Mr Mason-Cox said NSW Fair Trading received nearly 300 consumer complaints against removalists in the nine months to 30 September, with 45 of them reported last month.
“The number of complaints recorded in September was double that of last year and higher than any other month since February 2013.
“Loss or damage to property accounted for most of the complaints. Other complaints include dissatisfaction with the service, failure to supply the service paid for, concerns about charges higher than the quoted price and hidden or non-disclosed charges.
“These are issues which NSW Fair Trading takes very seriously. “It is currently investigating a removalist company that has recently come to its attention.’’
“This trader secures its clients through web based advertising and has been the subject of a significant number of consumer complaints.’’
Moving house was stressful for most consumers, so it was important people did their homework to avoid costly and frustrating problems during their move, Mr Mason-Cox said.
“Before hiring a removalist, ask them for a written quote on the total cost of the move and for an estimate on how long the move will take, along with any additional costs that need to be factored into the move, Mr Mason-Cox said.
“To help the removalist give you an accurate quote, make sure you give them detailed information about your moving needs.
“Always read carefully the terms and conditions of any contract and check for hidden costs. “Be wary of pre-payment or providing credit card details upfront in case you need to cancel or change your mind.’’
Mr Mason-Cox also encouraged consumers to take their time to shop around and compare services.
“If you don’t get the service you paid for and are unable to resolve matters directly with the removalist, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 to learn more about your rights to remedy,” Mr Mason-Cox said.