According to recent researches, moving your home is in top 5 stressful situations for the majority of people. This comes as no surprise because it usually means leaving your childhood home and parents behind. Even though moving companies are there to help you, some can still be very unpleasant to work with; they can be rude or not caring about the condition of your things, and they may even steal from you. To make claims against a moving company, it is safe to say, can be a very stressful and complicated process. Bear in mind that if you have in any way been mistreated by movers, you have every right to complain.
There are many kinds of moving companies wherever you may live. Here in New Jersey, we’ve got them all. Expensive and cheap movers, short and long distances movers, residential movers NJ have them all. They are (usually) professionals who know their job, and to move without their help is bound to be a lot more stressful affair. They can help you with disassembling and assembling your furniture, even packing, and of course, do the physical work.
However, accidents can happen and some companies have excellent customer service policy, while others do not. Every professional company should be able to accept a complaint and find a way to work it out with their customers. We at Ample Moving – Movers NJ are doing our best to be fair to our customers and we offer different kinds of insurance. You can always talk to us, and ask everything that is bothering you. Furthermore, for the case in hand, we have prepared a list of things that you should do if you want to make claims against a moving company.
You want to make claims against a moving company? – Try the peaceful approach first
Your first big move should be to talk with your moving company. If you want to do this in the most effective way possible, you have to prepare a list of items that were damaged and/or missing. (You could make your life a lot easier if you made an inventory list before packing your home). Prepare an estimated cost of damage to your things, and it would be best if you could back that up with receipts. Then carefully go through the contract you signed with them (you should do that before you sign it also) and check what are your insurance policy options. Once you have done all these things, it is time to talk to the moving company. Inform them that you are planning on filing a complaint. They should then inform you about their requirements, such as what forms you have to fill in.
It is important to fill the complaint in the first nine months after the mover’s date of delivery. That is the time period during which you are eligible to make complaints, so keep that in mind. The moving company has to answer your complaint in 30 days. In the next 120 days, the moving company has to resolve the complaint. If you don’t hear from them in those 120 days, you can then file a complaint about them at Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Better Business Bureau. However, it is often enough to simply threaten that you are going to do this, that should prompt them to act in a faster and more effective way. Whether they are cheap movers or expensive, or for long and short distances, to make claims against a moving company shouldn’t be a problem if they are professional enough.
Peaceful approach failed?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
If you tried reasoning with your moving company and you failed, then your next step is to contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (or FMCSA). The Household Goods Consumer Complaint form is on their website and you should fill it as soon as possible. Once you fill out this report, after revision, it will enter their database. When this happens, FMCSA will be aware of the situation and they will have to react. Your complaint will also enter the public records of the company. That is why we already mentioned the idea of simply threatening the company. No one likes getting a bad reputation, so keep that in mind. Prepare all your documents before you do this because FMCSA will first contact you in order to investigate the issue. After they get your side of the story, they will then proceed with their investigation by contacting the moving company.
Another way to make claims against a moving company is to call the Household Goods Consumer hotline. FMCSA created this system for assistance in dealing with complaints about, mostly, moving companies. They use the information gathered through this channel firstly for assisting in reconciling complaints. They then instigate the moving company in question to resolve the claim directly with the client. However, the FMCSA will take a more direct approach, if the moving company and the complainant don’t reach the settlement. The information about complaints is also displayed publicly so that other potential consumers are aware of them. The hotline is opened Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-7:00 pm EST, and you can contact the hotline at (888) 268-7238.
Small Claims Courts
Another way you can make claims against a moving company is the justice system of America. Let’s say that you think that the moving company made an offer that you consider insufficient, or perhaps they are refusing to reimburse you all together. You have the right, as any other citizen, to take the moving company to the court if you think that they treated you unfairly with their dispute offer. First, you have to complete a Small Claims Court application in order to make the claim. You can access the complaint here. Also, you are going to need the originals and several copies of the contract between you and the moving company, the inventory of damaged and missing items, the filled out copies of the damage claim forms that the company gave you, and a detailed log of interactions between you and the moving company.