Moving. If you have to describe your move with one word only, how will you define it? Frustrating, troublesome, tedious… nice, safe, easy… This time we’ll discuss one of the engagements of the Department of Transportation to educate consumers on the most common moving issues – maintaining the website Protect Your Move. At Protect Your Move you can find all the information you need to know when relocating, from the before-moving advice to the dispute-resolving guidance.
So if you are about to move, consider looking over the protect your move website by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Here is just a brief inside information on what you can find on the site.
Before You Move
The DOT protect your move site provides extensive information on how to organize your relocation fast and experience a safe move. The Department of Transportation provides a database with licensed interstate household carriers. You can verify whether a moving company is complying with the Department of Transportation rules and regulations by simply entering the name of the mover or the USDOT number here. If you are looking for an interstate mover, make sure that it is a legitimate company that maintains a clean record with no safety violations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, being the regulative authority, also gives helpful tips on how you can easily prepare for the move. When looking for movers, it is a good idea to ask for recommendations and references friends and relatives. Also, you should ask for at least three written binding estimates. As an accurate estimate you should only consider the one obtained after in-home survey. Do not forget to think about the insurance.
The moving company doesn’t offer or agree to provide an on-site estimation and gives an estimate only over the phone or email. These estimates are often alluring. Just take in mind that it’s a common practice for rogue movers to give low estimates in order to book your job, but then the bill starts increasing, sometimes with thousands of dollars.
- The movers demand to pay for the moving service only by cash or a large deposit before the move. Most reputable movers do not ask for deposit. However if they do, it’s a small amount of the whole moving cost. And if you are working with a moving broker, make it clear who takes the deposit.
- The carrier doesn’t provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet. Movers are required by Federal Law to provide their customers with this booklet. So that might be a sign that you are dealing with rogue company.
- The company has no physical address and no license on their website.
- When you call the moving company, the telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company,” rather than the company’s name.
- On the moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned truck.
On the moving day, be punctual. Be present at the arranged time and place. When movers make an inventory list, make sure everything is noted properly. The condition of your items should be described the way it is. Carefully read the estimate, the order for service, the bill of lading and the inventory before signing them. Keep the bill of lading and all documents until your belongings are delivered. If there is an issue and your mover rejects to keep your agreement, you can state a claim based on the bill of lading. Before the moving truck leaves, take one final look throughout the house to make sure nothing has been left behind. Give the driver the location of your new home.
On delivery day be present to pay the movers, before your items are unloaded. Supervise the unloading process and the unpacking (if you’ve requested unpacking) of your household items. Before signing the inventory look through it and check the items to see whether there is something broken or damaged. This is the time when you can state a claim if your items were damaged while in carrier’s custody.
The Protect Your Move website gives the chance to all consumers to make reasonable choices and avoid moving woes. It gives directions on how to protect your move. Even on the moving day, it’s never late to drop agreement and to seek assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – either through submitting online complaint form or by calling their hotline at 888-368-7238.
And, you can find defendants charged with transportation related crimes at the Office of Inspector General website.
Posted on Nov 15, 2012; Last updated: Oct 30, 2014
Topics: Paperwork & Regulation