How to Avoid Moving Company Scams
Finding the best movers in North Dallas or anywhere else is easier now than ever before. Fortunately, protecting yourself from scams and bad moving experience is also easy with careful due diligence. Most movers are honest – a good reputation is crucial for legitimate moving companies. Less established or fly-by-night companies are more likely to take advantage of you financially or steal or damage your property.
1. Make sure your prospective moving company is legitimate
Moving companies in Texas are required to register with the state. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles provides a searchable database with all registered carriers. The best movers in Dallas will be on this list. Check if the mover you’re considering is listed here:
You can also check the company’s complaint history by contacting the TXDMV Enforcement Division at 1-(888) 368-4689 or accessing the Better Business Bureau online at www.bbb.org.
Some businesses avoid scrutiny and links to bad reviews by constantly changing their name. The company should answer the phone with their full business name rather than a generic address like “moving company” and have a physical location for their offices, which should appear online. Another sign of a sketchy mover is unmarked or improperly labeled trucks. Legitimate companies should post a company logo and Texas registration number on their trucks.
It’s important to make sure that the company is insured and its workers are bonded Even a mover with a sterling reputation will occasionally makes mistakes. Working with a bonded carrier ensures you’re covered if anything goes wrong and is another indication that the company is reliable.
2. Make sure the company conducts a reasonable estimate of your moving costs
Estimates should be based not only on moving distance but also on the weight and size of your items. A moving company must see your belongings to properly estimate moving costs – estimates solely by phone are never valid. Beware of suspiciously low offers. The estimator should also ask questions to determine whether you intend to sell property before the move or about anything else that could impact their evaluation. Getting a proper estimate decreases the chance that the mover will take advantage of you in the final bill.
3. Never pay before the move and always get receipts
An honest mover will never ask you to pay full shipping costs before the move. Although movers typically require a good-faith deposit up front, the amount should vary between $100 to $500. If you pay for everything beforehand, there’s a good chance your belongings will never arrive at their destination. Always get receipts to provide legal proof of your transaction, and, if possible, avoid cash payments except for tipping.
4. Get everything in writing
When you sign a final contract with a mover in North Dallas, it should include a ship date, list of items, and a guaranteed final price. The contract should be complete when you sign it with no large blank spaces or mention of possible vague future charges. Make sure to read it carefully before you sign.