The National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS) has been established to provide some regulation for the moving and storage industry in the UK.
It has a Code of Practice and is part of the Removals Industry Ombudsman Scheme, which allows consumers to make complaints about poor experiences.
Key facts about NGRS:
- The Guild’s ‘Annual Certificate of Excellence’ is awarded to those members who achieve consistently excellent reviews on their questionnaire returns.
- The NGRS has launched a scheme that enables its members to offer customers interest free credit as a way of paying for a move.
- In their two most recent surveys on trade associations (1996 and 2003), Which? Magazine rated The National Guild Of Removers & Storers as one of the best trade associations in the UK for consumer protection.
- The NGRS serves members in the UK only.
- Monitoring of members’ performance takes place via questionnaire cards handed to customer on the day of the move. These go directly to the NGRS, not the remover, and are designed to constantly and independently monitor members’ service levels. According to the most recently released figures (up until the end of April 2016), of those received, over 98% were from satisfied customers.
- Members must subscribe to the Removals Industry Ombudsman Scheme – any decision that may result from this is binding on them.
National Guild of Removers and Storers profile:
Consumer protection is the main purpose of the NGRS – the Guild seeks to enhance quality standards in the industry, protect belongings in transit and help improve customer experiences. Members must complete the following:
- Compulsory Membership to the Removals Industry Ombudsman Scheme
- Compulsory Ombudsman Scheme Approved Inspection Programme
- Ombudsman Scheme Approved Code of Practice
- Ombudsman Scheme Approved Quality Monitoring Programme
- Ombudsman Scheme Approved Complaints Procedure
Together, these are intended to set standards, monitor those working in the industry and give customers an independent complaints process to access, should they need it.
The Code of Practice includes a range of provisions, including giving access for an inspection once a year, providing written estimates, dealing swiftly with complaints and providing proof of relevant insurance.
Criteria for membership:
No membership criteria are provided on the website. Instead, there are contact details: Telephone: 01494 350 143 Email: email@example.com.
Sample Member Companies
Opinions about NGRS:
The NGRS appears on several UK removers‘ websites where it is mentioned in the context of promoting quality and service and giving clients peace of mind.
The point is made that the NGRS regularly inspects its members and that the compulsory participation in the Removal Ombudsman Scheme is something that provides an additional layer of customer protection.
There appear to be some issues between Jane Finch (MD at the Professional Movers Association) and the NGRS relating to allegations Finch made about the NGRS being in dispute with a large number of its members. The NGRS has described this as “anti Guild propaganda.”
However, there are some press reports that appear to show movers in conflict with the Guild, for example for having the NGRS logo on their website after leaving the trade association.
A complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation by the NGRS against the Daily Mirror is documented but this was not upheld.
The National Guild of Removers and Storers is committed to promoting quality and service in a wholly unregulated industry sector which includes independent inspection of its Members, Membership of The Removals Industry Ombudsman Scheme, a Code Of Practice which relates to how Members deal with customers and continual monitoring of Members’ performance.