Many people opt for hiring professional movers since it provides you with a safe, fast, and efficient relocation. Moving is a very expensive process – not only in terms of finances but also time and mental strength. For this reason, relying on professional help is of immense importance and it requires careful preparation to choose a reputable company in California. However, unexpected accidents can happen no matter how much time you spent researching for the most reliable and professional moving company. Oftentimes, it is just an honest mistake or a misunderstanding, but in some cases, people fall victim to inadmissible mistakes or even fraudulent movers. That is why it is essential you learn how to settle disputes with movers in California. And if you immediately need a licensed, affordable, and reputable company, Southern California movers are a great solution for avoiding unpleasant experiences.
Top reasons for disputes with movers
Problems with movers are especially common when it comes to long-distance moving. Then, it is even more important to find a reliable company such as long distance movers Orange County CA. A smart way to prepare for disputes that might occur with your California movers is by knowing what can go wrong. This allows you to be ready with a plan B in case of mistakes, accidents, and potential disputes. Therefore, we have prepared for you a list of some of the most common situations that cause disputes with movers.
1. Late delivery of belongings
When delivery of your items is late it simply means you are not getting the service you’ve paid for. Nowadays, it is a problem that occurs quite often, but it can become a big dispute if the company is the one causing the issue. Try to resolve the situation directly with the moving company and make sure that the contract defines the liability of the company in such cases. Keep in mind that the company may have encountered unexpected issues which they will soon fix.
2. Lost or damaged items.
This is probably the most common reason why clients file complaints and lawsuits against moving companies. Sure, there is always a chance that it was an honest mistake. Nonetheless, companies should always assume liability for the value of items they are moving. Make sure you get moving insurance beforehand because, with insurance and the list of items that are missing or damaged, the complaint process will be less stressful. If you are moving items that are especially fragile or expensive, such as a piano – they require special professional attention. Entrust this job to piano movers Orange County CA, and it will prove to be a smart decision.
3. Movers are late or simply don’t appear.
Call the company. It might be that they encountered a problem: an accident, flat tire, traffic jam, or some mechanical problem. These things happen, so you shouldn’t jump to conclusions and overreact. If this is the case, you will solve the issue quickly and everything will be fine. If not, and you just found out you have business with fraudulent movers, you should file a lawsuit.
4. Unexpected fees.
You should never accept unreasonable and unexpected fees. Never accept anything that is not in the contract everybody agreed on and signed before the move. We recommend you insist on having binding estimates when signing a contract so you can avoid additional charges.
5. Putting undeliverable items in storage.
Sometimes companies store items that they tried to deliver early and the client wasn’t at home. Ask your chosen company about this because some moving companies developed a scam to make more money. They will often make the items ”undeliverable” and store them in the storage facilities that they own themselves. This way they are collecting the storage fees and taking more money from customers.
6. Sheer stealing of belongings.
It happens that movers refuse to deliver belongings to their customers. In this case, you have to take legal action against the company. But first of all, you should file a claim with the company itself with proof they have your belonging and refuse to deliver them.
Different ways to settle disputes with movers in California
Mistakes happen to those who work, and no amount of preparation or success can prevent businesses to make them from time to time. This is why you need to be patient and have a friendly approach – especially when dealing with people. Losing control or being angry won’t help anyone and may even cause more disputes than you had at the beginning. But at the same time, don’t forget that your rights have to be honored and there are ways you can ensure that happens. Indeed, you should do your best to avoid hiring fraudulent movers, but that alone won’t be enough to avoid disputes altogether. That is why you should know about the different available options when it comes to settling disputes with moving companies.
Know mover’s responsibilities and your rights
The Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) has prepared a booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. Knowing what you can expect from hiring professional movers and what are your rights will help you to know how to settle disputes with movers in California. This will help you ensure that your rights are honored in some cases when you weren’t even aware they were not.
Check your contract beforehand
It is of crucial importance you understand your moving contract and don’t sign it until every T is crossed and I is dotted. For example, if a dispute arises with moving expenses, check your contract to see whether there is a moving estimate specified. If you decided to file a complaint, there is a time limit for that and it’s defined in the contract. In any case, you should notify the company first and try to resolve the issue directly with them.
File a complaint
If you couldn’t settle the dispute directly with the moving company, there are other options at your disposal. In case of an interstate move, you can bring your case to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can do this over the phone or online. In the case of in-state moves, the regulatory agency for California is the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Household Goods and Services in Sacramento. Another option is Better Business Bureau which works on fostering fair relationships between consumers and clients. After filling a complaint, BBB contacts the moving company on your behalf.
File a lawsuit
In this situation, local courts have jurisdiction because moving companies are not regulated by the state. What you should look at if you’re thinking about contacting a lawyer is how much money is involved. For example, if the damage movers caused is around $100 hiring a lawyer and paying legal fees is going to result in losing money. However, if a lot of money is involved, hiring a lawyer may be a good idea.
Have a friendly approach
The best way to settle disputes with movers in California, or any dispute for that matter, is with a friendly approach. To solve the issue like a professional, show that you are willing to work on finding the best solution. Oftentimes, it’s all just a result of a human mistake or a misunderstanding. If not, and you are up against a fraudulent moving company, you have reputable associations at your disposal to help. Therefore, there is no need to panic, everything is going to be alright in the end.