My Experience with Moving Companies in Singapore (Review)
Moving is a huge affair in which you need to take note of many things in this transition. So let me help you to make it easier with this checklist for moving house. In that article, I also shared a few tips for packing those boxes and how to choose from the moving companies in Singapore.
The moving company is going to play a big part in making your transition smooth. So here I will be sharing my experience with four moving companies in Singapore. It’s solely based on my experience of getting quotations from them in Aug/Sep 2022. Do note that the review is based on my single experience, and there might be better or worse cases experienced by others.
Quotations: How much is the moving cost?
As mentioned in my previous article, research and shortlist at least three moving companies to contact for quotations as early as one month before your move. One reason to contact a few companies is to get a sense of how much is the market price for your move.
Depending on various factors, such as items and distance involved, the quotation might differ largely from household to household. Do check with the mover for additional fees. It’s good to have the mover write the details of the quote in black and white. For more details about the timeline, deciding factors and questions to ask your mover, head over to this checklist for moving house.
Property Guru mentioned the moving costs are from S$500 to S$1,500 on average. I contacted four companies, and two companies, TSL Mover and The Helping Hand, quoted me within that range and are comparable. On the other hand, the other two companies, Shalom Movers and Spaceship, quoted me double, in the S$2,000 range. My jaw dropped.
For reference, I am moving a 4-room HDB flat, with typical big items such as queen sized bed and other special items such as a massage chair and digital piano. The staff from The Helping Hand even commented that we didn’t have many things (though my hubby would beg to differ).
Shalom Movers quoted my friend around S$1,400. She moved most of her things and big items (except her queen bed) from her 5-room HDB flat. Her two locations are much further than mine and she moved around end-July 2022, while I moved during September. Like the rents that jumped in mere months, the number of people downgrading and moving spiked too. Hence I suspect the demand pushed up the moving costs from well-known companies like Shalom Movers.
As for Spaceship, it is more of a storage solution than a pure moving company. Hence, I reckoned they are not so interested and/or don’t see the cost-effectiveness in mere moving jobs. My friend had a good experience with their door-to-door storage and recommended them to me. However, their quote is the highest among the four, and their customer service is unsatisfactory. More on that in the next section.
Experience with moving companies in Singapore
We were a bit late in our search and hence relied on word of mouth to contact Shalom Movers and Spaceship. Then Exped Movers came up as one of the top few from an online list of moving companies. The Helping Hand was contacted because I thought we used them before.
I contacted all of them on the same Thursday afternoon/night (25 August 2022).
Bonus: Watchman’s Home
We used Watchman’s House for our previous house move which was small in volume and both of us were happy with our experience. We had wanted to support them again as it is a Christian halfway house (privately run). However, I mixed it up with The Helping Hand and only realised after my move that we had previously engaged Watchman’s Home. Both are halfway houses, hence the confusion.
The Helping Hand
The Helping Hand is an NGO, a Christian halfway house which helps ex-offenders reintegrate back into society as contributing members. Hence, would love to support them too.
Their replies were prompt. I emailed them on a Thursday afternoon and someone called me within an hour to arrange for an on-site valuation for next Tuesday morning (earliest possible). They emailed me the quotation later in the afternoon on Tuesday.
The germaphobic me has one gripe though, the person who evaluated touched here and there, even lifting up my blanket to have a better look at the bedframe, but he didn’t wash or sanitise his hands prior to that.
The Helping Hand’s quotation is detailed and clearly stated the breakdown and additional fees. However, unlike other companies, they don’t give you a lump sum, but more like how much per truckload. For example, “Per truckload (14 FT ) on a weekday (Mon-Thurs) – S$xxx / weekend (Fri-Sat) – S$xxx. Your relocation is estimated to be 1½ – 2 truckload.”.
They also listed the additional charges for big items like a massage chair, piano, etc, and others like transportation of boxes and GST. So you have to do your own sums to calculate the estimated total. So, there’s a bit of uncertainty on how much you will end up paying in the end.
We didn’t engage The Helping Hand because our desired moving dates were unavailable – even if we tried to book it three weeks before the moving date.
From the online list of moving companies, I went to the website of Exped Moving Services (“Exped”), which re-directed me to their new website (TSL Logistics): www.tsllogistics.sg. I snooped around and found this, “TSL Logistics Pte Ltd was founded in 2003… Since then, we have grown to become Singapore’s renowned integrated logistics services provider for global, regional and local businesses,…” TSL logistics seems established, and so I speculated that Exped could have been taken over by or merged with them.
