Before your move:
  1. Choosing your mover
    1. The most important thing to look for when selecting a mover is to make sure the mover is registered with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
    2. If the mover has an active registration with TxDOT, the mover has insurance and is licensed to move household goods in the state of Texas
    3. To find out if a mover is licensed with TxDOT, click here (http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/apps/mccs/MCCS_Frame_Inquiry.asp) or call 1-800-299-1700 and selection option three.
    4. Different movers offer different services and varying prices. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
    5. It is also important to get everything in writing.
    6. All Greater Houston Movers Association members have active registrations with TxDOT and are in good standing with the BBB.
    7. For a list of Greater Houston Movers Association members, click here.
  2. Proposal for Moving Services
    1. Your mover is required to provide a written proposal describing the services to be performed, goods to be moved, and what is being charged prior to the move. Your mover has two options for doing this:
      1. Not-to-exceed proposal: states the maximum price of the move
      2. Binding proposal: states the exact price of the move
    2. It is important for you to inform your mover of all items you want moved and services to be provided (stair carries, long carries, and elevator use). Because additional labor may be required, additional fees may be charged.
  3. Pickup and Delivery Dates
    1. Note any potentially conflicting deadlines on your written proposal. This will help you avoid getting charged any additional fees for delaying either the pickup or the delivery.
  4. Inventory
    1. your mover may offer to prepare a descriptive inventory of your shipment. This includes not only the goods being transferred, but also the condition of the goods.
    2. The mover may charge a fee for this, but only if you agree to the preparation of it.
    3. The mover will ask you to sign the inventory after loading and after unloading.
    4. Inventories are used during the claims process, so it is important for you to inspect your shipment after unloading, making sure all items are accounted for while assessing any damages which occurred during the move.
  5. Choosing Coverage for your Move
    1. All moving companies in the state of Texas have a basic liability of 60 cents per pound per article. This means if your mover drops and completely damages your 100 lb. dresser, your mover is only liable for $60, even if the dresser would cost $300 to replace.
    2. Your shipment will be valued at the basic liability limit of 60 cents per pound per article unless you and your mover agree to a higher level of liability. It is very important that this higher level of liability is noted on your moving services contract.
    3. Higher levels of liability typically come at an additional fee (referred to as a valuation fee).
    4. It is important to understand this higher level of liability is not the same as purchasing transit insurance.
During Your Move
  1. Packing and Loading
    1. Depending upon your agreement with your mover, you may be required to handle some of the preparation for the move. Your mover is very experienced in the art of packing; do not be afraid to ask for help.
    2. If you're doing your own packing, be careful not to overload cartons. Also, be sure to use the appropriate cartons for the appropriate items so your goods will arrive safely. Carton tops should be flat and taped securely to allow for safe stacking in the truck.
    3. Do not pack fragile items and heavy items in the same carton. Also, clearly mark fragile cartons.
    4. Your mover is not responsible for valuables (jewelry, money, etc.), medications, and important papers. Do not pack these items.
  2. Delivery
    1. Your mover will not delivery your goods unless you are present at the destination site. If you are not present at the time agreed upon for delivery, your mover will delivery your items into storage and you will be responsible for the storage charges.
    2. Be sure to check the condition of your delivered goods before signing a delivery receipt. This includes any boxes you do not intend to immediately unpack.
    3. It is important that you make a written notation on the inventory sheet or moving services contract of any damage or loss. This will tremendously help in the claims process.
After your Move
  1. Payment of Charges
    1. Your proposal must explain when you will be required to pay for your move and what payment options are available.
    2. Be prepared to pay the maximum amount of money shown on the written proposal.
  2. Handling Claims
    1. If you have a dispute about the charges or loss or damage to your goods, you are first required to file a written claim with your mover within 90 days of delivery. If you fail to file a written claim within 90 days, your claim may be denied.
    2. Be sure to include in your claim the following information:
      1. The specific amount of money you are seeking or any other resolution you are seeking
      2. List all pertinent information about the claim in order for your mover to investigate
      3. Provide any shipping documents or any other requested information
    3. Your mover has 20 days from receipt of your written letter to contact you (excluding Sundays and holidays). The mover is not required to make a payment or take action within these 20 days, but just let you know the claim is being handled.
    4. Your mover has 30 days from receiving your claim to inspect containers and damaged goods. The moving company must pay, deny your claim, or make a firm settlement offer within 90 days of receiving your claim.
    5. If you are not satisfied with your settlement, you may contact TxDOT for mediation or you may pursue the claim in a court of law.
Other Helpful Information:
  1. Transporting Shipments Across State Lines
    1. If your household goods were moved across state lines, your move is not within TxDOT's jurisdiction. Instead, you may contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Office of Public and Consumer Affairs: 1-888-368-7238.
    2. Additionally, you can read this online pamphlet with your Rights and Responsibilities in an interstate move: http://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/rights/rights.htm
  2. Moving Tips - Below are some helpful links for preparing for a move:
    1. Moving 101 Tips: http://www.southwestmovers.org/consumer/moving101tips.pdf
    2. Moving Resources: http://www.moving.org/content.asp?pl=1&contentid=1
GHMA OFFICERS:
President - Debbie McKinley
Conlee-Garrett Moving & Storage
debbie@garrett-moving.com

V.P. - Bobby Adams
Adams Transfer & Storage
bobby@adamstransfer.net

Secretary - Tim Barber
EDC Moving Systems
tbarber@edc-mover.com

Treasurer - Barron Cagle
Retired
barron_cagle@yahoo.com