A story of how one couple fared on their International move in 2019
Life can be very stressful at times. A recent study showed that moving home is the 5th most stressful thing in life.
What are the top six most stressful things in life?
- The death of a loved one.
- Loss of a job.
- Getting married.
- Moving to a new home.
- Chronic illness or injury.
When you consider that moving to a new home ranks so highly in the league of life’s stresses you should also consider the additional hassle of moving that home to an entirely new country.
Most reputable removers will do all they can to alleviate the pain and anxiety associated with a move. That’s certainly the case at Indalo Transport, where we try very hard to make the move as easy as possible for you.
I know from personal experience the stress involved, as I moved to Spain 6 years ago. I was grateful that informative websites were available to help when I was planning the move – whatever did people do before the internet?
I was a bit surprised to discover that moving home was ranked so highly in the list, but maybe that’s because it’s something we are involved with on a daily basis, as removers. However it did get me thinking about the affect this stress, and indeed our actions, have on our customers.
So I thought it would be a good idea to drop in on one of our recent trans-European clients, to find out how they were getting on. I also wanted to find out if there was anything we could have done differently to make things easier or better, with their move from Sandhurst in the UK, to Valle de Este in Almeria, Spain.
James and Lynda had made the decision to move to this lovely part of Spain last year.
After arranging a convenient day, I visited them on a beautiful sunny February morning. As I sat with them on a shady terrace, overlooking the pool – in a comfortable 23C – it was clear to see that they were happy they’d made the move. But were they happy with how the move went? What, if anything, had we done to make things less stressful?
So, this is their story…
Having accepted an offer on their lovely property in Sandhurst James and Lynda issued their solicitors with instructions, so they had the financial and legal side of things well under control.
Next, they had to sort out the task of physically moving their belongings to another country. The move was becoming a reality, so I asked James where did they start and how did they find the right removal company?
James – “Quite simply I did what anybody would do, I googled it and Indalo Transport appeared amongst others on the page. Knowing that the “Indalo” was a symbol of the area we were moving to I kept it in mind. But actually, my first call was to a well-known large British removal company, who arranged to send somebody to our home.”
One of the most important things when planning a move is to get a proper survey done. It’s almost impossible to give a potential customer a firm price without actually seeing the items to be moved, first hand. It may take a day or two to get that price in writing, but it does ensure that everything is accounted for and the removal company sends the correct size removal vehicle.
A survey will also give the customer a chance get a bit of background on the firm, and to find out what other services a removal company can offer to help, things like packing and storage.
James – “The price they eventually quoted was pretty good, but they couldn’t offer us the full package we needed because we wanted storage in Spain for lots of our belongings, to be delivered at a later date.”
A one stop shop
“I also felt I wanted a more personal service. I wanted a one stop shop, someone to do everything and one point of contact who knew us and what we wanted. That was very, very, important to us. I wanted to be able to pick up a phone, or send an email, to one person who could tell me exactly what I needed to do, what was going to happen, and when it was going to happen.”
“It was actually Lynda who then reminded me about Indalo Transport because she had seen comments on Facebook, so I went back to google.”
The internet should be the first point of call for anybody looking to make the move to Spain. There are many websites that can give you valuable information and help you avoid the many pitfalls.
All reputable removal companies will have a website that shows accreditations – things like membership of a trade association and maybe even trading standards approval (Indalo Transport is one of very few trans-European removal companies to be fully approved by UK Trading Standards).
Careful who you trust on social media
However, social media advertising can be quite misleading, as you really can’t be sure of what you’re getting, often with disastrous consequences – read this horror story. At Indalo Transport we do use facebook in our marketing but mainly to show people to our website, where there are guides, hints and tips on all aspects of trans-European moving and how to become an Expat.
James – “I was impressed, very impressed, with the website and so I made the initial enquiry. I was even more impressed that the person coming to our home to survey our belongings was the proprietor of the company, Mick Cox. That was the personal service I was looking for and after browsing through the Indalo Transport website again I felt as if I knew Mick before he had even arrived! I really can’t stress how important that was to us, we wanted a relationship with the guys moving our stuff.”
