Moving is considered the third most stressful event in one’s lifetime (after a death in the family and a divorce). That’s pretty much when we add the fact that about 36 million people move yearly. Unfortunately, there are moving companies, large and small, that go too far, crossing any possible boundaries that they can without being held responsible – from the rude and unprofessional attitude to overcharging and outright stealing.
As we are dedicated to providing in-depth moving tips and guides, this time we will say a few words about how to file a complaint against a rogue moving company. Making a call will make a difference. Of course, you are probably already frustrated because of the fact that you have been hooked by some scam movers and the last thing you want is this horror to continue, but filing a complaint against your mover is your right and a matter of responsibility too.
File a Complaint against A Mover with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The first and most important step you have to take is to inform the U.S. Department of Transportation. You can file a complaint against a mover in cases such as: unlicensed or uninsured operating status, final overcharging (over 110% of a non-binding estimate), incidents of damaged or stolen items, failure to keep the agreed time frame of the move, etc.
You can file a complaint through the Household Goods Consumer Complaint form easy and fast. You have to fill in the form with:
- Your name, address, and telephone number
- Name, address, and telephone number of the mover/broker
- Bill of Lading Number
- Origin and destination of your shipment
- Mover’s DOT number and MC number
- Specific violations claim
Another option is to call the hotline at (888) 368-7238. The operation hours are Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm EST. A qualified government representative will assist you with the filing of the complaint against a mover.
Once your complaint against a mover has been entered into FMCSA’s consumer complaint database, it is used for analytical and statistical purposes. Your complaint will be noted in the carrier’s public record. And if the FMCSA decides to take measures against the mover in accordance to your complaint letter, they may reach you for more information.
If you are dealing with issues concerning hazardous materials, you must, by all means, inform the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration immediately. You can call their emergency line at (800) 424-8802, or file an incident report through their online reporting tool.
Filing a Complaint against a Moving Company with the American Moving & Storage Association
You can also file a complaint against a moving company at the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) website through their “submit complaint” section, but only in cases of shipment delay or moving service performance.
If you are going to file a complaint against a moving company concerning lost or damaged items during your move, or overcharging (in excess of 110% of a non-binding estimate), you have to do it through the Request for Arbitration form within the AMSA Household Goods Dispute Settlement Program. However, have in mind that the arbitration program is paid, and the administrative fee depends on the amount of the claim.
Filing a complaint against a mover is up to you. Just beware that AMSA is not a governmental institution and cannot put the moving company under any obligation to undertake any action in order to solve the particular issue. Here is some more information on the moving associations.
Filing a Complaint against a Mover with the BBB
Another option for you to resolve an issue with a moving company is to complain against a mover within the Better Business Bureau program through their online complaint section, or to go to their nearest office. This works best with accredited BBB moving companies. The dispute settlement procedure involves a few steps.
After filing a complaint against a moving company, BBB sends the record to the company within two days. Next, the mover will be requested to reply within a 14-day deadline. If an acknowledgment is not received, a second request will be sent. A BBB representative will contact you to inform you about the moving company response (or the lack of it). Complaints against movers within BBB are usually settled in 30 business days.
In order to file a complaint letter concerning discrimination claims about the quality of safety measures, or the legitimate services within the BBB, you have to fill out your contact information, the mover’s information and the particular violation details. Once again, the BBB organization cannot oblige movers to undertake any particular actions concerning reimbursement, as this is not a governmental institution.
A Notice to the Local Public Utilities Commission
Do not forget to send a notice to the local Public Utilities Commission for any kind of safety violations. Make sure that you keep a copy of all documents such as receipts, moving service agreements and contracts, and the mover’s contact information.
Write a Moving Company Review
Another important step to do, is to write a review on your company online. Here at My Moving Reviews, you can write your moving review and submit it to the public. The moving company can reply to your review and present its side of the story. If you resolve your issues with the company or agree on a settlement, you can always request your moving review to be removed.
Contact the Attorney General
It is highly recommended to contact the local Attorney General for additional help. Here is the full contact list of Attorneys General to whom you may lodge a complaint. Contact the one in your state.
Small Claims Court
If you are unhappy with the resolution of your claim with the moving company or you are unable to resolve your argument with the mover, you can also seek resolution in court.
Resolve Your Issue by Communicating with Your Mover
The best way to resolve your problems with the company is to contact them and to try to straighten everything up. Don’t get angry or aggressive. You want practical results, not a defensive employee from the moving company. The mover should compensate you in accordance to the moving valuation you’ve agreed upon prior to your move.
If you have any other questions, ask the experts at My Moving Reviews. We are always dedicated to providing you the best moving tips and tricks to relocate easier and smoother.
Posted on Apr 12, 2012; Last updated: May 31, 2014
Topics: Paperwork & Regulation