Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
While most of us have positive experiences with moving, that
might not always be the case. Not all moving companies are reputed and even
though a moving company might be well known all over the country, the people
sent to help you might create some form of blunder or the other.
You’ve probably also put in a good amount of money for the
moving process to be carried out smoothly, and with blunders happening during
an already stressful period, it might get extremely overwhelming. So what do
you do in instances like these where your moving journey hasn’t been as
pleasant as you hoped?
While filing a complaint seems like the best route to take,
it has to be done properly if you want any kind of compensation for the damage
caused. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place!
Before we get into that, let’s first look at when it’s right to file a moving
There can be a number of reasons why you might want to form a moving complaint and we’ll give you some of the most common ones down below:
Moving tip: When
you’re looking for movers, get as many quotes as possible so that you have an
idea of what the estimate might look like. This will help you to identify
fraudulent movers who give you a low-ball estimate just to harass you into
paying a higher fee later.
Before you consider filing a moving complaint with a third party, we suggest you do the following:
Whether you decide to lodge a formal complaint or contact
the mover to talk about the issue, it’s always best to have evidence at hand so
that you can present it if need be. In most cases, you won’t really have
anything that can act as proof, but if you do, then it helps to showcase the
discrepancies that have occurred.
These items can include anything from receipts and images to
recordings or contracts. We also suggest that as and when you start the process
of filing a complaint, you document everything so that it can be added as
evidence. For example, note down the names of the people you talk to regarding
the issue, what you talked about, and also the date and time of when the
We strongly suggest that you reach out to the moving company
that you hired if you haven’t done that already. What you can do is explain the
issue to them and come to an agreement on the problem amicably before you jump
into filing a complaint with any external bodies. Not only will this save you
time and money, but it is highly likely that the problem will get resolved
quickly at this stage itself if you’re dealing with a reputed moving company.
You can present the evidence you have at this stage and also try negotiating with the moving company if they’re being difficult. Don’t be angry or rude even if it’s justified so that you have a good chance of the issue being settled quickly.
See also: Top-Rated Moving Companies in USA
If you receive no response from the moving company or the
response you receive is unsatisfactory, then it’s time to get your writing skills
in the picture. With a large number of people referring to the internet for
moving recommendations, moving companies understand the power that reviews and
ratings can have on their business.
Write consumer reviews online on the moving company’s website
if they have one. If not, you can also write reviews on websites or forums like
Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Consumer Affairs which a large population of
people refer to. Try being as objective as possible when you type the review
and present the incident in a detailed manner. You can also add information
about your attempts to get in contact with the moving company and it being
There’s a high possibility that the moving company might reply to your review and try to get in touch with you to resolve the issue. This can become your window to communicating with them while also warning other clients of potential problems that they can run into.
See also: Questions to Ask a Moving Company to Evaluate Integrity
Tip: If the issue at hand was not as big and if the moving company gives you a sincere apology with some form of recourse, you might want to consider letting them go and not filing a formal complaint. There might be instances where the movers have just had a bad day and have no history of the behavior they exhibited, so hear them out.
If multiple attempts on your part to contact the moving
company and get the issue resolved have fallen on deaf ears, then it’s no use
waiting any longer. This is the stage where it’s best if you lodge a complaint
with any of the following:
Let’s now take a look at how you can go about filing a
complaint with each of these organizations in brief.
As you might expect, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) is a branch of the US Department of Transportation
(USDOT) that overlooks everything related to licensed moving companies in the
country. So it goes without saying that you can contact them for issues like
delivery of damaged goods, delay in delivery of goods, overcharges, claims over
lost goods, or goods that haven’t reached you at all.
Things to keep in mind when you
register a complaint with the FMCSA
The American Trucking Association is another organization
that you can reach out to if you want to lodge a complaint about a particular
grievance. A unique part about the ATA is that they have a number of moving
companies that are active members of the association, and if any of them cause
trouble, you will definitely get recourse for the same.
Things to keep in mind when you
register a complaint with the American Trucking Association
Better Business Bureau is another organization you can
contact if you want to get recourse for the problems that have occurred with
your moving company. While you can always write a review on their website as we
mentioned before, you can also get in touch with them for quick and direct
Things to keep in mind when you
register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
See also: How to Online Review a National Moving Company
Maybe you’ve tried everything that
you possibly could have and haven’t been able to get any recourse. In times
like this, there’s one last thing you can try in order to get some kind of
support and that’s taking your grievance to a small claims court.
The reason why we’ve suggested this
as a last resort is that the fees you’ll have to pay for the process to carry
out might poke a hole through your pockets. Furthermore, it could even go
beyond the compensation you receive from the moving company in the end, so it
can be a complete waste of time and money.
For this reason, we suggest you talk to a legal professional before you take the case to a small claims court. A legal professional will be able to give you a fair idea of whether taking the moving company to court will be worth your time and effort.
See also: What to do When Movers Break or Lose Your Stuff
Moving is never easy, and when it’s plagued by unnecessary problems that the movers cause, your memories of the move can get tainted forever. Whatever the cause for your grievance, if the loss done has been high, we strongly suggest you go ahead with finding some form of recourse for the same. When you file a moving complaint, be as polite as possible even if the situation might make you angry and it will be the best shot you can have.
See also: Red Flags to Consider when Hiring Movers
Are moving company deposits refundable?
If you cancel the booking well in advance, you might get the
entire deposit refunded by the moving company. However, we suggest you ask
these questions before you make a booking with the moving company because it is
also likely that some might have a no-refund policy.
What is the cheapest month to move?
Winter months are always the cheapest time in the year to move whereas the summer months are the most expensive. These include late fall, winter, and early spring since the demand for moving services is extremely low.
See also: Best Time to Move
What happens if you don’t pay a moving company?
If you don’t pay a moving company when you get your shipment, they will usually place the goods in a storage unit at your expense till you are able to pay them.
How do I get my money back from a moving company?
You have a right to your deposit back if the moving company when they're at fault. If there is not some sort of stipulation in their contract that states you can get a refund, then it's doubtful for them to give out money.
What can you do about bad movers?
One common complaint about moving companies is that they never show up to help you move. It's also possible that the company doesn't show up at all, or when they do show up, they don't have enough truck space for your belongings and try to make you pay for more. It might seem like there's not much you can do about these types of companies, but if this has happened to you, consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They will contact them and give them a chance to fix their mistakes.
Are Moving companies liable for the damage?
In general, your mover is legally liable if there's any kind of accident with your belongings while being transported by them from one state to another. This means even though it may not have been intentional, they're still going to take responsibility anyway.
Also read: How to Avoid Moving Scams and Frauds | How to Hire a Mover
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