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How to make claims against a moving company

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Courthouse after you make claims against a moving company

You have chosen a moving company on time, prepared your belongings for the move and followed every instruction the movers gave you. By the looks of it, you started the whole moving process on the right foot. However, mistakes tend to happen even if you do everything by the book. Sometimes, mishaps happen because of the untrustworthy movers who do their best to scam you and extort as much money as possible. Other times, it can be because a perfectly reliable company, to their dismay, simply made an honest mistake during the moving process. Luckily, Number 1 Movers, some of the best movers Ontario has, have a crucial piece of advice regarding this topic. Don’t hesitate to complain about the mistakes made during the move. If you’re not sure how to make claims against a moving company, we’ll show you how. Everything you need to know is written down below!

Reasons why people make claims against a moving company

Before we get into the details and how-to’s, there’s one thing that you should know before you make claims. Keep in mind that unintentional accidents happen, even to the most reliable professionals. That’s right, even the best long distance movers Ontario can make mistakes. Every single moving process is rather unpredictable, and can have unexpected mishaps happen.

woman complaining about a moving company
After a bad experience with a moving company, your best bet is complaining to the right people.

However, if you run into problems that you absolutely can’t dismiss or overlook, don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s a professional, reputable moving company, or some sketchy movers that have been everything BUT professional. With this out of the way, we can move on and look at the most common reasons for making claims against moving companies.

Shipment arrived past the delivery date

This tends to be the most common reason why people tend to make claims against moving companies. If your movers are running late, it’s best that you double check the delivery date marked on the Bill of Lading. If the shipment is indeed late, make sure to contact the moving company as soon as possible and request additional information. It’s important to note, however, that reasons for delay may vary and are sometimes completely out of the movers’ hands.

Unfavorable weather conditions or issues with the moving vehicle are just some of the many unpredictable and unavoidable incidents that can happen. With that in mind, don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions, and contact the head office of the local movers Hamilton has available. Nonetheless, never fail to mention the inconvenience that this delay has caused you and ask for reasonable compensation.

Belongings have been either lost or damaged in transit

Damaged goods and missing household items have managed to earn their place as one of the more common reasons for claim making. What’s vital in this situation is that you act promptly. As soon as your items arrive, be quick to inspect every box, piece of furniture, and every other item, big or small. If you notice any damage, contact your movers as soon as possible, without signing the Bill of Lading.

People signing insurance
To prevent suffering financial loss should your belongings get damaged during the transport, it’s best to have some form of insurance.

There is, however, a good way to get compensation and avoid having to make claims, and you can do it before the move itself. With your moving company, discuss whether they have any insurance plans or options available. Getting insurance for your items will provide you with financial compensation in case anything gets damaged or lost. Every moving company is different, which is why it’s so important to discuss your possibilities beforehand.

One of the most frequent reasons why people make claims against a moving company is being overcharged

Being overcharged in any situation is quite unpleasant and embarrassing, right? In the case of your move, however, this can be easily avoided. Before you agree to hire a moving company, seek at least three additional moving quotes. Doing this will give you a realistic picture of the price you are expected to pay. However, moving quotes are also called moving estimates for a reason.

wallet on a wooden surface
If you have to pay way more than you initially thought you would, it’s time to make claims against a moving company.

The price in the quote is not final and can change depending on your needs. It’s normal for people to ask their movers for moving boxes Hamilton Ontario, and this is a regular service. But, if you have any special, delicate, or very bulky items, the price will surely rise. Some movers even have special services, such as piano or pool table moving. On top of that, hidden fees and tips can make the numbers jump.

The proper way of filing a complaint against a moving company

Now that you’ve decided that making claims against a moving company is the right thing to do, let’s proceed with the next 5 steps of this process. Hopefully, you will be able to resolve your issues early on, because with each following step, the chances of solving the problem with ease grow slimmer.

First of all, your complaint goes to your moving company

First things first, contact your moving company. A peaceful resolution will spare both you and the company from stress, and it will spare you the loss of time and money. No matter how agitated and displeased you are, it’s important to have a calm and respectful approach. Explain the issues and present a solution that seems right to you.

A man meditating before he make a claim against a moving company
The most important thing when filing a complaint against your movers is to be patient and to stay determined

It’s important that you provide as much evidence as possible. Keep your cool, and stay calm and collected. Reputable Dundas movers will do their best to compensate for the damage and mishaps they caused. However, if the company dismisses your claim for whatever reason, or you just can’t seem to get a response, it’s time to take things a step further.

If nothing comes from the complaint, turn to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Talk to the people at FMCSA about the issues regarding your moving company. Present your case with all the details you can gather. Preferably, you want to include any documents and contracts you have, such as your inventory, insurance papers, and Bill of Lading. After lodging in your complaint, FMCSA will give the movers 30 days to respond to, and up to 120 days to either resolve or deny the claim.

Another option is to contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Instead of the FMCSA, you could also lodge a formal complaint about your movers with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Similarly to FMCSA, after they receive and review your complaint, they will contact the movers within 48 hours. By doing this, BBB gives the movers 14 days to come up with a reply to the pending claim. Making claims against a moving company with the BBB usually results in them solving the problem within a month.

File a claim against your mover with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)

This would be the next logical step in your quest of finding justice. Simply visit AMSA’s website and submit a claim against your moving company. Know that there is a form you need to fill out for problems such as a shipment delay, the quality of Hamilton moving services, or another type of complaints. However, issues such as loss or damage to the goods during the move or additional charges billed to you by the moving company are addressed with filling out the Request for Arbitration Form.

Person filing a claim online
Research your rights before you claim against your mover with the American Moving and Storage Association

The association will then contact the moving company under AMSA’s Dispute Settlement Problem, and try to get a written explanation of the issues that caused unsatisfactory service. Filing a complaint with the American Moving and Storage Association is free of charge.

Seeking justice at a small claims court is a last resort, if all else fails

Although very rare, it can happen that the previous steps aren’t enough to resolve the issues. In this case, the final step of making claims against a moving company is turning to a small claims court. However, before you decide to take this step, was strongly advise that you consult with a legal professional. This is important because the legal fees of a small claims case can easily skyrocket. The fees can go way above what you could receive as compensation from the moving company. Court cases often take long to resolve, are extremely stressful for both parties, and it’s best if you can avoid this step altogether.

Don’t lose hope, and more importantly, be patient

Even when you learn how to make claims against a moving company, you’ll feel confused and unsure what to do. You’ll find yourself feeling under immense pressure and stress as the legal process continues. However, keep in mind you’re not alone and that you’re making claims for a good cause. Your belongings and your wellbeing before, during, and after the move are your number one priority. Because of that, Number 1 Movers encourage you to always make claims against moving companies that do you wrong, as it is in your best interest. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone makes up for them. We also hope that you won’t avoid hiring licensed movers from now on because you got unlucky this time.