A: Under the federal rules governing interstate moves, moving companies are obligated to deliver items within a “reasonable time frame.” The time frame to consider is the one laid out in the Bill of Lading. For some movers, the first date of availability (also listed on the Bill of Lading) opens a delivery window that can range dramatically from company to company. Consequently, if your belongings were not delivered on the date of delivery, it does not mean that the “delivery window” has expired. Contact your mover to confirm your delivery window dates.
A: Often, if a mover appears to be dodging your phone calls, it’s because they have no new information for you. Give your mover time to return your message (at least a week). If the troubled communication continues for multiple weeks, contact the appropriate enforcement agency.
A: You need to contact your mover IMMEDIATELY and ask how to begin the claims process. Understand that the window to file a written claim outlined in the Bill of Lading concerning the claims process is likely binding. Go through all your household goods and make a detailed list of what was damaged. Make sure to report all claims in writing the first time — and do so within their time frame. If you suspect your mover is dodging your claim or is refusing to take your call, reach out to the appropriate enforcement agency.
A: Yes. Movers are allowed to ask for 100% of the estimate amount (110% for non-binding estimates) prior to commencing unloading your shipment. There may be some situations that may require additional payment before delivery. See the "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" pamphlet.
A: As a general rule, the last estimate you signed prior to commencement of loading determines the maximum amount the mover can legally collect prior to delivery. Rogue movers will entice customers with low estimates and later increase the price drastically. One way to potentially avoid drastic increases is to obtain a "binding" estimate. However, if you are unhappy with the price, don’t proceed and don’t allow your goods to be loaded without confirming in writing the maximum amount you are paying. Once the truck pulls away, it may be difficult to get your goods back without having to pay a higher rate.
A: It depends. Like the delivery window, the pickup date may be a window of days in which the move can begin. You should pay close attention to the terms in your mover's Bill of Lading and Tariffs to understand what to expect. If your mover promises a pickup date and does not adhere to that date, this is a red flag, and you may want to start looking for a different company.