They looked more like moving for businesses than for residential until I came across this on their website mentioning TSL Mover (part of TSL Logistics): “TSL Mover is a full-service moving and storage company offering from packing, dismantling to moving, disposal of your unwanted items, and storage for the contents of your home, your office, your warehouse, your manufacturing facility, and your tradeshows.”
Then again, it is now sort of a different company, and I was apprehensive about relying on the glowing online reviews of Exped. A change in manpower and management might mean a different experience.
Regardless, no harm in getting a quote from them. So I contacted them via their website. Patrick from TSL Mover (part of TSL Logistics) WhatsApp on the very same Thursday night to ask for my moving details to check on the availability. He arranged a zoom call the next day to do the evaluation of the house.
During the zoom call, we did a walkthrough of my house and he wrote down the items I wanted to move. Patrick was friendly and helpful during the call. He seems experienced – like letting me know that a four-room flat typically has about 70-80 boxes and from his experience, the ceiling fan is not recommended to dismantle and shift because it is likely to be unstable in the new place.
He sent me a very detailed list of the items I want to move and made me feel that he really listened to me (a sign of sincerity) to come up with his evaluation. This will help to minimise any surprises in additional costs on moving day.
By Sunday (28 August 2022), that’s within three days of reaching out to them, he provided the quotation. Among the moving companies I contacted, TSL Mover is the most prompt in response, evaluation, and quotation. And with their quote being reasonable, there’s no doubt we went with TSL Mover. Moreover, in case anything happened during or after the move, I am assured that I can reach out to them easily.
A customer service officer from Shalom Movers, named Faye, contacted me the next morning. She arranged for a video call with the surveyor (Bernice) for the site evaluation that same afternoon. The call came slightly late. “Okay, so what do you want to move?” It’s straight to business without even a simple greeting.
The call was made on a Friday, and there was no news from them thereafter.
I waited till Monday afternoon to follow up with them. Faye said she will check and no news again.
Then I asked Faye again on Tuesday morning and she told me she would give me Bernice’s number and ask me to follow up with Bernice directly. In my mind, I was like what?!.
Then she continued that “As per Bernice, the quotation in charge will be sending it today.” How would I have known if you never tell me?!
So I just waited and they finally emailed me the quotation at 11:37 PM.
The company feels bureaucratic, the customer service, the one evaluating, and the one quoting me are all different people. I felt like I had to jump through many loops/go through many people to get to the right person if I come across any problem with the move.
As I said previously, my friend had a good experience with their door-to-door storage and recommended Spaceship to me. Their branding also made me want to go with them.
I emailed Spaceship on Thursday night and soon got an email from Eugene, asking for details of my move. On second look, it looks like an auto-send email. At the end of the email, “Alternatively, if it’s easier, feel free to book a 15min phone call with me by clicking on the button below:” I decided to just wait for their reply or call since I gave all my details for them to arrange the on-site evaluation.
A few days has passed and by Tuesday, there was no news. I called their hotline a few times and there was no answer. Big uh-oh. If I have a hard time reaching them now, what happens if I need to reach them urgently because of problems with the move?
Anyway, I went to the email I received and clicked on the button to schedule a call for the very same day at 3:15PM. Eugene in the email called me. He sounded like a young chap who is working in some hip tech start-up. Perhaps that’s how Spaceship is positioning itself, away from the image of a traditional logistics company.
He didn’t even bother to do a walk-through and assess my items. He just asked me to tell him the items I want to move. I have a big huh in my head. So I told him I will email him a list of items (that TSL Mover came up with). “Do you want to just take a look?” I asked again, in case there are special items or something they have to charge extra or couldn’t move. No need, he said, and I think he said something along the line of, it will be the same items as your list anyway.
He asked me to wait for him to reply to my previous email before I send him the list of items. Sounds like a “cover your ass” move. This was Tuesday.
Wednesday he replied he will get back to me with the quotation the next day.
Thursday came and I didn’t hear from him. So I emailed and WhatsApp him on Thursday night if he was going to send it over as he promised.
No updates from him until Friday afternoon. Slow and unresponsive. And unlike other movers who have a breakdown of items, additional fees, and terms and conditions, he just gave me a one-line quote in his email: “Moving quotation: $2,xxx + GST“.
Perhaps it’s meant to make things simple. Shrugs. The quote is the highest among all. I didn’t feel any sincerity of Spaceship wanting to do my business. Perhaps they have enough storage business to bother about a simple move.
Hope this review gave you a better idea of what to expect when contacting moving companies in Singapore. Start packing early to minimise stress and go through this checklist for moving house. If you are going to come up with an inventory list of boxes and items, enter your email address below to download the free template of the ‘Inventory List for Moving’. 🙂
Know of other good moving companies in Singapore? Share them in the comments section below. 🙂
SAVE IT, PIN IT.
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