May is National Moving Month — one of the busiest times of the year for people to move homes, or even businesses. There are hundreds of moving companies to choose from, so where do you start?
Unfortunately, fake or shady moving companies exist, causing financial and emotional toll on people who have their belongings lost or damaged or find themselves scammed out of their money. In 2017, Better Business Bureau received more than 7,500 complaints against moving companies.
One such company was even the subject of a recent BBB investigation. Earlier this year, Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas conducted an investigation into Presidential Moving and Storage, LLC. Consumers of the Arlington-based company said they were charged thousands more than the agreed upon price. Complaints also alleged the company failed to deliver their goods by the stated arrival date and had trouble getting updates when contacting the company. Based on complaint data, consumers lost an average of $3,200. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Presidential Moving’s status is now listed as “out-of-service.” There has also been at least one news report, by KXAS in Dallas, where a customer got her items back after the company held them for over a month.
BBB offers the following tips for hiring a trustworthy moving company:
- Do your research. Do some comparison shopping online, and use reputable sources, such as bbb.org when looking for a mover or professional moving company. Check that the company is licensed as required by the State of Texas, and that they have a valid TxDMV and USDOT number.
- Get three free estimates. Make sure the estimates are in writing, by email or as an attachment, and never accept a verbal quote or agreement.
- Read the contract carefully. Read every document of the contract carefully before you sign anything. Also, get a copy of everything you sign, and don’t sign any blank forms.
BBB also advises people to watch out for the following red flags:
- The company has no physical address and/or the trucks don’t have their licensing displayed.
- The company isn’t willing to come to your home for an estimate, and the estimates are too high or too low.
- The company requires a large upfront payment or cash only. A reputable mover takes credit cards.
- The mover can’t answer your questions and they seem uncertain.
For more consumer tips, head to bbb.org. To report a scam, go to our BBB Scam Tracker page at BBB.org/scamtracker. It helps us keep track of what’s going on and warn other consumers.