Knowing what your Mover Must Provide You

Article posted by on June 12, 2017

By Jeff Walker

Over the course of the next several articles, we’ll be breaking down the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities when you Move”.  While it’s not complicated, it’s a must read for anyone hiring a moving company to mover their belongings and breaks down what each party can expect of the other.  In addition, we’ll be going into details that the booklet doesn’t in order to clarify why certain rules exist.

Your mover is required by law to give you certain things when you meet them for the first time. The first item is a written estimate.  If you’ve done your homework, then you know recommends you get three in-home estimates.  In home estimates are more accurate and insure that your mover doesn’t come back later and tell you that you have more stuff than you told them, because they performed the survey of your goods.

The second thing you should receive from your broker is the booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities when you Move”.  This booklet outlines what things you are responsible for, and what your mover is responsible for during your move.  Often times people set this aside “for later”, but for your own protection, take the time and read it.  While we are breaking down the elements of this booklet, it’s primarily for those who have not received the booklet or are engaged with a fraudulent mover.

Next, you’ll be given information to the FMCSA’s arbitration program.  In short, the FMCSA has provide you with a way to resolve a dispute with your moving company.  While this seems like a really good thing, make sure you understand completely what the mover’s responsibilities are before you take your mover to arbitration.  Simply taking your mover to arbitration because something “wasn’t fair” is no guarantee that you will have a positive outcome.  If the moving industry was fair, would not exist.

A mover must provide you information about their tariff, or their “price sheet”.  This should clearly outline what costs are involved in your move, how much you are being charged per pound and so on.  If your mover is charging by the cubic foot, move on to someone who will charge you in weight.

A mover must also provide you with their process for handling claims.  Again, we encourage you to read this thoroughly and make sure you understand what to do if something breaks or is lost.  Make sure you have full valuation protection for your goods, and follow their procedures to the letter when submitting a claim.

Lastly, you must be provided a copy of the “Ready to Move” brochure, which gives you a multitude of advice on avoiding fraudulent moving companies.

By knowing what a mover must provide you, and what each item is for, you can better prepare for your move and know why you need to take the time to look at these items.  Good luck with your move!