A Moving Experience: Are You Ready?


Moving Day can be anxious experience.  The days and hours of packing and boxing and taping and lifting and straining and organizing just to get ready to transport the goods from point A to point B.  If the move requires more time and manpower than you can muster you may find it necessary to hire a moving company.  If you make this decision be sure to take a few moments to learn of your rights and review a simple checklist to avoid being taken for a ride. 

To determine the rights and responsibilities related to your move you must first determine if your move is interstate or intrastate.  An interstate move involves transportation of goods in the United States which is between a place in a state and a place outside of that state (including a place outside the United States); or between two places in a state through another state or place outside of the United States.  Federal law governs interstate moves. 

Intrastate moves are those which occur within the borders of one state and in such cases you would need to look to state law.  Click here for laws and resources governing moves occuring within your state.  Click here for a brochure prepared by the North Carolina Utilities Commission governing moves occuring within the state of North Carolina.

Some basic principles apply to all moves.  You have the right to a written estimate but this estimate can be binding or non-binding.  There is no requirement that a mover allow certain forms of payment for moving costs so be sure to clarify which forms of payment your mover will accept.  Movers must state clearly and specifically the charges for which the consumer may be responsible related to the transportation and storage of goods as well as any late fees and collection costs.

The moving industry transports the goods and worldly possessions of thousands of Americans every year without incident.  However, as is the case with any industry, there are times when things go awryHorror stories exist of people being quoted low estimates of moving costs only to be hit with sticker shock when getting the final shipping invoice.  And there are even occasions when movers hold consumers’ possessions hostage and essentially extort money to which they were not legally entitled.  If you have issues regarding your move contact an attorney and review the law, your rights, and your options. 

And in related yet sad news, Sherman Hemsley passed away earlier this year.  Most people remember him as the animated entrepreneur George Jefferson on “The Jeffersons” and “All in the Family”.  The intro theme song to “The Jeffersons” was one of the most visible yet somewhat subtle advertisements for the moving industry.  Thanks to reruns and syndication people can still enjoy George’s adventures and misadventures and see that moving van that took him to “that deluxe apartment in the sky”.  Rest in peace Sherman; thanks for the memories and the many laughs.

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