Archive for October, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Today OneSource Moving is going to tell you about a whole area of scams you may not even be aware of — moving scams. Or perhaps you don’t realize how big a problem moving scams can be. As one of Houston’s leading moving companies, here at OneSource Moving, we feel obligated to let you know of the traps out there and advise you on how to make your next move a drama free one.

OK. Let’s get right to it…
Here’s a brief background:

Prior to 1980, there were only a few major national moving companies that were permitted to move goods across state lines. In 1980, the Household Goods Transportation Act was passed, giving movers the right to provide customers with ‘binding estimates’ — meaning, they could now compete on the basis of price instead of just customer service. The Act also had the effect of helping to create a whole new generation of moving companies, and so, of course, competition became fiercer. The end result was that movers had to set lower and lower prices to get your business, which meant that it became more difficult to make a profit. Some of them turned to some questionable practices at that point — and this sometimes amounted to holding your goods ‘hostage’ while they demanded that you pay some trumped-up extra charges. In other words, you might be given an estimate of $2000, for example, to move your household. It sounds reasonable, and you agree and sign the contract. But when the truck shows up at your new home (sometimes weeks after they were supposed to, but that’s another story!) with all your worldly goods, the bill has suddenly mushroomed to $4300 — and you are forced to pay because the mover refuses to unload your goods until you do. In some cases, additional information has been added to the contract after you signed it — and if you try to fight it, you’ll find there may be very little legal recourse available to you.

Unfortunately, Houston is a very big city; therefore a lot of bad people want to rip some of you off. At OneSource Moving, we want to remain our good reputation. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself — and to make sure you don’t become a victim of these moving scams:

1. The most drastic solution: sell everything and start again. This may sound extreme, but dozens of people who’ve had their household goods held up by a moving company wish now that they had done this.

2. If you don’t want to do it all yourself, there are companies that will pack and load the rental truck for you. Call OneSource Moving for moving assistance with packing, loading, crate rentals and much more.

3. If you decide to hire a moving company, check references very carefully. Be especially careful with Internet-based movers. There are obviously reputable firms online, but there are an unusual number of horror stories from customers who hired movers online.  Check out Better Business Bureau for reliable moving companies.

4. Get referrals from local real estate firms, and then get several estimates — in writing — from the companies you’ve chosen. Do everything you can to check out the moving company in advance. Do a search online to make sure the company isn’t already a known scammer; go to the address of the company and check out their yard and their trucks.

Once you think you’ve found a reputable company, here’s a list of the information you want to get from them:

1. The full legal company name (including any ‘dba’ names).

2. Length of time in business.

3. Full legal company address and all phone numbers.

4. Get their Dept. of Transport and any other State or Federal license numbers.

5. Most importantly, ask them for references — and call them.

6. Call the FMCSA’s consumer complaints hotline at 1-888-368-7238 to inquire about the company’s history.

Meanwhile, if you hire a moving company, be sure to educate and inform yourself especially carefully before you sign on the dotted line.

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Imagine this scenario. You choose a moving company, set up a date, and sign a contract with the movers. A few weeks later, you’re standing at your new house and all of your things are locked inside a truck out front. The movers have piled a bunch of extra charges onto your bill and are telling you that if you don’t pay the fees, you won’t get your things. The people you thought were going to carry the heavy stuff and make your moving day so much easier are now holding your belongings hostage.

Unfortunately, these types of things happen. So you need to be ultra careful about choosing a moving company and very vigilant about managing your contract with that company.

OneSource Moving is one of Houston’s few reliable moving companies. With a call, we can give you estimates and send you the right movers to make your move fast and comfortable. As a moving company who wants the best for its past and future customers, we have gathered seven tips to help you with your next move. We will help you find local movers, interstate movers, residential movers, apartment movers, or office movers.

7. Research Companies

First things first — do some informal research to see which moving companies do quality work. Send out an e-mail to friends to see if they have any recommendations or warnings about moving companies they’ve used in the past. If the companies you’re interested in offer references, call those references. Once you narrow down your choices, check with the Better Business Bureau about any moving companies you’re considering. If one of those companies has had a number of complaints filed against it, then that’s not the company you want to use. It is no secret that OneSource Moving is reliable and honest. We have been with the Better Business Bureau since 2012 and are rated grade A. We answer our phones all day and reply to all of our emails within 30-minutes.

6. Get More Than One Estimate

For interstate moves, charges are based on the weight of the items to be moved, the distance to be moved, packing and other services. Get two or three estimates well in advance of your move. You may even want to meet with a relocation consultant in person and have him or her come out to your home. That way, the consultant can take a look at your belongings and make a solid estimate on how much it will cost you to transport them. When you speak with the moving companies, ask whether their estimates are binding or nonbinding. Do not accept an estimate over the phone. At you can request your free moving quote.

5. Make Sure the Mover is Aware of Everything that Must Be Moved

Make sure the mover is perfectly aware of everything that has to be moved. And here’s why: The cost will increase if anything is added to the shipment that was not included in the estimate. Also, make sure the mover is aware of any special circumstances that might make the move challenging. For example, is there a possibility that the moving truck will have a hard time parking at your new place? If the mover has to park far away, you may be charged extra money for the walking that movers have to do to get your things to your new place.

4. Get Insurance

If you have renters or homeowners insurance, then your belongings are insured when they’re at your home, but not when they’re on the road between homes. So for a long commute, you might want to consider purchasing moving or relocation insurance. Unless you pay the movers to pack your belongings, it’s unlikely that they will be insured against breakage caused by improper packing. If you want to ensure coverage for broken items, you can always ask the movers to pack your belongings. There are several types of insurance packages to purchase. The moving company is liable for a certain dollar amount multiplied by the weight of the shipment, up to a certain amount. OneSource Moving has a commercial insurance of $2.000.000. We are a trusted moving company and take the outmost precaution with our customers’’ belongings.

3. Pay Close Attention to the Contract

The mover will issue you a bill of lading, a legal contract between the customer and the mover. Be sure to read it carefully and make sure you understand the agreement before you sign it. Then, be sure to hang on to your copy of the bill of lading. If something goes wrong, you’ll want to have it handy to state your case. And once you sign the bill of lading, you must pay what it says you’re supposed to pay. Look for the bill of lading to include the following: name and address of mover, the type of payment method it accepts, time of pickup, minimum and maximum amounts to pay and other details about payment.

2. Ask Questions About the Contract

Make sure that any contract you enter into covers rates and charges, the mover’s liability for your possessions, dates for pickup and delivery, and claims protection. Read the document carefully. Don’t worry about making the moving company wait while you look the contract over to make sure you understand everything that’s included. Moving company scams are not uncommon, so you want to make sure a moving company is on the up and up before you sign a contract. If something in the contract looks fishy, trust your instincts and ask questions. You don’t want your moving company to hold your things hostage and force you to pay extra costs. At all of our moves, we send a supervisor to monitor the moves and answer ALL of your questions.

1. Make Sure the Company is Legit

Moving scams are pretty rampant, and you want to be sure the company you work with is legit. So, check up on it. Pay a visit to the company to see whether it seems like it’s on the up and up. Are the trucks labeled clearly? It’s not good if they’re not. You can search for the company’s motor carrier license information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SaferSys Web site. Plug in the DOT number the company gave you to see if everything looks correct. For example, the address you got from the company should match the address on the SaferSys Web site. If you’re moving to a different state, the moving company should be authorized for interstate moving. There should also be a check next to household goods. For more information, check out

We hope this was insightful.

Call 713-620-8097 today for more information or to book your next move!

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