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. You can download the PDF of the document below.
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
What are the Key Takeaways from the ‘Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move’ Content?
- 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.