As we continue in the discussion of moving elders, this installment will address how Senior Moving Managers can assist in protecting one’s rights when working with a moving company.
Whether one is hiring a senior moving company on their own or going through a senior moving manager, each client has rights and responsibilities. For instance, interstate movers are required to comply with federal rules and regulations which include being registered with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). With the help of a senior moving manager one can spot moving fraud; however, if you wish to go it alone, when looking to hire a mover please remember:
· You are entitled to and must receive an estimate in writing.
· Requesting a binding estimate will ensure the cost remains same as the initial quote.
· Non-binding estimates are exactly that and final cost can potentially far exceed estimate.
· If the senior moving company you hire provides you with a partially complete document, be sure to verify the document is complete before signing. Also ensure that the document includes all pertinent shipping information with the exception of weight along with any additional information required to establish final charges for all services rendered.
· Request written confirmation, guaranteeing dates of pickup and delivery.
· Ensure the mover’s responsibility for loss or damage is clearly stated. Also request a documented explanation of valuation vs. actual insurance coverage. NOTE: Please also check with your own insurance company to establish whether your homeowner’s or renter’s policy covers moving and, if so, request full details.
· Though unbeknownst to most, the customer has the right to be present at time of weigh-in.
· Know in advance how you or your elder plans to make payment (i.e. cash on delivery, certified check, money order, cashier’s check or credit card). One should always confirm in writing designated form of payment upon receipt of goods.
· Inquire as to the moving company’s dispute settlement program which is an alternative to settling loss or damage claims.
· Establish whether the individual with whom you are making arrangements is employed by the actual moving company or a household goods broker. A household goods broker’s only job is to arrange transportation, they are not a moving company, nor responsible for loss or damage and any estimate provided by them may not be binding with your moving company.
· Customers are allowed to request complaint information about their mover from FMCSA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). To review fees for such information, please refer to 49 CFR Part 7.
· When hiring a moving company on your own, one should obtain estimates from a minimum of three separate movers. Meanwhile, never share competitor’s estimate information.
As with any service, in the event of a dispute, it is best to first attempt to reach a resolution with your moving company. However, if that is not possible, you as the customer have two options:
· Request an arbitration hearing
· Initiate legal action
Whether you are ready to move as quickly as possible or you are just starting to think about this as an option, we encourage you to give us acall at 646-820-9202 and speak with one of our senior care consultants. They will be able to assist you with making all the necessary arrangements and answer any questions you might have to begin the process. Most of the services we provide for our elderly clients and their families are completely free since we work on referral basis with firms we trust. If you are in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or the Bronx please get in touch with us to learn how we can help you today.