Thursday, 22 March 2007

London is awash with men with vans

This blog is to help people avoid the hassles i had when I moved using a van and man service I found on Gumtree. Cheap removal can is attractive but here is a cautionary tale.

My own stupid fault. I was pushed for time and didn't have that much to move.

Saturday afternoon along comes this ex-post office red van with acouple of guys. Give them credit their efficiency was contrary to the first impression they gave.

Everything was treated with care. I jumped a cab and went to the new address to meet them. An hour later they had not appeared. The phone number I had went straight through to voice mail.

3 hours later I contacted the Police but without a name (other than Viktor and he was Polish I think) I had nothing to give to them in the way of information to help track them down.

The Policeman then told me I had been had in one the fastest growing scams in the capital. In the space of an hour they had loaded and disappeared with about £8k worth my worldly possessions.

2 days later i went and bought a replacement armchair. this time I went for a company who seems to be well established - They turned up pretty well on time and charged me a reasonable price.

A week later I went shopping again to replace my plasma. This time taxivans were not available so I booked with they never turned up and I was stuck with a 42" plasma and no way of getting it home. So I took it back into the store and got picked up the following day by Icanhire who wer about 30 minutes late but at least they turned up and did'nt steal my stuff.

So the lesson I learnt was

Via Gumtree van and men very dodgy - don''t know if they are dodgy or not but they let me down turned up and on the whole gave me good service at a reasonable price.

So send your experiences and lets get rid of the ***** who are either crooks or unreliable.


Anonymous said...

I used a Ukrainian Micha or something like that. Him and his mate moved my stuff but when I checked my laptop was gone out of its case. The phone number I had stopped working but I found him on Gumtree as well.
They let anyone advertise and there are no checks.
Be carefull with people you don't know

Anonymous said...

Not all man and van guys are thiefs. The best thing to do is try to get some contact details and address for the guys who are moving you.

Emails are good in someways as it gives you something else to use to tack down the people.

I think you were just unlucky and had a very very bad experience

Bran said...

I was moving from London to Devon and some Muslims said they'd do it for #120. So I said, "Right on!"

I said to my mate, "You can o and just help them unload." So he said, "Yeah! OK!"

And when I went there two months later to check my stuff, they had eaten most of him and only left the lower half cooked torso.

So I asked them for a refund and they said.... something in a wierd language and left me there in the middle of Greece.

I think its best to check who is moving your things in case they eat your mates.

And now one of my mates is eaten and I think he might not be very pleased about that.

Anonymous said...

I am a Director of Ltd.
I have seen and heard many stories over the last 10 years of people losing single items and even whole loads, it happens on a regular basis.
Never use a company with just a mobile phone or email, if they are on the net, make sure there are pictures of the vans with Logo's or company names on them, always look for references or testimonials, if you are not travelling with the vans, take the registration number, it will help the police.
I had a half dozen calls over this weekend alone, asking me to assist as the man and vans hired had not turned up for one reason or another.
Never go for an hourly rate, always get a fixed quote.
Ladies on their own should also take care when allowing strangers into the homes, it can be dangerous, please use a reputable company.
I think these type of websites with blogs are great for making people open their eyes to the con artists out there
I have put a link on our site for this blog in the hope it may save someone a lot of heartache and stress.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The director of
'' who wished to remain anonymous clearly states his name on his web site!!

Anonymous said...

I do removals,i might be a 1 man band company but im defo not a theif like vanand suggests i work like a dog to keep all my customers happy! and would never not turn up with a customers stuff! and i also have goods in transit insurance,i do exactley the same job as these bigger removals companys and fully insured and it pisses me off when they slag small companys off! but at the end of the day we do the job alot cheaper than they do coz we dont charge rip off prices!!!

Anonymous said...

You cannot beat quality

Nicks said...

I would not get upset at certain comments but be honest and work hard for a fair price Nicks removals established 1996 Man and Van

Anonymous said...

im the owner of,i too am not a theif and do a great job,but there are cowboys out there,i advertise on gumtree and am the only visible company on there im traceable were ever,there are mostly behind dodgey email,untracable,i work off a mobile cuz im never at office,if they want my land line its on my business my mobile it comes up,people want cheap,this is what you get.

Anonymous said...

Well said, the man from Transdirect,you have got it dead right, at last someones understood my earlier comment, I wasn't saying all Man and vans and theives, which some people seem to have thought, I was saying you have to be careful, you have to show the public you can be traced.
The fact is there are a lot of dodgy characters out there and we have to seperate ourselves from them/

Philipp said...

