The month of May brings with it longer days, warmer nights, the end of school calendar and the start of busiest time of year for moving. With this also comes an uptick in scams and disreputable moving services by fly-by-night carriers.

Several moving industry, consumer protection and government associations met on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol to hold a press conference for this occasion to remind consumer to be vigilant when vetting and hiring reputable companies this moving season. Among the participants at the event was our very own Steve Lancashire, owner of American Relocation & Storage Systems. Joining him were Dustin and Marcus, two of our professional movers who, like everyone at American Relocation, are dedicated to superior customer service and quality relocation services.

Texas ranks as one of the nation’s busiest states for moving and its major cities rank among the nation’s top for consumer moving complaints. Unlawful, unlicensed movers are prevalent at this busy time. If you will be among the millions of Americans moving this season, be especially cautious. Don’t let the stress of moving cause you to overlook precautionary activities:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the moving company – look for on-site information including a physical address, federal motor carrier (MC) number, national van line logo for interstate moves and American Moving & Storage Association ProMover logo on the website. You may validate the MC number on the AMSA's website or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website, and verify that your mover is licensed in Texas at the TxDMV website.
  • Ensure their quality as movers – search for reviews on places like moving company review sites, Angie’s List, Google Plus and others. Also be sure to check the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org for their rating and to see if they are a BBB Accredited business.
  • Get everything in writing – this includes your contract, bill of lading and estimates. Pricing is difficult to estimate without seeing the space and items being moved, and “ballpark” estimates can have a way of increasing once your items are on the truck.
  • Review the standard consumer rights materials – for interstate moves, Federal regulations require that the mover provide the “Read to Move?” brochure with your estimate and “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” brochure and arbitration information when you hire a mover. Local regulations are different, and generally state regulated.
  • Be wary of substantial monetary requests – although a minimal down-payment may be requested during this busy season, large deposits or pre-payment is a red flag.
  • Consider full- or partial-valuation protection – interstate moves include full-value protection against loss or damage at $0.60/lb. unless you opt out in writing; for local moves, valuation may be an add-on option. Always look for this information in your paperwork.
  • Take your valuable items with you – important legal paperwork, cash, jewelry, and precious mementos should be kept with you as oftentimes they are irreplaceable.
  • Know your mover’s information – attain information such as the drivers’ names and phone numbers, truck number and other identifying information so that you can easily communicate with the driver and office staff when necessary.

American Relocation and Storage Systems is a proud BBB Accredited and A+ rated, AMSA Promover, SMA-Certified Pinnacle Mover, and licensed interstate agent of Wheaton World Wide Moving. Our professional moving team is dedicated to superior service, safety, reliability and successful relocations for all of our customers.