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Choosing the Best Moving Company: 7 Questions to Ask


by: Woodrow Aames
01 Dec 2010

If you're looking for professional moving companies who adhere to federal laws and protect you and your possessions according to regulations, you need to do some homework before you pick best mover. Many consumers are unaware that moving companies are required to have detailed documentation of their services and corresponding fees. If you ask for written documents, you can get a more realistic look at all the costs associated with your prospective company before you finally pick a mover. To protect yourself, ask the following questions before choosing a mover:

  1. Can I receive a written estimate for the cost of the entire move, showing all charges? You should never accept a verbal estimate.
  2. Do you have a dispute settlement program? Interstate moving companies are required to offer you a written neutral dispute settlement program to resolve damage or loss of your household goods.
  3. Do you provide an order of service? The order of service itemizes all the tasks to be performed by the moving company including pick-up and delivery dates of your possessions.
  4. Does your moving company issue a bill of lading? A bill of lading itemizes all of your possessions included in the move and is a contract with your mover to perform pick-up and delivery. You should be offered a partial bill of lading with an inventory before the moving company drives off with your possessions.
  5. Can I see your moving company tariff? A tariff itemizes rules, procedures, rates, and services of the moving company. By law, the moving company must make its tariff available to you on request. If hidden charges pop up after the move, your copy of the tariff can help you seek resolution for disputes.
  6. Are you licensed and insured? Your moving company should have a United States Department of Transportaion (USDOT) number and hold current registration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for the carrier's documentation at the Department of Transportation (http://ai.volpe.dot.gov/hhg/search.asp).
  7. What is your liability for loss or damage? Under federal statutes, moving companies must have either Full Value Protection to repair, restore, or replace your lost or damaged articles, or Released Value Protection, with the moving companies setting a 60 cents per pound for a damaged or lost item. You may be charged a premium for Full Value Protection.

Did you know you had the right to examine the estimates, costs, and policies related to working with moving companies? Now you do! Go out and find the best movers for your needs.

Sources:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration • Ready to Move? Tips for a Successful Interstate Mov • http://www.protectyourmove.govhttp://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/tips/ReadyToMove-2006-april.htm#problem