner packing' and then potentially impacts on your insurance etc...


It depends how much you are bringing. Most of the time, you either pay for half a container, a full container, or if you have a lot of kit, more than one container.

If you don't have that much... for example, we opted to get rid of most of our furniture in Singapore... then you have two options, not all offered by all moving companies. The first is a van, a wooden box, as I have described. Three or four will fit in a container. You pay for the van space. My argument with them is that they should have quoted me van volume costs, not actual volume. I think the agent that surveyed my home is no longer employed. The advantage of vans is lower cost and your goods are sealed in one or two containers. The disadvantage is your vans won't go anywhere until there is another to fill the container going to your destination.

The other option is broken pack. You wrap and pack all your stuff into boxes, it's hauled away by a truck and it is then loaded into an available container heading for your destination. I didn't even consider this approach... far too much of a chance for loss or theft.

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby JR8 » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 2:05 am

Strong Eagle wrote:And, I would have brought more stuff back except for the mis-estimates of volume... instead I sold or gave it away.


As did we, and that is what really rubbed salt in the wound for me.

We gave away to family several large items of furniture, our bed, and two *very* expensive and wonderful sofas, specifically (cost vs benefit) to ensure we come in around budget... but despite that... what I described happened. Grrr.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: UK to Sg Relocation Company Recommendations

Postby JR8 » Wed, 28 Oct 2015 2:32 am

Chunky wrote:@JR8 - the underpacking I suspect will be a commonly employed tactic to overcharge. Were you not able to comment on their packing (appreciating it was on the Sg side) and ask them to fill the boxes properly? What I suspect is that the companies then claim that any packing not done by their own team constitutes 'owner packing' and then potentially impacts on your insurance etc...


When the packers come in it's a whirl-wind. With us there were 4-5 of them, each in separate rooms. You cannot be everywhere at once to supervise the content of each single box. Often times you can't even get into a room as there are packed and/or empty boxes barring your way. P's me off as I consciously went from room to room, not quite on a rota, but say once around all the rooms each 15-20 minutes, specifically to try and ensure they knew I was observing what was going on. Plus so that any of their questions during the packing would not go unanswered. At that point I was actually more concerned about dissuading 'noseying about' in stuff or heavens forbid theft. [To be completely clear: My approach was not just re: this one company, and I'm *not* suggesting any missing possessions. I'd do the same routine of simply being seen to be observing quite closely and on hand to answer any questions with any remover].

'Owner packing' wasn't alleged. Note that carefully as if you pack some of your own boxes they are (typically?) not covered under the removers insurance. Rather our Movers claim all their packing was done to the appropriate standard. Despite which they claim the staff involved have been sent for 're-education' as a result. Nope - it is a p-take and they knew we can't touch them.

Unfortunately this is often what customer-service can be like SG style (island wide). Often times, they take your money and don't give a damn, not a scintilla of a damn in fact.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard


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