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How to avoid Rogue Removers - real life story

 

Advice for your move to Bulgaria:

-    Get rid of the unnecessary items and have a car boot sale.

-    Hiring a van for 8 days to Bulgaria is mission impossible. I’d rather hire it for a day and distribute the unwanted stuff to relatives, friends or just give it to charity.

-    Once you are left with the goods you really want to move, call in reputable moving companies. Ask for 3 quotations and compare them. ASK FOR OVERSEAS WRAP ONLY. Ask how they make customs clearance in Bulgaria (BIG ISUUE, especially in the countryside) and who will deliver to your door in BG.

-    Keep items you’ll need straight away. You might need to spend a good day to travel from the countryside to the nearest big town to buy the kettle you threw away in England just a month ago.

Moving to a new place is a serious matter - spend your time on planning. Cheapest does not mean it is even workable. Always get 3 offers from professionals and compare, compare, compare.

 

Real life experience

This is a terribly sad story from a Briton whose experience of moving to Bulgaria was filled with many of those ‘near-to-heart-attack’ moments which Stefan describes.

“I decided to chose a removal firm that had come highly recommended from an internet forum. I spoke to them regarding moving a number of items of furniture and about 25 boxes of various sizes to Bulgaria.

They gave me a quote of £1,000 directly over the phone, without them knowing the exact size of the consignment. (I suppose alarms bells should have rang right then but they didn’t). I was very happy with the price, so it was agreed. We planned our holiday specifically to be there when the goods arrived in Bulgaria.

The very day they where to pick my stuff up I was browsing on the same forum where they’d been recommended and noticed someone had posted a topic saying beware of them. Naturally, I started to panic and immediately phoned them up asking them how far they were from where we live. I explained that I would probably be cancelling their services as I had just read a bad article about them but agreed that as they where nearly at my house they may as well continue. I was willing to pay for their fuel and their time. They gave me their version about this bad report and, like a fool, I believed them.

For payment they wanted £500 up front and the other £500 on delivery. No receipt and no paperwork was given to us at all. All that I had was a mobile number! Nevertheless, I still let them take our things.

On our arrival in Bulgaria I made numerous phone calls to the mobile number I had been given for them but it was permanently turned off. When I did manage to get hold of them I was told one of the men was in hospital after having a heart attack in France but ‘no problems’, our stuff was in France and they would make sure we had it before our holiday was over. However, a few days later I was told the gentleman was now out of hospital but had done a runner with all the money. Even then, I was told not to worry as someone would be flying over and delivering our goods.

Into the second week of our holiday and we were still not sure where our things were. Just three days before we were due to fly back to Britain I managed to get hold of them and was told they were in Bulgaria and meeting the lorry at the Turkish border and we would definitely have our load delivered the next day. I waited in all next day and of course it did not turn up. Their phones were not turned on again, ever, so we returned to the UK, thinking we would never see our things again, plus we had lost the £500 that we gave them.

The two men running this company had disappeared off the face of the earth ... after a great deal of research I found out they had franchised the load out to Turkish Internationals whom the company had met at the border. They had given them a cheque to release our goods. They thought that they could then deliver the loads and collect 500 pounds from each of the five loads which were on board. But, not surprisingly the cheque bounced and the goods were never released.

In the end I had to make another trip over to Bulgaria. I fortunately had the help of a Bulgarian friend but there were taxes to pay, warehouse charges to pay and lots of forms. I have at last got my things - but what a nightmare and expense.

My advice to everyone is to go with a reputable firm. If it costs a bit more it’s well worth paying it for peace of mind. I would hate to see people go through what I went through - so all you readers remember - check and check again any recommendations especially those on a forum. What I cannot believe is how naïve hubby and I were to be taken in.”

 

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