“Mick was a pleasure to deal with, very knowledgeable and very professional, he even insisted on packing our more delicate items himself, which was a huge relief to both of us because I knew that Lynda wouldn’t trust me to do it. The price was pretty much the same, within a few pounds, so Indalo Transport were given the job. If I’m honest the price really wouldn’t have mattered that much because we felt we were in safe hands, and you can’t put a price on that peace of mind. But the price was competitive, and we felt that was a good reflection on Mick and his business.”
Legal & planning headaches
Obviously buying and selling homes can be a difficult process, with buyers and sellers, estate agents, surveyors, bankers and solicitors, all involved in a complex chain of transactions. And in this case James and Lynda had further complications with planning issues, as their buyers were selling a listed building. In fact because of this James and Lynda had to delay the move a few times through various issues.
James – “I was glad that we had found the personal service because we really needed it. Mick was so patient with us, we had to rearrange the move three times due to problems with the sale in the UK. Nothing was a problem for Mick, each time he was happy to accommodate us and so quick to answer any questions. He was so patient, I wouldn’t have blamed him at all if he had told us get lost! But nothing was too much trouble for him.”
And it’s go, go, go, go…
Six months after initial contact, and with all the legals finally in place, James & Lynda were finally ready to move. We organised delivery of the necessary packing materials to start the job and they began transferring their life into wrapping paper and cardboard boxes.
James – “Mick arrived the day before he was due to load, and thankfully took charge of the packing process with his knowledge and expertise. We had already packed the easy bits like bedding and clothes but were pleased we took advantage of the packing service. All our goods were inventoried and all the delicate items we both worried about were safely wrapped and packed.”
The next day everything was packed and loaded into the removal vehicles while James and Lynda attended to the last details with their solicitors. James and Lynda then waved goodbye to their belongings, and Mick set off for the sunny delights of Southern Spain.
A week later, just before Christmas, I helped unload the road-train, that had carried the contents of James’s previous life, into our storage depot. 23 large boxes had been marked for immediate delivery to James and Lynda at their beautiful home on Valle del Este. I rang James to confirm the time for delivery next day, as booked, and James was very pleased to hear from me.
Uh oh, we forgot the hairbrush!
James – “It was great that everything was coming together exactly as planned. It was even better to know that Lynda’s favourite hair brush was arriving because I’d been dragged to every shop and chemist in the area looking for a replacement!”
After contacting us about ‘the wayward hairbrush’ earlier, luckily for James it was found in a bedside table drawer as we were unloading into our store, so it was retrieved and placed into a clearly marked box. For James’ sake I made sure that it was the first box off the van…
With everything they needed for now, and their remaining belongings safely in storage, that should have been job complete.
The Golf Connection
James – “Oh no it wasn’t. My golf clubs were packed in your store, I hadn’t listed them for delivery. What’s the point of living near a golf course if I can’t play golf? Sheepishly I sent an email asking if was possible to collect my clubs at some point in the next few weeks.”
“Mick delivered them the following day in the morning. That’s what I mean when I talk about the personal touch.”
As I mentioned earlier James and Lynda are settled and clearly enjoying life in Spain. James is also now enjoying his golf and Lynda’s hair is looking fantastic.
So, the verdict?
I’ve really enjoyed my time sat in their company enjoying fabulous coffee amidst fantastic scenery. Before I leave, I ask James and Lynda the vital question. Could we have done anything differently, is there room for improvement?
James – “Nothing. No question. The service was great, the chemistry between you and your customers is outstanding and it worked very well for us. You guys were on time, every time, and did everything you said you would. You delivered so much more than our furniture.”
I didn’t need to ask anything else.
Thanks for coffee Lynda. I look forward to delivering your goods from store whenever you are ready.
written by Paul Burt
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