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Can Movers Hold Your Stuff Hostage

Can A Moving Company Keep Your Stuff

After you sign your bill of lading on move day, moving companies cannot hold your belongings hostage for more money. If a moving company threatens to keep your stuff, contact the FMCSA and file a police report immediately.

When Can Movers Hold Your Stuff

Moving companies can hold your stuff if you cannot pay 100 percent of the charges on your contract. If you cannot pay the charges on your bill of lading, your mover can hold your items at your own expense. However, movers cannot change costs once your belongings are in transit.

What To Do If Movers Are Scamming You

As mentioned above, a moving company cannot change your price once you sign a bill of lading on your move date. If this happens, call the FMCSA, and they will assist you with returning your furniture.

When filing a complaint with the FMCSA about a hostage move, be aware that it may take a while. However, filing a complaint is the only way to hold the mover accountable for their actions. You can file a complaint online or by calling the FMCSA at 1-888-283-8255.

How Long Do Movers Have To Deliver Legally

By law, long distance movers have 21 calendar days to deliver your furniture. Movers are required to provide their customers with a reasonable dispatch service. Otherwise, you are entitled to compensation.

Can You Sue A Moving Company For Late Delivery

Yes, you can sue a moving company for late delivery if the moving company has breached its contract with you. To sue a moving company for late delivery, you must prove that the company was negligent. This means you must show that the company failed to deliver your stuff in a reasonable time frame.

Who Is The FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates moving companies and protects consumers from moving fraud. Moving fraud is a real issue, and the FMCSA helps inform clients on what to know, what to look out for, and which movers to avoid.

Understanding Your Moving Costs

The best way to avoid surprises with interstate moving companies is by understanding your moving costs:

Non-Binding Estimate

A nonbinding estimate is an approximate cost of your total move. Nonbinding estimates are not a guaranteed cost of your total move, but they should be reasonably accurate.

Under a nonbinding estimate, The mover can't charge you more than 110% of the first estimate. If you pay 110 percent of the charges, your mover must give you your furniture. If your mover doesn't give you your furniture, they are breaking the law by keeping your item hostage.

Binding Estimate

Binding estimates, also called "Flat rate long distance move," ensure you won't have to pay more than the estimated amount. However, If you add more stuff that was not on your binding estimate, your mover may charge you more.

Expedited Moving Services

You can ask your moving company to expedite to guarantee your delivery date in exchange for an additional charge. Your movers must provide a delivery window if you did not pay for an expedited move.

Moving Paperwork

Read your contract thoroughly before signing, and do not sign blank and incomplete documents. Ensure you are satisfied with the vocabulary on your moving contract before agreeing and signing.

Order For Service

The law requires your mover to prepare an initial estimate, which serves as the order for service for your shipment. The moving services order confirms the services you need with your out-of-state movers.

Bill Of Lading

The law requires your mover to provide you with a bill of lading. The bill of lading is the final contract between you and your moving company. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of your bill of lading before leaving with your shipment.

Your responsibility is to read the bill of lading before you accept it. The bill of lading is crucial, and you will need it in case any dispute arises, so do not lose it.

Reputable Movers And Brokers

Research before booking your move to increase your chances of hiring a legitimate business. Reputable movers and brokers are regulated by the FMCSA and have fairly good reviews online. Do not hire a moving company if they do not have a DOT number.

Too Good To Be True Quotes

Avoid moving companies offering you an interstate move for less than $3,000. Many cheap movers take a long time for delivery and have a habit of breaking your furniture.

Preventing Moving Company Scams

Moving can be a stressful experience, and it's important to be aware of scams that companies may use.

Here are some tips for avoiding moving company scams:

  • Get multiple estimates: Don't just go with the first moving company you contact. Get estimates from several different companies to compare pricing and services.

  • Check the company's reputation: Read online reviews to see if there are any complaints against the company.

  • Ensure the company is licensed and insured: Ensure the company is insured for liability and cargo damage.

  • Get everything in writing: Ensure you have a written estimate, contract, and bill of lading. The contract must clearly outline the services we will provide, the price, and the payment terms.

  • Never pay upfront: Don't give the moving company any money upfront. Most movers will require a deposit, but you should never pay the full amount before the move is complete.

Be aware of red flags:

  • The company is not registered with the FMCSA.

  • The company is not insured.

  • The company demands payment upfront.

  • The company makes unrealistic promises.

  • The company is unwilling to provide you with a written estimate or contract.

Are You A Victim Of Moving Fraud?

Here are a some resources that can help victims of moving company scams:

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