Nowadays it is a really complicated to find an honor man and van or company.
Last year I moved from one apartment to another and it was horrible, nightmare. The problem was that I had always to tell van men what to do, without my instructions they did not do anything. And money was dropping!! Very bad experience.

Anonymous said...

Hey there,
I have just moved house for the second time in 3 months. At first i thought your idea was good. We hired a 3.5 truck, hearing about the prices the companies charge for house moves. We paid a set amount for the day, which we though was cheaper, aswell as the driver. In the end, it turned out the worst move of my life. Firstly i strained my lower back lifting some shelves, and was unable to get out of bed for a week after. Im still seeing the physio at the moment. To make it worse we had some china vases and plates that were broken in the drive, which cost us £300 to replace. End of the day we finished up spending just over £600, for 9 hours of pain and hassles.

The next time i moved i didn't really know what to look for in a removal company. Because there wasnt much time between the moves we didnt unpack all the boxes, so it made it a bit easier for us. There were so many choices in London, but we ended up going with our cheapest quote from Man and Van. org. I was a bit sceptical about the move at first, because the price was so much lower than the other companies, but the quality of service and the professionalism of the men was great. Because of my back they packed up for us, and took extra care with everything. They ended up taking a good 6 hours, which was a bit over the estimate that they gave us, but the price was still under the other quotes. We had such a great time with the guys, that it made us feel so much more comfortable about people moving our lives.

To sum up, dont do it yourself and risk it. Use professional services, as they know what they are doing. It doesnt work out cheaper doing it yourself, and they will get the move done in alot less time than you can yourself.

Pay the extra pennies to get the best result!


George said...

I have been doing removal service for quite some time now and as said none of my customers have had a complaint lodged against me so far. I provide the same quality and service as any other big company's provide. Some of them have even called me back for jobs for their friends and relatives. Its a tendency of big company's biting the beginers and newcomers into the industry for individual gains. Like in life we find unscruplous souls every where as in any other service industry and what one should ensure is to avoid such minute incidences happening by proper planning and alertness. It is important from the clients part as its their valuable stuffs being moved. I have heard so many unhappy cases against the so called professional service providers and I dont go mourning and biting as they do because of my proffessional approach towards the industry. As the big company's insist not all the clients specialy house moves have the capacity to go for high quotes and high profile firms. Let those people be content and happy by calling removal service like ours and give us too a chance to survive.
I have a word to the high profile removal firms... Instead of biting us why dont the so called DIRECTORS and MANAGERS plan out a strategy that would bring business to them, instead of working out on the sentiments of the clients by frightening and ripping them off. It proves that you are not only a bad professional but also not worthy of the said post too. Guys like you bring shame to the industry as a whole.
Live and let us live DONT KILL US.

Anonymous said...

I use a man and van removal services to move my stuff in London. And unlike the direct of Van and van company said, I was charged on a hourly rate and it was quite a fair price and the guys who done my job were very friendly and hardworking.

Over all I think you have to check if the company has other number other then just a mobile phone and when the guys come make sure you get the van's number plate.

The company I used can be found on

Good luck

How I made my first billion said...

If you want to get let down, overcharged and sworn at try their name says it all they really SUK!!

Adriana Hands said...

I always use a company I found on Gumtree, and also they come up on Google, called 24/7 Man and Van. They turn up on time are polite, charge a reasonable rate and they don't rob or bust up your stuff. So there you are, vanmen who AREN'T bastards.

Anonymous said...

I like your site and its got a lof of good info - your all down south but if by chance any of your we viewers are coming to edinburgh or indeed living in edinburgh please check me out


keep up the good work !

Sean said...

Iam The director of Exeter man and van The trouble is people want it cheap and when You quote for a job say London to Exeter and then the customer rings back and says its ok I have got a guy to do it for £120 you start to tell them that its not a good idea to go cheap cheap there are all sorts of pit falls we have goods in transit up-to £20.000 but the guy who goes out and buys a van then calls him self a man and van looks a good deal but ask to see all documents we as a company want to show you all paper work but most people Just want a cheap price and dont think to much about if there goods are going to turn up the other end I post on gumtree but I no that there are cowboys on gumtree so Just be aware ask for a land line , trading address we never ask for payment untill your goods are where you want them a deposit is ok and may-be needed on certain Jobs but never ever pay the full amount before your happy with the service