PSS Removals

Old Oct 23rd 2018, 9:57 am
  #1  
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Default PSS Removals

Has anybody used this firm before?

I attended a recent emigration roadshow covered by that migration consultant we don't mention in the hope of getting some free removals advice and this firm were the only one in attendance.

A search on here has produced a few results but mostly related to Aussie and NZ and I wondered if anyone had any experience of using them for a move to Canada. The only thread I could find was this one and it was none too rosy but there are good and bad reviews for almost everything these days.

https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...e-help-905559/

TIA .

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Old Oct 23rd 2018, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
Has anybody used this firm before?

I attended a recent emigration roadshow covered by that migration consultant we don't mention in the hope of getting some free removals advice and this firm were the only one in attendance.

A search on here has produced a few results but mostly related to Aussie and NZ and I wondered if anyone had any experience of using them for a move to Canada. The only thread I could find was this one and it was none too rosy but there are good and bad reviews for almost everything these days.

https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...e-help-905559/

TIA .

You might find this post of interest
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...estion-849323/

If you do a search on BE - advanced - input PSS - tick 'posts' tick 'Canada' you will find a LOT of reviews of them... mainly negative.
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana.../#post11844574 for 1.

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Old Oct 23rd 2018, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
You might find this post of interest
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...estion-849323/


If you do a search on BE - advanced - input PSS - tick 'posts' tick 'Canada' you will find a LOT of reviews of them.
Thank you as always.
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Old Oct 23rd 2018, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

We used PSS Removals last year to move ~130 cubic feet of items in a shared container from Glasgow, Scotland to a small town in New Brunswick. Our overall experience was positive, so here's a rundown in case it's useful!

We arranged the entire move online, without a home visitation in Scotland. I estimated how much space we would need, and based on that asked various companies for quotes. PSS came in as the cheapest, but we were not too concerned with the overall cost, as our employer was reimbursing us for the expenses. The total cost for the shared container was £1335, plus £195 for insurance.

We were living in a 1 bedroom apartment in Glasgow, so we did not have a massive amount of belongings. We also did not ship all of our furniture, e.g. we didn't ship a bed or mattress because we were already planning on buying a new one when we arrived in Canada. We also brought a lot of our clothes with us on a few back and forth flights to/from Canada that were pre-arranged. In 130 cubic feet, we were able to fit: a futon sofa bed, armchair, kitchen table, 6 bar stools, two benches, two stools, the entire contents of our kitchen (e.g. plates, pots, glasses, etc), multiple boxes of books (my partner is in academia), and other assorted boxes/crates of clothes/homeware (including 4 paintings). It was not an insignificant amount of belongings, and totaled ~50 itemized boxes/individually packaged items. All of the furniture was disassembled where possible, and I had 'bundled' things together to make the most of the space.

The removal company showed up as arranged in Glasgow, and proceeded to package everything that I had shown them was coming. PSS did not actually do the removal themselves, but had sub-contracted this out to a Scottish company. They did a good thorough job, although I did note a few things were packaged a bit haphazardly, which I should've made note of at the time. The removal took place middle of November 2017, and we had arranged for our possessions to be delivered in the new year, as we would not be in Canada before then. I'm not sure whether our time-frame would've been any different had I not requested that, but I'm guessing it wouldn't have. PSS informed us that our belongings had been consolidated into a shared container, and loaded onto a ship on December 16th with an estimated arrival date into Canada of January 5th. The container would be sent to Toronto, where a Canadian company would unload the shared container, and arrange for onward shipping. We were also given a container number that we were able to use to track the progress of our container on the high seas. This allowed us to see that our container left from the south of England, was offloaded in Rotterdam and loaded onto a ship destined for Montreal. Our container was offloaded in Montreal, loaded onto a train, and shipped down to Toronto. We received confirmation from the Canadian company that our shipment had arrived on January 17th, and it was loaded onto a truck for transport to New Brunswick on February 6th.

We didn't hear anything else for a few weeks, until we received a call from the haulage company on February 27th requesting us to clear the good through customs in Moncton the following day. This part of the process was the most frustrating, as the lack of communication prior to that point left us scrambling to make arrangements to get to Moncton with a day's notice. I can't fault PSS for this though, and imagine the process could've been similar with any British company using a 3rd party in Canada. The following day I went to the Canada Border Services office in Moncton, where they took copies of the lists the Scottish company had prepared, plus my goods to follow forms. When the haulage company arrived, the driver came up into the office, presented his paperwork, and we were off on our way to our small town.

