Much of the stress that comes with moving can be relieved by knowing and understanding your rights, before hiring a professional mover. Even, the moving companies are required by the law to provide their customers with federal publications explaining the moving process, in addition to their rights and responsibilities. Being aware of your rights, helps you to stay away from moving scams and make your moving experience a blissful one.
Ask for proper Estimates :
The moving company provides you with three kinds of estimates:
Binding: The final price of the move may exceed the estimated cost.
Non-binding: The final cost must be exactly the estimated cost.
Guaranteed-not-to-exceed: The final cost must be lower than the amount in the estimate.
You can select your comfortable estimate and make sure that the estimate is in writing, rather than verbal. Insist on on-site estimates and avoid upfront payment of cash. Deal with the moving company that inspect your home and prepare in-home estimates because only scammers tell their estimate over phone and demand extra fees by holding your belongings. As per “Consumer Protection Act”, it is offence to hold customer’s possessions, you can file a complaint against your mover and they will be punished under the section of “paid under protest”.
Consider the contracts :
To protect yourself from getting cheated, make sure that the estimate quoted by the moving company is a part of your contract, so that mover cannot charge you more than the quoted cost. The contract must include mover’s name, permanent address, description of their services, cost of the move, date of delivery, size and value of items that should be moved etc. Under the law of CPA (Consumer Protection Act), the contract must be in writing and it should be signed both by the customers and the movers.
Bill of lading :
The bill of lading is a receipt, which is issued by the movers to the consumer, after loading the items in the trucks. This receipt contains the information about the owner of the goods and all other estimates must be attached to it, before commencing the shipment. The moving company should also give inventory of house hold items, when loading the items in their transportation vehicle.
Reimbursement for your lost or damaged goods :
The moving company takes full responsibility for the damaged and disappeared items, during the move. All the moving companies have three levels of reimbursement options.
Minimal reimbursement: You are paid with 60 cents per pound for the items that is lost or damaged during the move.
Depreciated value: You are paid with the actual value of your goods.
Replacement value: The moving company will be ready to give anything that you declare as replacement.
It is mandatory for the moving company to specify the level of reimbursement for the damaged items in the service agreement, if they do not mention then they are liable to give full replacement value. The moving company is also liable to repair your damaged items, instead of replacing it with new one.
Claim for loss :
If you notice that any of your belongings are missing or damaged, you can file a written claim against your moving company, and the company should provide coverage for your loss, within 30 days. Once they receive your claim, the moving company will send you an acknowledgement receipt within 15 days. If the claim is not filed within 60 days after shipment, the company need not pay for the customer for the damaged goods.
Inquire the moving company :
Don’t hesitate to inquire your moving company about its insurance policies because most of the companies have policies that do not cover the items that you have packed. Ask your movers to show the storage space that they are using to store the items, this way you can ensure the security of your goods and minimize the possibilities of additional charges. Verify the license of your moving company to check its reputation. Dealing with licensed and insured company makes your relocation process easy.
Ask for copies of the documents :
Before signing any agreements, make sure that you read the entire agreement, also check no page is left unwritten. Ask for copies of all the documents you sign, especially bill of lading, which contains the entire details of the transaction and avoid dealing with the companies that refuse to give copies of the documents.
Get written “Order for Service” :
Getting the order for service in writing will save you from charge disputes. If you want to shift the items that are not included in the service agreement, then you can ask your company for “order for service” option, in which they shift the extra items for additional payment. Make sure that the order for service is written, to avoid ending up with doubling of the cost after the move.
File complaint :
The dispute with the company can be solved by writing a complaint letter to the company, explaining the issue, if they are not ready to hear your problem then a complaint can be filed against the moving company in the official website of the transportation department www.puco.ohio.gov. The PUCO (Public Utilities Commission Ohio) will help you in resolving your complaint with the moving company.
Be aware of moving scams :
Do online research and find minimum three professional moving companies in your locality and get multiple bids, so that it is easy for you to choose the right mover, who fits into your budget. Look for companies that have been in moving process for at least ten years. During peak season, scammers come out large in number, so checking the reputation of your moving company is very important. If you suspect your movers, call BBB (Better Business Bureau) and check the rating and the number of complaints your movers has on file. If you’re aware of fake movers and have knowledge about moving scams, then you’re less likely to get scammed.
By knowing your basic rights and responsibilities, you can make your move hassle-free.