The moving industry doesn’t have the best wrap – most of us have heard about a move gone terribly wrong. You may even have personal experience. If you don’t do your “moving” homework, you leave yourself vulnerable to several common traps. That’s where 3 Men Movers can help; with locations in Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. Here’s some insider advice on how to protect yourself and protect your belongings during your next move. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what you should be expecting from the professionals you hire.
How to protect yourself when moving:
1. Avoid moving brokers
You may be wondering what a moving broker is. They are the middlemen who connect consumers to movers. This system sounds great in theory, but it usually doesn’t work out so well. Many brokers market themselves as if they are moving companies luring people in under false pretenses. Although you book your move with them they are not liable when something goes wrong because you are really under contract with the moving company. You may also be stuck with two bills at the end of your move; one for the moving company and one for the moving broker. Some charge thousands of dollars for their “services” that you have to pay on top of your moving bill. It may seem like the easy way out, but going through a broker comes with a high amount of risks.
2. Consider added value protection
It is the movers duty to treat your items with care, but sometimes accidents happen. The best way to prepare for these situations is to consider added value protection. Although this may seem like an unnecessary expense, you will be glad to have it if one of your precious items is lost or broken. “You break it, you buy it” doesn’t always apply when it comes to the moving industry. In many cases moving companies are only required to pay a nominal amount of money for damaged items. In the state of Texas we are only required to pay $0.60 per pound; which will amount only a few bucks if something delicate, but expense incurs damage.
3. Catalog your items (Especially those worth substantial value)
In an ideal world you would catalog every single item that you own down to how many dish towels you have and what color they are. But in reality, most of us don’t notate any of our items before moving. When things go missing we are unsure of where we packed them, when we last saw the item, or specific details. Take the time to catalog your expensive items and the items that have sentimental value to you. Write down where you packed it, and any distinguishing details about the appearance or make of the item.
4. If your movers don’t follow up a day or two before your move, call them
Confirming your move is vital. If you don’t you could be sitting on the curb for hours waiting for movers who may never show up. Many moving companies will call and confirm the time and address of the move a few days before but if they don’t, take it upon yourself to call them and make sure that nothing has changed.
5. Keep an eye on your belongings during your move
Although there is a lot happening during your move, you need to remain vigilant when it comes to keeping an eye on your belongings. You’re going in and out of the house with your front door unlocked, your belongings are being loaded into an open vehicle, and your things may be scattered about. Careful movers will have one mover stay with the truck to ensure that your items are safe at all times.
6. Look for a DMV number
All registered movers in the state of Texas are required to list their DMV number on their website as well as on their vehicles. If you are on a website for a moving company and you do not see a DMV number this is a red flag. If movers come to your home and they do not have a DMV number on their vehicle then you may want to think twice about letting them into your home and trusting them with your belongings. They may be operating without a license which puts you in danger. If they have no license they are operating with no guidelines or regulation, leaving you without any way to retrieve your items if they did steal them.
7. Make sure that your moving company conducts background checks
Choosing a moving company that conducts background checks on all of their employees will go far towards ensuring your safety during a move. If you are using a company that does not look into their movers’ histories you could be letting people into your home that could have a history of theft or even violent crimes. You do not want to put your family or your home in that kind of danger.
8. Make sure you receive a consumer rights and responsibilities handbook
Ensure that your moving company provides you with a Consumer Rights and Responsibilities handbook before the move begins. They are required by the DMV to provide you with this handbook because it lists out what you are responsible for, the liability that the moving company is accountable for, and the ways in which the DMV protects you. If they do not provide one, request one before any items are moved. Reading all of the fine print will give you a complete understanding of what to expect when move day comes around.
9. Avoid craigslist
While Craigslist can be a resource that you use for some things, you should not use this website to hire movers. Many moving companies listed on Craigslist do not have a DMV license and they do not background check their employees. Some even send movers in unmarked vans. Rely on family and friend referrals, look for information on trustworthy websites, and research all moving companies across multiple platforms before booking a mover.
10. Make sure they are an accredited BBB business
The Better Business Bureau was created to protect consumers. It is a wonderful resource when seeking to establish the integrity of a business. All you have to do go to the BBB website and type in the name of the business that you are researching.
11. Check multiple review sites
Researching a company online is how the majority of us do our research these days. Review sites are meant to give you an honest look at how satisfied consumers are after using a business’s’ service. However, many have taken advantage of this by creating fake profiles on review sites and writing positive reviews about their own company to boost their ratings and gain consumer trust. Check multiple sites when researching a company, keep your eyes open for fake reviews, and take everything with a grain of salt.
Don’t fall prey to the sneaky practices of untrustworthy movers. Implement the simple strategies that we have outlined in this guide before your next move. You may spend more time preparing for your move but it will be well worth it end the end when your family has made it smoothly into your new home.