Do you know that as a customer of a moving company, you have inalienable rights? You have to know and understand these rights for if not, you may not be able to get the right compensation or reimbursement you are entitled to should anything happen to your stuff while in transit.
An Important Booklet You Need to Read
If you are scheduling a move in the near future, there is a booklet that you need to get your hands on. The title of the booklet is “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” It is written and prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration.
This booklet explains about the rights that you have as a customer of a moving company, and what you can expect from the mover that you hired, and what you should do so that your move will be free of problems.
In fact, your mover should give this booklet to you once you have inked the contract. They are required by the federal government to issue you a copy.
- The moving company must give you a written or formal quote of his moving services.
You should not settle for just oral arrangements. Everything must be put in writing.
- The moving company may give you a binding estimate of his services.
This is not a must because of the fact that there are situations in the actual transport of your belongings that are beyond his control.
- You have the right to be present every time any of your shipment is weighed.
You should not let the working crew of the mover to weigh your things without your presence. This will ensure that your belongings are correctly weighed, and that you are amenable to the figures that will be indicated in your final bill.
- You may request a re-weighing of your shipment.
If you are in doubt about the way the crew came up with the weight of any object, you can request that it be re-weighed to allay your doubt.
- If your agreement with the mover is ruled by a non-binding estimate, you need to formally confirm, in writing, regarding the manner of payment after the delivery, which can be either by cash, money order, credit card, certified check, or cashier’s check.
- Your mover must offer you a dispute settlement program as an option of settling damage or loss claims.
You need to ask him how he would do this and he should give his answer in detail.
- You have the right to seek complaint information about movers from FMCSA under the FOIA.
This information will help you learn if there is any complaint lodged on a particular mover that you are considering. However, a fee may be charged in obtaining this information.
- You should make sure that all the documents that the mover ask you to sign, such as a contract, is complete.
If the document is partially incomplete, ask the moving company to complete it first before signing the document.
The document must have all the relevant shipping information except of course the final shipment weight (to be finalized during the actual move) which will determine the actual charges you are required to pay.
- You should understand that non-binding estimates are often inaccurate. Actual charges may be more than the estimate.
- You can request the mover to give you the availability of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates.
His final schedule will depend on the number of customers he is serving so he cannot give you an exact date but only a window of time that he will do the job.
Therefore, you need to give him some allowance. But request him to give you at least a reasonable time frame.
- You must ask your mover about his responsibility for loss or damage regarding your belongings.
Ask him to explain to you anything that is unclear, and be sure to understand everything before you let him go. In addition, ask him to explain the difference between actual insurance and valuation.
- The person representing the mover must clarify whether he is working for the mover or a household goods broker.
There is a great difference between the two. A mover’s business is to actually transport items from one place to another, while a household goods broker only arranges for the transportation.
The broker has no authority to give you a moving estimate on behalf of a moving company. If he gives you an estimate, it is not binding to the actual mover; therefore you will be left in a bind.
Moreover, a broker is not held responsible for any loss or damage to your belongings.