When you decide to move it is extremely important to find a trustworthy moving company that will provide quality moving service. Reliable movers will make sure your belongings are delivered safely and without any damage.
Unfortunately, some moving companies happen to damage or lose the items during the move. Reputable moving companies usually prioritize their customers’ happiness and satisfaction, so they are willing to resolve any possible issue and provide instructions how to proceed in problematic situations.
How to make a claim for damaged goods
Once the problem arises, a responsible moving company will do anything to amend the situation. They will either try to locate the lost items or reimburse you for the damaged ones. The most reasonable thing to do in this situation is to file a claim, which will be a bit easier with the following guidelines.
– Check your inventory list and see whether each item has been delivered intact and do it in front of your movers.
– Have in writing what’s missing or damaged. Provide detailed description and take a picture as proof.
– Determine monetary value of damaged items.
– Save all pieces of the broken items and use them as evidence if necessary.
– Note relevant dates and specific time of each contact and conversation with your moving company. Also, add every contact information you have.
– Before filing a claim or complaint, check the company’s liability. There are probably certain limitations as to their liability. Most moving companies offer liability coverage based on weight with no extra charges, and charge additionally for the full value protection. The type of company’s liability is stated in the contract you have signed, so make sure you are familiar with all terms of the move. Depending on your contract, you can request partial or full value of the damaged belongings.
– Keep every relevant document you received from the moving company – bills, receipts, letters, emails.
– Make a list of the damaged or lost items along with their monetary value. It might be difficult to establish the monetary value of some old items. However, the value of recently bought items can be easily determined by visiting the store or the website where products’ costs are listed.
– Inform your moving company that you are going to file a claim and ask if there are any specific legal procedures you have to follow. Every moving company has their own dispute settlement procedures you need to be informed about.
– The time frame to file a claim is within 9 months of the delivery date. So make sure to act promptly and to submit the claim form within the deadline.
– Moving companies are obliged by law to notify the customer that they have received the claim. After the request has been processed, the matter must be sorted out within 120 days. In case they don’t reach out, you can file an official complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Better Business Bureau.
– In case you are not satisfied with their final decision and offer, you may want to take some legal actions and sue the moving company, but the procedure will probably take a few months.
In order to prevent similar unpleasant situations think twice when choosing the moving company. Finding a reputable moving company is not an easy task, so take the time to research several moving companies and ask for quotes so that you can decide which offer works best for you. Recommendations and other people’s experience can be really helpful for those who are planning to move. Luckily, people tend to share both positive and negative experiences, so there are many moving reviews available online. Also, to-good-to-be-true offers are usually questionable, so try to avoid them.