The haulage company unloaded everything off the truck, and loaded everything into our apartment. Some of the boxes looked a bit worse for wear, and I could see hear that at least one painting had loose glass rattling around its packaging. Some of the boxes also sounded like there were broken items. I had made a mental note in Glasgow of how they were packaging some of the kitchen items, and especially the painting, but I didn't step in at the time. When we unpacked everything, the one painting needed a new frame+glass (although the painting itself was salvageable), and we had ~£150 worth of broken kitchenware. I got in contact with PSS with pictures of these, and they were quick to get us in contact with their insurance broker. We didn't have a lot to claim, and there was a £100 claims handling fee, but we were able to get back what we claimed.

All in all, PSS got our belongings from Scotland to New Brunswick for £1500 in just over 3 months. That's more or less how long we were expecting it to take, and everything went relatively smoothly. From what I've seen others posting on here, that's not far off the price that people expect pay to ship good from Toronto to New Brunswick, so I can't really complain!

Last edited by Kanukki; Oct 23rd 2018 at 5:48 pm.
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Old Oct 24th 2018, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

I used PSS last year. It was interesting.

The estimator arrived at my house and I indicated what I was sending. He tapped all the items into his phone and automatically generated a quote. He didn't measure anything, and just used the default estimates from the phone. I received my quote and went ahead. I told him I worked in the logistics industry, mostly so they knew not to try anything on. I opted to self-pack my smaller items because I knew I would pack it better myself over a period of weeks versus the removal contractors just throwing everything into boxes on the day (which would cause more boxes to be used, so a higher price, in addition to greater damage). I declined their insurance because, IIRC, it was both overpriced and had a £100 deductible. I bought third party insurance which was cheaper and had no deductible.

On the removals day, the contractors merely wrapped all my furniture in parcel paper, with no protection at all. They even dismantled furniture unnecessarily to increase the volume of what I was sending. At this point, I was glad I packed the smaller items myself. They also asked me to complete a satisfaction survey in front of them, which is a great way to score 10/10 on everything without knowing what I really thought.

After pickup, I was contacted and asked to pay a fee imposed by the UK government for customs clearance. I replied reminding them I worked in the industry and pointed out that my quote included customs clearance, and that there is no fee to file a UK export customs declaration. They 'waived the fee' immediately. Several days later, I was emailed again advising my items were significantly larger than my estimate and they wanted more money. I replied again advising that I had actually sent significantly less than what was quoted (which I had) and advised them that this situation has only arisen by a significant failure to estimate correctly. I also gave suggestions on how they could repack my goods at their end to reduce the volumetric weight, which their contractors had deliberately inflated when preparing the shipment. Again, they dropped the matter.

The Canadian agent had some issues trying to work out what fees I owed them, because PSS hadn't advised them correctly. Again, this was resolved with nothing else for me to pay. I was very happy with the Canadian delivery agent who was prompt and professional. There was damage, but I didn't pursue it because it was very minor, and I had already resigned myself to it after their poor packing.

Having said all this, I wouldn't be surprised if every removals company acted like this, so this isn't a recommendation not to use them. Rather, it pays to be on your toes when dealing with these companies. And absolutely, 100%, get the boxes in advance and pack the smaller items yourself. Spare no expense on bubble wrap.
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Old Oct 24th 2018, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Thanks so much for these great posts guys. They've really been appreciated. You've both provided more detail and helpful feedback than I could have really hoped for.
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Old Nov 5th 2018, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by RGH80 View Post
I used PSS last year. It was interesting.

The estimator arrived at my house and I indicated what I was sending. He tapped all the items into his phone and automatically generated a quote. He didn't measure anything, and just used the default estimates from the phone. I received my quote and went ahead. I told him I worked in the logistics industry, mostly so they knew not to try anything on. I opted to self-pack my smaller items because I knew I would pack it better myself over a period of weeks versus the removal contractors just throwing everything into boxes on the day (which would cause more boxes to be used, so a higher price, in addition to greater damage). I declined their insurance because, IIRC, it was both overpriced and had a £100 deductible. I bought third party insurance which was cheaper and had no deductible.

On the removals day, the contractors merely wrapped all my furniture in parcel paper, with no protection at all. They even dismantled furniture unnecessarily to increase the volume of what I was sending. At this point, I was glad I packed the smaller items myself. They also asked me to complete a satisfaction survey in front of them, which is a great way to score 10/10 on everything without knowing what I really thought.

After pickup, I was contacted and asked to pay a fee imposed by the UK government for customs clearance. I replied reminding them I worked in the industry and pointed out that my quote included customs clearance, and that there is no fee to file a UK export customs declaration. They 'waived the fee' immediately. Several days later, I was emailed again advising my items were significantly larger than my estimate and they wanted more money. I replied again advising that I had actually sent significantly less than what was quoted (which I had) and advised them that this situation has only arisen by a significant failure to estimate correctly. I also gave suggestions on how they could repack my goods at their end to reduce the volumetric weight, which their contractors had deliberately inflated when preparing the shipment. Again, they dropped the matter.

