Rights and Responsibilities when hiring a moving company
Has anyone you know ever had a terrible moving experience? Did a company promise you one thing and deliver another? Luckily, in the state of Texas, if you feel taken advantage of, have broken or damaged items, or received your items later than an agreed upon date you have certain rights that you may choose to exercise. In this article we will cover your rights and responsibilities, in the state of Texas, when hiring a moving company.
What you need to know before your move
First and foremost, every licensed and insured moving company will have to register with the Texas Department of Transportation and have either a verifiable USDOT number and/or a TxDOT number. Hiring a company that does not have an active USDOT or TxDOT number may result in any rights being forfeited. You may call the Texas Department of Transportation to verify any potential movers TxDOT number as well as their complaint history and annual report.
You will receive either a moving quote or proposal from your company prior to your items being loaded. There are two types of proposals, the first is a binding proposal, that states the exact price of the move. The other is a not-to-exceed proposal in which the maximum price is stated but the mover can charge less.
What you should focus on during your move
In the state of Texas all movers have a minimum liability of 60 cents per pound per article. For context, if the movers were to damage your $100 TV, they would only be required to pay out $60. You may request more liability coverage, as movers will be insured, but be aware there may be valuation fees associated with a higher level of liability.
You should be prepared to pay the maximum amount shown on the contract from the movers. The contract should also set forth the terms of payment, such as when and how payment will be collected. This same contract should also have anticipated pick-up and delivery dates and the terms for if those dates are not met.
An inventory list may be prepared by the mover that details the condition and size of the items being moved. This inventory list will require your signature for verification and is often used in the claims process, so make sure to inspect your belongings carefully.
What you need to know after your move
If you have an issue with the charges or condition your items were delivered in than you must write a formal claim within 90 days of delivery. Your mover must contact you within 20 days of receiving your written claim and has the right to inspect any damaged goods within 30 days of receiving the claim. Your mover must pay, deny, or make a firm settlement within 90 days of receiving your claim. If you are unsatisfied with the settlement, you have several options including contacting TxDOT for mediation, pursuing the matter in a court of law, or through your mover’s arbitration program. In the state of Texas all moving companies are required to carry a third-party arbitration group for handling disputes.
Below is the contact information for TxDOT:
Texas Department of Transportation
Motor Carrier Division
125 E. 11th Street
Austin, Texas, 78701-2483
1-800-299-1700 (Select option 3)