How to Handle a Bad Moving Experience
Everyone has heard about them. Hopefully, not everyone has had a bad moving experience, but the reality is – bad moving experiences happen. They happen so often that there are websites solely dedicated to the concept. Sadly, they also come with their own set of dissatisfied customers.
The truth about the moving industry is that it is largely unregulated. The few regulations that do exist are old. For example, in many states, unless you buy additional coverage, the dollar value assigned to your possessions is by weight – and it’s inadequate for most items. It’s typically anywhere from $.30 to $.60 per pound per article. In other words, if a light-weight, high-tech TV breaks, it’s actually worth less money than the big 90s behemoth TV that you haven’t gotten around to disposing of. Of course, the best way to handle a bad move is to avoid one altogether. But even the best moving companies screw up on occasion. The true test of the quality of a moving company is what happens when they screw up is brought to their attention. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to help resolve the situation.
Insure your move
The truth about the moving industry is that it is largely unregulated. The few regulations that do exist are old – very old. For example, in most states, unless you buy additional coverage, the dollar value assigned to your possessions is by weight – and it’s very low. It’s typically anywhere from $.30 to $.60 per pound per article. In other words, your high-tech, super light-weight LED TV is actually worth less money than the big 90s behemoth TV that you haven’t gotten around to disposing of. Even then, a 100 pound TV would only be worth $60.00 – maximum.
Talk to your mover and your home owner’s insurance company about options.
Take pictures and catalog your expensive items along with any damages
If there are scratches on your furniture, take those pictures too. A moving company is far more likely to take you seriously if they know you’re not trying to screw them by blaming them for old damages.
Stay calm when you have a bad moving experience
Under the best of circumstances, moving is very stressful. Add to that the horror stories many have heard (nightmare moves make much better dinner party conversations than good ones), and it’s easy to see why a moving customer would get upset at the first sign of trouble.
The reality is, if you’ve done your homework, you probably have not chosen one of the nightmarish moving companies. You chose a company that is in it for the long haul (no pun intended), not the quick buck. It is in their best interest to make you happy and they know it. If you contact them, threatening to sue right off the bat, they might see you as a hopeless cause. However, if you call them asking for a resolution, they will most likely accommodate.
Know what you want and don’t be greedy when you have a bad moving experience
It’s not at all unreasonable that you ask the moving company to fix the damages. But it is unreasonable for you to ask for a free move. Remember that movers don’t have to cover your monetary losses, but many will out of goodwill.
How to complain about a bad moving experience
Some customers see dealing with the moving company as hopeless. It’s not unusual for a company to see a negative Yelp review as the first sign a customer was dissatisfied. The first course of resolution should always be to contact the company. However, when you have done that to no avail, there are channels.
Warning other Yelp or Angie’s List users is certainly one way to make your negative experience known, but neither of those sites has the authority to broker a resolution. If you believe your moving company broke laws, you should contact your state Bureau of Household Goods (California) or the Department of Transportation. If you moved out of state and your mover, file a complaint with the feds.