Moving Scams

This was a good article posted by the Texas attorney General. But it fits for all people that are moving.

Summer is the busiest time of year for moving companies. While most legitimate movers comply with the law, unfortunately, a few are unscrupulous. Operators employ a range of practices that take advantage of their customers.

Some unscrupulous movers give customers an artificially low estimate for their services. Then, on moving day, they revise their estimate and provide a much higher price. By that time, customers have no time to find another mover and have little choice but to go along with the increased rate.

Another type of moving scam is perpetrated after a customer’s belongings have been loaded up and hauled away. With the customers’ property in the movers’ possession, the company refuses to deliver or unload the customer’s property unless the customer agrees to pay a higher fee.

Knowledge is always a valuable weapon, so Texans in the market for a moving company should research several options and secure written estimates before moving day. Care also should be taken to ensure that movers are properly licensed and insured. Texans can look up a moving company’s rating and complaint history at the Better Business Bureau’s Web site, www.bbb.org.

Moving scam warning signs include:

  • Movers that offer advance estimates without seeing their customers’ home or belongings. Estimates based on cubic footage are also red flags.
  • Movers that fail to provide a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This booklet must be provided to all customers who plan an interstate move. The federally mandated pamphlet contains instructions about how to respond if goods are lost or damaged during a move.
  • Movers that require a large deposit or payment in cash.
  • Movers that lack a local address and do not provide licensing information on their Web site. To check motor carrier registration status, consumers can visit  www.txdot.gov (in-state) and  www.protectyourmove.gov (interstate).

Movers are required by law to deliver a customer’s goods for no more than 10% above the price of a non-binding estimate. Customers are not required to pay any amount above a binding estimate. The mover is required to bill customers for any additional charges within 30 days of delivery.

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