Reader question: Is it normal for a removals firm to insist on full payment before the delivery has been done? P.L.
It is not ‘normal’ but we have not identified any law which forbids this.
Such practices were, however, stated to be abusive by France’s Commission des clauses abusives as long ago as in 1982.
This is a panel of experts, under the consumer section of the Economy Ministry, which puts out non-binding recommendations on contractual practices, which are often referred to by the courts.
The commission advised that contract clauses should not be inserted by removals firms which insist on full payment of the contract price before the items have been safely delivered.
It also advised that firms should not prevent customers from keeping back part of the price in the case of loss, damage or delay.
However, it is usual for a firm to ask for an instalment to be paid upfront.
We would suggest shopping around to find an alternative firm if you are uncomfortable with the idea of having to pay in full before the delivery is completed to your satisfaction.