North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice
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If you’re moving this summer, make sure it goes smoothly

7/22/2016

Millions of Americans move each summer, and many of them hire professionals to help. But some moving companies could do damage to your belongings and your wallet. If you’re relocating this summer, make sure you do your research before choosing a moving service.
 
Many North Carolinians have run into unexpected problems with moving companies in the past few years. One consumer’s movers demanded $1,000 more than they expected to pay on delivery day. Another reported that after a box of their dishes arrived broken, their moving company refused to compensate them.
 
Movers should keep in mind that relocating within North Carolina and moving to a different state are two different types of moves that are regulated by different rules and agencies.
 

  • An intrastate move takes place entirely within the borders of a single state, like a move from Greensboro to Charlotte.
  • An interstate move is a move from one state to another.
    • Interstate moves are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
    • In this case, movers are required to give you a written estimate of total charges, or a guaranteed total price.
    • If you use a broker and they give you an estimate, it must be in writing.
 
No matter where you plan to move, follow these tips:

  • Ask for recommendations. Ask trusted neighbors, friends and family before you settle on a moving company. You can also check on a company’s background through the Better Business Bureau.
  • Check for complaints. Find out what other consumers are saying about the company.
    • If you’re moving within North Carolina, ask the company for its NCUC certificate number and then call the NCUC at 919-733-7766.
    • If you’re relocating out of state, ask the company for its motor carrier number and then check them out online at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website, protectyourmove.gov.
  • Shop around. Get estimates from more than one company to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. Ask if the companies require deposits and at which amounts.
  • Get an estimate in writing. Make sure you get the specific dates, times, and estimated cost of your move in writing. Know that an estimate isn’t necessarily a guarantee, and that the move may cost you more.
  • Read the fine print on your mover’s policy. Always ask your mover if they have a settlement policy for disputes. Know if they have a minimum charge, and if they offer insurance on your property. Ask what you’re liable for in the event that your property is lost or damaged.
  • Never pay upfront. Be cautious toward companies that require full payment before they complete your move.

If you have problems during your move, share them with the company as soon as you can. You can also file a complaint with the appropriate government agency:
 
  • For moves within North Carolina, contact the Transportation Rates Division of the N.C. Utilities Commission’s Public Staff at 919-733-7766.
  • For moves from one state to another, contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by phone at 1-888-368-7238 or online at nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.
 
Attorney General Roy Cooper and his staff want to North Carolina consumers to get the most for their money. We’re here to be of service when you need us. Through efforts like these Consumer Columns, we hope to help North Carolinians avoid problems ahead of time.