Understanding mover contracts and paperwork

Hiring Moving Experts - October 9, 2018

Along with the physical work, the process of moving includes a lot of documents. Undoubtedly, you are not happy with dealing with the documents and forms related to the move, but underestimating them can cost you a lot of money. Many people don’t pay much attention to the details. But understanding the documents of a moving company is important because you don’t want to be the victim of a scam. All mover contracts and paperwork that you sign are necessary because they determine the rules of the move.

What are the terms you need to know in order to understand mover contracts and paperwork?

Estimates and quotes

Hands full of dollar bills
And if you are not familiar with the rules of this “game”, you risk losing a lot.

The first documentation you have to deal with is an assessment that the moving company will send you after a quotation request. There are two types of moving estimates:

  • Non-binding

Non-binding estimates are nothing more than an assumption of what the moving cost will be. It is based on the estimated weight of your items and the extra services you requested. Final payments are based on the actual weight of your shipment and the actual services provided. Your mover may require you to pay 10 percent more than the original estimate.

  • Binding

Binding estimates guarantee a total cost of moving depending on the weight of your items and services you ask for. You need to ask your movers to organize a survey at home and provide you with a written assessment. Estimates only by email or phone cannot be as accurate as on-site estimates. Therefore, it is advisable to work with a local company that conducts home inspections. If the company refuses to provide you with that, take it as a sign that you can be dealing with beginners or even fraudsters. Reputable local moving company Texas will always send a company representative to inspect your home. Professional moving companies will not only give you an estimate, but will also inform you of all potential increases in your account, such as hoisting, handling bulky items, etc.

Bill of lading

Each licensed moving service provider must give you a “Bill of lading”. The bill of lading serves as a contract between the movers and their customers. You should pay attention to the provisions concerning the right of movers to limit their liability. Your bill of lading should include:

Contact information and license of the mover

The name, office address and telephone number of the carrier and third-party carrier (if your mover works with a subcontractor), as well as the USDOT number, MC number and any other state licenses must be indicated in the bill of lading. Confirm that the MC number on the truck is the same as the number on the bill of lading. The lack of a physical address and license information should be a sign that something with the status of the company is incorrect. You may even be dealing with an illegal domestic carrier. Check the USDOT number on the FMCSA database to confirm that your moving company is a legitimate business.

Signing mover contracts and paperwork
Do not sign any mover contracts or paperwork before you check everything

Your Contact Details

Your contact information (or authorized person’s contact information – in case you were not present on the day of dispatch and delivery) must also be entered correctly.

Origin and destination of the shipment

Check if you wrote the addresses correctly. If you give incorrect address and, therefore, impede the process of moving, make sure that this will affect your account.

The agreed date or time period for pickup and delivery

Your mover must specify any requirements for a fine or per diem requirements by agreement. Otherwise, only the time frame should be set. This means that if you pay extra money and set the delivery date frame, and movers cannot complete the agreement, you should receive compensation in accordance with the company’s tariff.

Cost of services and method of payment

All services with appropriate rates must be included in the bill of lading. Professional movers offer packing materials and working, secure storage solutions along with moving service Fort Worth. Any additional service that the moving company will provide you should be in the bill of lading. When you go to the movers, let them know if there will be any obstacles to parking in your place.

Most moving companies Fort Worth offer different payment methods – cash, money order, certified checks, credit and debit cards. Some movers ask for a non-refundable deposit on moving work. Therefore, be careful if the deposit exceeds 10% of the final cost of your move. Do not pay cash – in case of a problem, you will not be able to confirm the payment if you have paid in cash.

The terms and conditions of payment for general moving charges must be in mover contracts and paperwork.

Dispute resolution program

If a dispute arises between you and your mover, arbitration can be a useful option for solving any problem. The BBB and the American Moving and Storage Association often act as neutral arbitrators. Licensed moving companies provide their clients with a summary of the arbitration process. Remember that these dispute resolution programs are not free, and third-party arbitrators cannot take legal action against your mover.

Woman going through mover contract and paperwork with her mover.
Ask workers to provide you with mover contracts and paperwork before transfer.

Inventory list

Make sure that the status of all your items is correctly marked in the inventory list you movers made. Otherwise, if it turns out that the item was damaged during the move, you cannot prove that it is the carrier’s fault. If you want to file a claim in case of a problem, you cannot prove the actual loss of your property. That is why you should be careful when checking inventory lists on the day of the move and on the day of delivery.

Why is it so important to understand mover contracts and paperwork?

Reading and signing so many papers can be tiring, we know. But, it is essential that you completely understand everything that is in them. If you are not familiar with some of the terms, you may become the victim of a fraud. So, in order to save your nerves and your money, learn everything about mover contracts and paperwork.

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