While most moving companies are reputable businesses that do quality work, there are some that attempt to take advantage of clients through fraudulent practices. Follow these guidelines to protect yourself against moving fraud:
Get a written estimate from several movers. Some companies quote a low price to get a contract--and later ask for more money before they remove your belongings from their truck.
Make sure the mover has insurance and is licensed by the proper authority.
For moves from one state to another, a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number is issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can search for a registered mover through the FMCSA.
Check the mover's record. You can find out the mover's complaint history with local consumer advocacy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau.
File a Complaint
If you have a dispute with a moving company, you should file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Note: Moving company complaints handled by the FMCSA must cross state lines, but can be reported at any time.
Change Your Address with Other Government Agencies
Other federal and state agencies to contact when changing your address include:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – Contact the IRS to change your address if you are expecting a tax refund or other mail. You can also change your address with the IRS by writing your new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return when you file.
Social Security Administration (SSA) – Change your address online using your my Social Security account if you receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability benefits or are enrolled in Medicare. If you don't receive Social Security benefits or Medicare, contact the SSA.
If you are someone who pays to rent a home or an apartment (a tenant), you may at some point have a dispute with the person who owns the building or management company that represents the owner (the landlord). Often disputes are about the conditions of the building, essential services, rent increases, or your right to stay. It is best to come to an agreement directly with the landlord or manager. Make sure that you get everything in writing. If a landlord and tenant cannot come to an agreement, a tenant might turn to outside help.
When moving into a house or an apartment, you may have to pay for utility services like gas, electricity or water. You can apply for these services on the phone, online, or in person.
Starting Utility Services
Your city or county government may handle some utility services like water, sewage, and garbage collection. In many states, you can choose your telephone and energy service providers. Contact your state utility commission for a list of service providers and advice on making a choice.
Letter of guarantee: If you are a new utility customer or have a poor payment history, the utility company may require you to pay a deposit or get a letter from someone who agrees to pay your bill if you don’t.
Switching Utility Providers
Your state's public utilities company may allow you to "unbundle" your electric (or gas) service, so you can purchase the utilities from one company and the delivery of them from another. For more information on switching utility providers, contact your state's public utilities commission.
Once you have established service, you should start receiving your bills at regular intervals, usually monthly or quarterly. Utility bills are based on the amount of energy or water you actually use. However, if you live in an apartment complex, the amount you pay for some utilities may be prorated or split.