May is said to be the busiest time of the year for Americans to move into a new home, and Better Business Bureau wants to remind consumers to do their homework first before hiring a mover during National Moving Month.
In 2012, Better Business Bureau received 11,167 complaints against movers nationwide. Most complaints alleged damaged or lost goods or final prices being in excess of original estimates.
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, all household goods and motor carriers (movers) operating within Texas are required to have an active certificate of motor carrier registration and abide by the motor carrier rules and regulations. Regulations include a written proposal or estimate that shows a guaranteed price or a “not to exceed” maximum amount for the move and a final copy upon completion indicating total charges.
If you’re planning to hire a mover, BBB recommends consumers follow these steps:
- Plan ahead. Consumers should start planning their move at least six to eight weeks before their targeted moving date in order to have enough time to research and hire a trustworthy mover.
- Do your research. Go to bbb.org and utilize BBB’s Member Pages to find a BBB Accredited Business or go to protectmymove.gov to find federally licensed and registered moving companies.
- Compare prices. Get at least three quotes from three different companies and be sure to provide each business with a list of your inventory in order to get the best price comparisons. Utilize BBB’s Request a Quote program to directly connect with BBB Accredited Businesses.
- Take inventory. Consumers should make an inventory to go over with their mover before packing begins. Make sure all copies are legible and that all items are numbered, listed and described correctly to avoid confusion.
- Verify insurance. Ask what type of insurance the moving company carries and how it plans to resolve things if there is any damage to your items. Consumers should also ask their mover for proof of workers compensation coverage and call the insurance company to verify the coverage.
- Know who to contact. If a consumer feels he or she is a victim of a moving scam, in addition to contacting BBB, he or she should file a complaint with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles if their move was within the state of Texas. If the move is across state lines, complaints can be made to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.