In this booklet, you will find a discussion of each of these topics:
Why was I given this booklet?
What are the most important points I should remember from this booklet?
What if I have more questions?
Why Was I Given This Booklet?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) regulations protect consumers on interstate moves and define the rights and responsibilities of consumers and household goods carriers.
The household goods carrier (mover) gave you this booklet to provide information about your rights and responsibilities as an individual shipper of household goods. Your primary responsibility is to select a reputable household goods carrier, ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the contract, and understand and pursue the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise. You should talk to your mover if you have further questions. The mover will also furnish you with additional written information describing its procedure for handling your questions and complaints, and a telephone number you can call to obtain additional information about your move.
What Are the Most Important Points I Should Remember From This Booklet?
- Movers must give written estimates.
- Movers may give binding estimates.
- Non-binding estimates are not always accurate; actual charges may exceed the estimate.
- If your mover provides you (or someone representing you) with any partially complete document for your signature, you should verify the document is as complete as possible before signing it. Make sure the document contains all relevant shipping information, except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services performed.
- You may request from your mover the availability of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates.
- Be sure you understand the mover's responsibility for loss or damage, and request an explanation of the difference between valuation and actual insurance.
- You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed.
- You may request a re-weigh of your shipment.
- If you agree to move under a non-binding estimate, you should confirm with your mover—in writing—the method of payment at delivery as cash, certified check, money order, cashier's check, or credit card.
- Movers must offer a dispute settlement program as an alternative means of settling loss or damage claims. Ask your mover for details.
- You should ask the person you speak to whether he or she works for the actual mover or a household goods broker. A household goods broker only arranges for the transportation. A household goods broker must not represent itself as a mover. A household goods broker does not own trucks of its own. The broker is required to find an authorized mover to provide the transportation. You should know that a household goods broker generally has no authority to provide you an estimate on behalf of a specific mover. If a household goods broker provides you an estimate, it may not be binding on the actual mover and you may have to pay the actual charges the mover assesses. A household goods broker is not responsible for loss or damage.
- You may request complaint information about movers from FMCSA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You may be assessed a fee to obtain this information. See 49 CFR Part 7 for the schedule of fees.
- You should seek estimates from at least three different movers. You should not disclose any information to the different movers about their competitors, as it may affect the accuracy of their estimates.
What If I Have More Questions?
If this booklet does not answer all of your questions about your move, do not hesitate to ask your mover's representative who handled the arrangements for your move, the driver who transports your shipment, or the mover's main office for additional information.