Moving a household can be an overwhelming experience. Your move is made easier if you choose the right moving company and receive proper service while relocating.
Select your moving company carefully. Get references from friends or family. Check the reputation and complaint history of various companies with the Department of Public Safety for in-state movers, the Better Business Bureau, the Georgia Movers Association and the American Moving and Storage Association. You might also want to visit the MovingScam.com web site.
Always obtain a written, on-site estimate of the cost of the move. Verify the insurance coverage and licensing of a moving company before you hire it. Remember an unlicensed mover operating outside the law generally provides little or no protection for loss or damage to your property.
When your goods are picked up and delivered, compare your inventory with the movers’ and note any and all damaged items. It is imperative that you only sign the inventory after you have inspected the shipment upon delivery.
All household goods shipments are moved under limited liability. You may purchase additional liability coverage from your mover if desired.
State and federal laws are in place to help protect you from unscrupulous movers.
For moves within Georgia
Moving companies in Georgia are required to hold a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. The Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division ("DPS") is the state agency responsible for certifying movers and enforcing state regulations regarding the handling and moving of your household goods. The DPS’ authority extends to ensuring that an intrastate company is operating within the transportation rules and the tariff. The rates of licensed professional movers must not exceed those published in the Maximum Rate Tariff. Visit the DPS webpage for more information and to see a listing of licensed movers.
Should you have a grievance concerning your move within the state of Georgia, you must first submit a written claim within 90 days to the carrier, which in turn has 90 days to resolve the matter. If your complaint against a Georgia moving company is not resolved, the DPS can assist you unless:
- The point of origin and destination are within the city limits of the same incorporated municipality. In this situation, if you have pursued a claim unsuccessfully with the carrier, your complaint must be dealt with in magistrate court or through a private attorney.
- The point of origin or destination is in another state.
For further information or assistance, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
For moves crossing state lines
In a state-to-state move, movers must offer two different liability options ("valuation coverage") - Full value protection and Released value. Familiarize yourself with what is covered - or excluded - by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Any complaints or ongoing claims against a carrier in a state-to-state move should be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which operates under a somewhat different set of rules. In this case, claims for damage must be filed within 9 months after delivery. The mover must acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days and must either deny it or make you a settlement offer within 120 days of accepting the claim.
Interstate movers are required to participate in a dispute resolution or arbitration program to address your loss and damage claims. If the mover does not provide you with information on its participation, ask for it.
If you have a complaint against a mover, make sure to file your complaint with the correct entity. Contact the Georgia Department of Public Safety for in-state moves. Contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for state-to-state moves. The Georgia Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division only handles complaints against movers which involve violations of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act, such as false, misleading or deceptive advertising.