Consumer Rights Ohio

By Consumer Rights Ohio. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA) regulation protects consumers and defines the rights and responsibilities of consumers and carriers of household goods (movers).

Your main responsibility is to understand the terms and conditions to know what to do in the event of a problem while looking for a movers near me.

Legitimate Movers:

Legitimate movers are registered with FMCSA. Movers should provide you with basic information prior to your move. You should expect to receive the following information:

  • A written estimate
  • A brochure or web link
  • Information about the mover’s arbitration program
  • Written notice about access to mover’s tariff
  • The Process of handling claims:

You should avoid brokers who are not registered with FMCSA while looking for the moving companies specially long distance moving companies. Always refuse to conduct a physical survey of your homes and the cash-only transactions of unregistered moving companies.

To determine according to the Consumer Rights Ohio, whether the mover is registered or not with FMCSA visit the website https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move or call (202)366-9805.

Customer’s Responsibilities:

As a customer, you have responsibilities both to the moving company and to yourself. Some of the responsibilities include.

  • Carefully Reading all documents provided by the mover.
  • Being available at the time of the move.
  • Promptly informing your mover in case of any change, like moving dates, or time etc.
  • Making the agreed payment in full.
  • Promptly filling a claim for loss or damages, if any.

Your Mover’s Liability and Your Claim:

In general, the moving company is legally responsible for loss or damage that occurs during the transportation of your shipment and all related services according to the Consumer Rights Ohio. All moving companies must take responsibility for the value of the household goods they transport. There are two different levels of liabilities.

  1. Full (Replacement) Value Protection
  2. Waiver of Full (Replacement) Value Protection

Full Replacement Value Protection:  This is the most comprehension option available to protect your household goods, but it will increase the cost of your move. The initial cost you receive from the mover must include the level of protection.  Under the mover’s full value protection of liability, if any item is lost, destroyed or damaged. The moving company is liable

  • Either to repair the item to restore it in the same condition as when it was received.
  • Or replace the item with an item of like, kind and quality or pay you for the cost of such a replacement.

The minimum level to determine Total Value Protection for your shipment is $6.00 per pound multiplied by the weight of your shipment. The mover may have a higher minimum value or may declare a higher value for your shipment.

Waiver of Full (Replacement) Value Protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than $0.60 per pound, per article. Obviously, you should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement.

Reducing Your Mover’s Normal Liability:

Following are the some actions that may limit or reduce your mover’s liability for loss or damage to your household goods according to the Consumer Rights Ohio.

  1. Your acts or omissions cause the loss or damage to occur. E.g. If you have packed your items yourself and do not provide proper packaging.
  2. You choose the waiver of full value protection.
  3. You declare a value for your shipment, which is less than the actual value of the article in the shipment.
  4. You fail to notify your mover in writing of articles valued at more than $100 per pound.

Loss or Damage Claims:

Movers customarily take every precaution to make sure that while your shipment is in their possession; no items are lost, damaged, or destroyed. However, despite the precautions taken, articles are sometimes lost or destroyed during the move. You have the right to file a claim with your mover to be compensated for loss or damage. You have nine months from the date of delivery to file a claim.

The claim must be submitted in writing to your mover. After you submit the claim, your mover has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of it. The mover has 120 days to provide you with a disposition. The mover might be entitled to 60 days extension if the claim cannot be processed or disposed of within 120 days.

Moving Paperwork:

Your mover is required by law to prepare an order for service for your shipment. The following elements should be listed on the order for service.

  • Your mover’s name, address, phone number, and the USDOT number assigned to your mover
  • The agreed-upon pickup date and delivery date of your move
  • The name and address of any other third part service provider
  • The form of payment your mover will accept at delivery
  • The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges
  • The maximum amount the mover will charge based on the previous estimate.
  • Any identification or registration number your mover assigns to the shipment

You are entitled to a copy of the order for service when it is prepared. The order for service is an important part of the contract between you and the mover.

Inventory:

Your mover must prepare an inventory of the shipment. This is usually done at the time the mover loads your shipment. The mover is required to list any damage or unusual wear to any items. The purpose is to make a record of the existence and condition of each item before it is moved. After completing the inventory, both you and the mover must sign each page of the inventory.

At the time your shipment is delivered, it is your responsibility to check the items delivered against the items listed on your inventory. If there is any damage, make a record of it on the inventory form. Call the damage to the attention of the mover and go for the agreed compensation.

Collection of Charges:

The mover must issue you an honest and truthful freight or expense bill for your move. When your move is complete you will be expected to pay either:

  • 100% of the charges on your binding estimate, or
  • 110% of your charges on your non-binding estimate.

You should verify in advance what method of payment your mover will accept. If you do not pay the charges due at the time of delivery the mover has the right to refuse to deliver your shipment and to place it into storage at your expense until the charges are paid.

Important Points to Remember:

  1. Movers must give written estimates. These estimates may be either binding or non-binding.
  2. Do not sign blank or incomplete documents.
  3. Be sure you understand the mover’s responsibility for loss or damage and request an explanation of the difference between valuation and actual insurance.
  4. Understand the type of liability you sign in.
  5. Notify your mover if you have high value items. High value items are valued at more than $100 per pound per item.
  6. You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed.
  7. Confirm with your mover the types of payment accepted when your shipment is delivered.
  8. Consider requesting arbitration to settle disputed claims with your mover.

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