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Beware of Unlicensed Movers
Check with Texas Department of Motor Vehicles before moving forward with a company. Search Truck Stop. For in-state moves, companies must be licensed with the Texas DMV. Consumers can search Truck Stop by the name of the company, city they live in, zip code or registration number. The registration number is provided to a moving company when it obtains its license. Ask any company you are considering for this registration number and check it in the database.
Check with the U.S. DOT. If moving out of state, check with US DOT to view the company’s complaint history and safety record. Check all the paperwork. In addition to requiring companies to be licensed, Texas state law requires movers to provide consumers with the following:
- A proposal containing a guaranteed price or a “not to exceed” estimate.
- Written contracts before the move (detailing promised services, insurance coverage and price) and after the move (containing an itemized list of charges as well as the method used to calculate the charges.)
- Standard liability of 60 cents per pound per item and an option to purchase insurance over and above this minimum.
- A brochure that outlines consumer rights under Texas law.
- You should receive a rights and responsibly pamphlet.
- Most licensed movers will come out in a marked vehicle.
- To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit https://www.txdmv.gov/
Look out for Red Flags!
Are there complaints?
When you see multiple complaints from customers, take note! This often signals a red flag. Every interstate moving company should obtain a U.S. DOT number.
How are the moving reviews?
When it comes to choosing a trustworthy moving company, check reviews. We recommend asking your neighbors, friends and family for recommendations. Listen to their personal experiences with various moving companies.
Are they professional?
Besides the technicalities of licenses and insurance, consumers need to use common sense when hiring a moving company. Be on the lookout for whether or not the movers are true professionals. Do they have a real office and business email address? Is the moving company part of a reputable van line? Are they wearing uniforms and driving professional moving trucks? Have they provided you with an official Bill of Lading? Is the estimate too good to be true? Do they possess an official business license? If your gut tells you something’s off, listen.
Did the company see your things before giving you an estimate?
Moving companies should perform either an in-person inspection, a video survey or get a detailed list of the items you want to move before giving you a quote. Otherwise, you could end up with a bill that far exceeds the original estimate. If they offer to give you a quote over the phone or internet, without obtaining any of these, run! This red flag could mean a potential moving scam. Rule of thumb: any company that quotes you a firm price without surveying your things by video or in-person probably shouldn’t be trusted.
After an inspection, the movers should send you their estimate (and other possible charges) in writing leaving no unwelcome surprise costs for later. If the moving company’s quote is noticeably more or less expensive than other moving company estimates, this should also be a big red flag.