by Attorney General Roy Cooper
Every year, millions of Americans pack up and change addresses, and most of those moves take place between May and September. If you’re planning a move, learn what you can do to make it as smooth as possible.
There are many reputable moving companies and a good mover can be a great help. But there are some who will try to take more than just your furniture for a ride. You’ve probably heard horror stories about moves gone wrong. The truck arrives at your new home, but the movers demand that you pay $2,000 more than you expected. Once the movers start carrying in furniture, you notice a new scratch on your kitchen table. Perhaps you start unpacking boxes only to find chipped glasses and broken dishes. Maybe some of your belongings never arrive at all.
To protect yourself from common moving woes, research your choice of mover, communicate upfront with the company about the move, and know what your rights are if something goes wrong.
There are two basic types of moves and each is regulated differently. An interstate move is a move from one state to another and is regulated primarily by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In an interstate move, your mover may provide you with an estimate of total charges, or a guaranteed total price.
An intrastate move takes place entirely within the borders of a single state, like a move from Asheville to Wilmington. The North Carolina Utilities Commission regulates movers within our state and sets the maximum rate levels that movers are allowed to charge. Within those approved levels, intrastate movers can offer lower rates, so shopping around may save you money. The cost of both interstate and intrastate moves are based on mileage, weight, the number of boxes the mover packs for you and any special services you need.
Whether you're moving across town, across North Carolina or across the country, keep the following tips in mind:
- Check out the moving company. Ask friends for recommendations. While most moving companies operate legitimately, some do not. If you have any doubt about a company=s credentials, check them out before you do business.
- For interstate moves, ask for the movers= Motor Carrier number and then check with the U.S. Department of Transportation=s Licensing and Insurance Division 1-888-368-7238 to make sure the mover is registered and insured.
- For intrastate moves, ask the moving company for its North Carolina Utilities Commission Certificate number and then call the Utilities Commission at (919) 733-7766 to see if they have complaints on file against the company.