Your Rights and Responsibilities


At the time for payment of transportation charges, the mover is required to give you a freight bill identifying the service provided and the charge for each service. It is customary for most movers to use a copy of the bill of lading as a freight bill; however, some movers use an entirely separate document for this purpose.

Except in those instances where a shipment is moving on a binding estimate, the freight bill must specifically identify each service performed, the rate per unit for each service, and the total charges for each service. Do not accept or pay a freight bill which does not contain this information.

If your shipment was transported on a collect on delivery (COD) basis, you will be expected to pay the total charges appearing on the freight bill at the time of delivery unless the mover provided a non-binding estimate of approximate cost and the total charges for the services included in the estimate exceed 110 percent of the estimated charges. It is customary for movers to provide in their tariffs that freight charges must be paid in cash, by certified check, traveler's check, or bank check (one drawn by a bank on itself and signed by an officer of the bank). When this requirement exists, the mover will not accept personal checks. At the time you make arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover about the form of payment that is acceptable.

Some movers permit payment of freight charges by use of a charge card. However, do not assume that because you have a nationally recognized charge or credit card that it will be acceptable for payment. Ask the mover at the time the arrangements are made.

If you do not pay the transportation charges at the time of delivery the mover has the right under the bill of lading to refuse to deliver your goods. The mover may place them in storage at your expense until the charges are paid.

If, before payment of the transportation charges, you discover an error in the charges, you should attempt to correct the error with the driver, the mover's local agent, or by contacting the mover's main office. If an error is discovered after payment, you should write the mover (the address will be on the freight bill) explaining the error and request a refund.

Movers customarily check all shipment files and freight bills after a move has been completed to make sure the charges were accurate. If an overcharge is found, you will be notified and a refund made. If an undercharge occurred, you will be billed for the additional charges due.


Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck it becomes necessary at times to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This frequently occurs when an automobile is included in the shipment and it is transported on a vehicle specially designed to transport automobiles. When this occurs your transportation charges are the same as if the entire shipment moved on one truck.

If your shipment is divided for transportation on two or more trucks, the mover can require payment for each portion as it is delivered.

Movers are also permitted, but not required, to delay the collection of all the charges until the entire shipment is delivered. At the time you make the arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover about its policies in this respect.


Movers customarily make every effort to assure that while your shipment is in their possession for transportation, no items are lost, damaged or destroyed. However, despite the precautions taken, articles are sometimes lost or destroyed during the move.

In addition to any money you may recover from the mover to compensate for lost or destroyed articles, you are also entitled to recover the transportation charges represented by the portion of the shipment lost or destroyed.

On shipments with partial loss or destruction of goods, the transportation charges must be paid. The mover will then return proportional freight charges at the time loss and damage claims are processed. Should your entire shipment be lost or destroyed while in the mover's possession, the mover cannot require you to pay any of the charges except the amount you have paid or agreed to pay for added liability protection. The fact that you do not pay any transportation charges does not affect any right you may have to recover reimbursement for the lost or destroyed articles providing you pay the charges for added liability protection.


Should your move result in loss or damage to any of your property, you have the right to file a claim with the mover to recover money for such loss or damage.

You have nine months following either the date of delivery, or the date on which the shipment should have been delivered, to file a claim. However, you should file a claim as soon as possible. If you fail to file a claim within 120 days following delivery and later bring a legal action against the mover to recover the damages, you may not be able to recover your attorney fees even though you win the court action.

While the Federal Government maintains regulations governing the processing of loss and damage claims, it cannot resolve those claims. If you cannot settle a claim with the mover, you may file a civil action to recover in court. In this connection, you may obtain the name and address of the mover's agent for service of legal process in your State by contacting the FHWA.

In addition, interstate movers are required to participate in a Dispute Resolution Program which provides that certain types of unresolved loss or damage claims must be submitted to a neutral arbitrator for resolution. You may find submitting your claim to arbitration under such a program to be a less expensive and more convenient way to seek recovery of your claim. Movers are required to advise all COD shippers of the existence and details of the arbitration program before they accept a shipment to be transported. If the mover does not provide you with information about a dispute resolution program before you move, ask the mover for the details of the program.

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