The Canadian agent had some issues trying to work out what fees I owed them, because PSS hadn't advised them correctly. Again, this was resolved with nothing else for me to pay. I was very happy with the Canadian delivery agent who was prompt and professional. There was damage, but I didn't pursue it because it was very minor, and I had already resigned myself to it after their poor packing.

Having said all this, I wouldn't be surprised if every removals company acted like this, so this isn't a recommendation not to use them. Rather, it pays to be on your toes when dealing with these companies. And absolutely, 100%, get the boxes in advance and pack the smaller items yourself. Spare no expense on bubble wrap.
Great information there. I also, have a quote from PSS and from John Mason and White and co. Going to get a couple more, when I look online for the reviews all seem to have similar gripes. - stuff broken poor communication overpriced etc.. You'll probably get similar service from most the companies I reckon.

Just wanted to ask about the self-packing. We too wish to pack our fragile items ourselves and am needing advice on the boxes. For China I see from videos that they use a very large box called a "dishpack". I reckon that will be quite heavy when full so am looking to pack into smaller boxes. Not certain what dimensions I should get. Something in the 20"x20"x12" is sufficient?? Also thinking about removing certificates and photos from frames and packing those into either tubes or boxes. Again reckon these will get thrown into a box by the movers and get damaged. Wife also have three very large tiffany lamps. I'm looking a using a "floating box" to protect these. Is that a good idea.

Sorry for all the questions. Hope you can advise.

Cheera
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Old Nov 5th 2018, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by rawsalad View Post
Great information there. I also, have a quote from PSS and from John Mason and White and co. Going to get a couple more, when I look online for the reviews all seem to have similar gripes. - stuff broken poor communication overpriced etc.. You'll probably get similar service from most the companies I reckon.

Just wanted to ask about the self-packing. We too wish to pack our fragile items ourselves and am needing advice on the boxes. For China I see from videos that they use a very large box called a "dishpack". I reckon that will be quite heavy when full so am looking to pack into smaller boxes. Not certain what dimensions I should get. Something in the 20"x20"x12" is sufficient?? Also thinking about removing certificates and photos from frames and packing those into either tubes or boxes. Again reckon these will get thrown into a box by the movers and get damaged. Wife also have three very large tiffany lamps. I'm looking a using a "floating box" to protect these. Is that a good idea.

Sorry for all the questions. Hope you can advise.

Cheera
Most of my fragile items weren't sentimental so I packed to be efficient (boxes as heavy as possible) on the assumption that some wouldn't make it.

All I can advise is that there really isn't such as thing as overpacking. As someone who works in logistics I regularly see consumers underestimating how much protection items need in transit. They'll price you based on cubic metres, so the more space you use, the more you'll pay, but I would certainly pack fragiles as best as you possible can.
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Old Nov 5th 2018, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by rawsalad View Post
Great information there. I also, have a quote from PSS and from John Mason and White and co. Going to get a couple more, when I look online for the reviews all seem to have similar gripes. - stuff broken poor communication overpriced etc.. You'll probably get similar service from most the companies I reckon.

Just wanted to ask about the self-packing. We too wish to pack our fragile items ourselves and am needing advice on the boxes. For China I see from videos that they use a very large box called a "dishpack". I reckon that will be quite heavy when full so am looking to pack into smaller boxes. Not certain what dimensions I should get. Something in the 20"x20"x12" is sufficient?? Also thinking about removing certificates and photos from frames and packing those into either tubes or boxes. Again reckon these will get thrown into a box by the movers and get damaged. Wife also have three very large tiffany lamps. I'm looking a using a "floating box" to protect these. Is that a good idea.

Sorry for all the questions. Hope you can advise.

Cheera
I recommend (from my experience) using double wall boxes at minimum for China and for anything really heavy anything less is 'crushable' - use bubble wrap AND packing paper (even newspaper scrunched up can be used to fill odd spaces. Watch a video on how professional packers pack china for international shipping (as opposed to 'cowboy' packers for a local move) I used 1ft square and 2ft square boxes for china, ornaments, antiques and books, 3ft square boxes for light stuff / non breakables (clothing/bedding/pictures/LEGO etc. This has some good videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRB...GWUwj7SYUa6_Ew

I would suggest asking for professional advice with regards to the best way to ship the Tiffany Lamps (try contacting one of the big auction houses) - do bear in mind that if they are antique they are irreplaceable and you will not get the full value back from insurance, should the worst happen.

