May Marks the Beginning of Moving Season

By Steve Abel – President of the Abilene BBB | June 1, 2016

For a variety of reasons, more people choose the late spring and summer as their time to move – kids are out of school, the weather is more cooperative and people are more likely to change jobs this time of year. It all adds up to more piles of boxes, more yard sales and more moving vans in driveways.The subject of moving is top of mind for Better Business Bureau because each year, nationally, the BBB gets thousands of complaints related to moving companies. {{more}}BBB recommends the following tips to help avoid troublesome movers:• Beware movers that do not make an on-sight inspection of your household goods, but simply giving you an estimate over the phone or through email. Does that low estimate sound too good to be true? It usually is. • Companies that demand cash or large deposits upfront.• Businesses that do not provide you a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet that any company doing an interstate move is required by law to give you.• Companies whose website provides no information about licensing and insurance.• Vague or nonexistent information about where the company is physically located.• Movers that do not offer you a full-value protection plan for your expensive items.• The truck that comes to move you is a rental and is not marked with the moving company’s logo.• You are asked to sign a bill of lading on moving day that has blank pages. Never sign blank pages.Making a smart moveMoving is traumatic enough without having unexpected complications clouding your moving day. Use these tips to assure that your move goes well:• Get at least three written, in-home estimates. Check the company’s complaint history by doing online searches and by reading BBB business reviews.• Visit protectyourmove.gov to learn about your rights when dealing with moving companies.• Question movers’ insurance. Consider paying extra for full-value protection insurance. Ask whether damaged goods will be repaired, replaced, or you will be given a cash settlement.• Get everything in writing. Ask them whether their quote is binding and if so, see that they give you a written statement saying the same.• Get the mover’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration license number. At protectyourmove.gov you can check their number to be sure they really are licensed.• In the event that there is a later dispute, find out what the company’s address is. Know that they will need to be accessible to you if that unfortunate circumstance comes up.• There have been reported instances where unscrupulous moving companies have held a customer’s goods hostage for additional money. Report such activity to law enforcement and do not give in to such demands.Please contact Better Business Bureau at bbb.org or 691-1533 for information on businesses throughout North America.