How to Avoid Moving-Related Fraud
by: Andrew Schneider, May 23, 2011 7:05:00 am
Texas law already requires that any company offering or providing moving services be licensed with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now, with online moving scams on the rise, a bill that would toughen penalties for unlicensed movers is now speeding through the state legislature.
The bill has the backing of both the DMV and the Southwest Movers Association, an industry trade group. John Esparza, who heads the association, says one of the biggest dangers customers face is of rogue operators holding their goods hostage.
“You always want to require an estimate in writing before you sign a formal contract, before anything is moved. The admission or the deletion of that step right there opens the door for a rogue scammer-mover to come in, try to get a survey of what you got, give you a price, make an agreement with you, and then load all your stuff up, move it, and say, ‘We moved way more than what we talked about. That $495 move’s now going to be $1495.’”
Many customers end up paying exorbitant fees to recover their goods, following weeks or even months of frustration. To check whether a moving company is licensed or get more tips on moving, visit the DMV Moving in Texas Webpage.