With China / breakables you want to stop them being able to move around - it's the moving around (rattling) that causes breakages - and if you lay them flat the weight of plates can cause cracking on the bottom one, so make sure that you put the most delicate ones at the top of the pile or else pack them on their edges. Use paper / foam wrap / bubble wrap / packing peanuts to fill every space that you haven't filled with items - including in between them and around the outside edges.

Many years ago I had 3 2 feet tall antique china statues that were shipped from Hong Kong to the UK by professional shippers, each was encased in bubble wrap, then wrapping paper, the box was 4ft square, triple wall.. the base of the box was packed out with the bubble wrap and paper and 'nests' created using more paper, the statues carefully 'stood' in each nest and then were packed out with crumpled paper until they were absolutely encased on all sides and in between them, then more on top until they couldn't move a 1/4 inch in any direction and they were away from the side / top / bottom of the box by a good 5 inches in every direction. Every side had polystyrene board next to the cardboard as well.
I used the same box and packing materials to send it on to Canada years later.. and there wasn't a scratch, a chip or a ding on any of them.

Anything that's an antique or has sentimental value or that is irreplaceable I would research on how best to pack.

Hope that might help a little.
Good luck!

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Old Nov 5th 2018, 9:01 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

We got quotes from White & Co who seemed really good but ended up going with John Mason who were brilliant. A fantastic and thorough packing team who were so friendly, helpful and professional.

We were going through my husband’s employer so they made the final choice - it was John Mason on the UK packing side and AMJ Campbell on the Toronto side. Both have been excellent to deal with.

My container arrived today so just unpacking - nothing broken so far. Everything has been packed so well I’d be amazed if anything is broken!

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Old Nov 6th 2018, 3:07 am
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Default Re: PSS Removals

We used PSS. I thought they were OK. Not having used anyone else it's a bit hard to make a comparison. One thing I would say though, is try and get the best assurance of the route your goods are going to take. Our 40 ft container ended up going through the Panama Canal and then it got stuck in Los Angeles (or I guess the ship did). Took well over a month longer than we had been promised.
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Old Nov 6th 2018, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by rivingtonpike View Post
We used PSS. I thought they were OK. Not having used anyone else it's a bit hard to make a comparison. One thing I would say though, is try and get the best assurance of the route your goods are going to take. Our 40 ft container ended up going through the Panama Canal and then it got stuck in Los Angeles (or I guess the ship did). Took well over a month longer than we had been promised.
Are in Vancouver? I would guess that would be the normal route but a bummer it got stuck. Little the movers can do I think about that.
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Old Nov 6th 2018, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by rawsalad View Post
Are in Vancouver? I would guess that would be the normal route but a bummer it got stuck. Little the movers can do I think about that.
The annoying bit was that I had been warned about this in advance so I raised it with PSS. They categorically said our container would go to the east coast and then by train. This obviously isn't what happened. For some reason I can't remember any more it also cost us another 200 - 300 GBP to get it in and out of Los Angeles.
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Old Nov 6th 2018, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

We (are using!) Doree Bonner and their Canadian agents Grace.

Literally waiting for our dedicated 20' shipping container to be loaded from the boat at Montreal onto a train for Toronto, then probably off in the car tomorrow to TO to present papers and get the container released for final road transport to London, ON.

Doree Bonner did all the packing and loading at the UK end and were excellent, both in what they did, how they did it and in communications. It was all tightly packed in the container and a wooden bulkhead fitted for the small space at the end we didn't use.

Fingers crossed it made it alright, won't know until delivery in a few days. Insured direct with Letton Percival for significantly less than quoted by DB.
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Old Dec 28th 2018, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: PSS Removals

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
We (are using!) Doree Bonner and their Canadian agents Grace.

Literally waiting for our dedicated 20' shipping container to be loaded from the boat at Montreal onto a train for Toronto, then probably off in the car tomorrow to TO to present papers and get the container released for final road transport to London, ON.

Doree Bonner did all the packing and loading at the UK end and were excellent, both in what they did, how they did it and in communications. It was all tightly packed in the container and a wooden bulkhead fitted for the small space at the end we didn't use.

Fingers crossed it made it alright, won't know until delivery in a few days. Insured direct with Letton Percival for significantly less than quoted by DB.
We are in the process of using DB also but to another destination.
Our container is close. Just less than 2 weeks away now BUT we're having major commication issues as they are not understanding the port fees here locally. They are considering the standard port fees as extra fees and trying to charge us separately. Very frustratring with phone calls going back and forth with the local company here who picks up the container and DB. All in Spanish so we think it's a language issue.
We paid the door to door package, only having to pay extra customs if they check the container.

Oh yes they also messed up in a big way as when we arrived at our final destination the local removal company who were supposed to be reponsible to collect from the port weren't even aware of any arrangement!! DB didn't even apologise!
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