A move to make moving more fair

Disgruntled customer John Ducase with the damaged cabinet. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d405598
Disgruntled customer John Ducase with the damaged cabinet. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d405598

The contract purported to prevent customers, who didn’t pay extra for insurance, from making a claim for any losses or damage caused to their possessions during transit.

The Department of Consumer Protection ordered Millers, based in Mornington, Victoria, but with offices in Perth, to change the terms of the standard contract.

Hills resident John Ducase, who moved to Perth from Melbourne in November last year, said he had trouble with Millers.

‘I was there when they were loading the truck in Melbourne and they dropped this cane cabinet, from a 1.5m height, on to the road,’ Mr Ducase said.

‘The mirror and glass smashed and the handle fell off and since then we have not been able to claim the insurance because they said their insurance did not cover breakages and we had to take out a separate policy.

‘It didn’t sound right, so we refused but since then the cabinet has been in no-man’s land.

‘It has sentimental value to my wife because it was one of her parent’s wedding presents.’

Another Millers client in Perth sought a $7565 claim after damage to goods moved from Melbourne to Perth.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said the company refused to pay, but were liable.

They offered to compensate the customer the cost of the move ” $2750.

Ms Driscoll said she had warned all removalists to make sure the clauses in their contract did not contain unfair terms and conditions.

‘Under the ACL, a removalist, like any other trader, is required to exercise due care and skill,’ she said.

‘As a general rule, no contract can remove a consumer’s rights, which in this case include being able to claim compensation for loss or damage.’