Green City Movers would like to offer the following as a public service announcement from the New York State Department of Transportation.
SUMMARY OF INFORMATION FOR SHIPPERS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS
New York State Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road, POD 53
Albany, NY 12232
Dear Fellow New Yorker,
As someone about to move, the information in this booklet is important to you. You should read it thoroughly so you will know what you may expect from the mover and what the mover expects of you.
It is designed to furnish you with the information necessary to keep you from making mistakes which could result in loss of your time and money. The department of Transportation regulates the practices of carriers of household goods within New York State and requires that this booklet be given to you. You should contact your mover if you have further questions.
The following are major sources of misunderstanding and difficulty when moving:
(1) Obtaining an Authorized Mover
Every mover authorized by the Department must, in its advertising or soliciting, give its name, certificate number and address. Be wary of any mover who provides only a telephone number and cannot give you its certificate number.
(2) Cost of Service
The cost of your move is determined by the rates in the mover’s tariff which is on file with the Department. Some movers may give you a written statement of probable cost (estimate), after looking over your household effects. If the final cost exceeds the amount in this statement substantially, the mover must, at your request, give you 15 days to pay the balance of the excess, as provided in our regulations.
(3) Liability of the Mover
Movers are not liable for the full value of lost or damaged goods unless special arrangements are made. Have the mover explain what the minimum standard liability is, and how you may get additional protection.
You must have proof of your claim. The best proof will be written notations on the shipping papers made at the time of delivery.
To avoid these and other problems, and to help ensure a smooth move, you should carefully read this booklet which covers, for your benefit and protection, many subjects and questions relating to your shipment of household goods.
As the result of a law enacted in 1992, all household goods movements within New York State are regulated by the Department of Transportation, and can only legally be performed by movers authorized through the Department. Every such mover is required in its advertising, or soliciting, to give you information about its certificate of authority and company address. These movers are required to obey the law and the rules and regulations of the Department. One such rule requires them to file with the Department, and have available for your inspection, a tariff setting forth rates and charges. DO NOT USE AN UNLICENSED MOVER!
Select your household goods mover with care. To verify that the mover is authorized by the Department of Transportation, you can contact the Department at 1-800-786-5368 or on-line at http://www.dot.state.ny.us.
Be sure that agreements between you and mover are in writing and on the order for service and the bill of lading. Consider obtaining more than one estimate and be wary of exceptionally low estimates. Make sure you understand the limited standard liability of the household goods movers. Ask the mover to explain this minimum liability and how you can get additional protection.
Notify your building manager prior to moving day if you are moving from or to a residence with elevator access or limited parking.
Advise the mover of telephone numbers and/or addresses where you can be reached en route, or at destination, or both. You may designate in writing, someone to act as your representative, if required.
Consider the arrangement and final placement locations of your furniture in your new residence before your goods are delivered.
File a claim in writing with the mover if you determine that your shipment has sustained loss or damage.
Expect the mover to provide boxes, cartons, wardrobes, or other packaging materials, free of charge.
Plan to leave your old residence until the moving company leaves. If you are unable to be present, designate someone to act on your behalf.
Fail to make a final check to be certain all items to be moved have been loaded.
Fail to make arrangements to have available, in cash, or certified check, or money order the maximum amount shown on the order for service unless credit has been arranged for in advance.
Don’t sign any receipt for your household goods until you are certain no items remain on the truck.
Expect the mover to provide clean-up service, disconnection and re-installation of appliances, fixtures, etc., free of charge.
ORDER FOR SERVICE- WHAT IS IT?
The mover will prepare an order for service which you and the mover must sign before the shipment is picked up. This document must contain the following information:
(1) Shipper’s name, address, and telephone number.
(2) Consignee’s name, address, and telephone number.
(3) Name, address, and telephone number of the carrier’s delivery agent or, if the shipment is to be interlined, the name, address, and telephone number of the delivery carrier.
(4) Agreed pickup time and date and agreed delivery time and date or in lieu of specific dates, the period of time within which pickup, delivery, or the entire move, will be accomplished.
(5) Complete description of special services ordered.
BILL OF LADING DOCUMENT – WHAT IS IT?
The mover will issue to you a bill of lading at time of pickup. This document is important as it serves as a receipt for your goods and represents the contract between you and the mover.
The driver will ask you to initial the start and finish times. The start time will usually be the time the movers arrive at your old address and start to load. The finish will be the time they finish the job and leave your new address. An additional travel time charge will be added to cover the time spent traveling from the mover=s terminal to your old address, and back to the terminal from your new address. For some movers, the starting time shown is the time the crew left the terminal to go to your old address and the finishing time to return to the terminal after finishing the job. In that case, there should be no charge for travel time.
HOW MUCH SHOULD IT COST YOU TO MOVE?
The cost of your transportation is generally determined in three ways:
(1) For hourly rated moves, the charge is based upon the time it takes to do the job; including travel to and from your residences. The mover will quote an hourly rate for a van and a number of workers. Factors such as weather, traffic conditions, moving van accessibility, etc., as well as your own Readiness will have an impact on the cost of your move. For any additional services, such as packing, rigging, storage, etc., there will be additional charges.
If you have not made arrangements with the mover for credit, the mover will insist on payment of the actual charge in cash, or by certified check or money order. If the actual charges exceed the probable cost), you may defer payment of part of the excess as follows:
If the total charges exceed the written probable cost by more than 25 percent, the mover is required, at your request, to deliver your goods upon payment of the probable cost plus 25 percent.
WHO PREPARES YOUR ARTICLES FOR SHIPMENT?
The care with which your goods are packed determines the condition in which they arrive at your new home. If done correctly, performing your own packing will save money. Should you decide to perform all or part of your packing, you should do so with care. Use strong containers, which may be obtained from an outside source or rented or purchased from the mover. Special attention should be given to packing fragile items such as glass table tops and shelves, lamps, lampshades, pictures, mirrors, electronics, etc. All items must be properly packed before loading. Should you desire the mover perform the packing, the mover will supply the containers and perform the packing, unpacking, or both. There is a charge for containers, and for each container packed or unpacked by the mover. The mover is not responsible for damage to items you pack unless there is evidence of mishandling.
Certain moving preparations are your responsibility and should be made before the movers arrive, even if they perform both the packing and unpacking. Electronics, and major appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, require disconnecting and special services to protect them during shipment. Other items which are attached to walls or floors such as draperies, pictures, or tacked-down carpets should be removed and ready for shipment. Some moving companies may provide these services for you at your request and expense. Do not pack money, jewelry, or important papers. Valuable personal items of this
kind should never be packed with the shipment. The mover has no liability for these types of items. Hazardous items such as paints, propane tanks, oil, and other flammables cannot be shipped. Consult with your mover for a detailed list of these types of non-allowable items.
PRESS BOARD, PARTICLE BOARD AND/OR ENGINEERED WOOD FURNITURE
Furniture manufactured from press board, particle board and engineered wood is designed to go into a box from the manufacturer, to the retailer, and then to the customer unassembled. It is not built to withstand the normal stresses of a move as an assembled unit. Most are not designed with the extra wood structural pieces to adequately brace the unit for movement out of or into a residence, nor the normal truck vibration, even in air-ride trailers. Usually chips or dents are not repairable. Surface impressions can be made on the furniture when writing on a single piece of paper. Assembly instructions frequently suggest that connecting hardware pieces be glued in place. This does not significantly improve the structural integrity of the pieces, but does make dis assembly impossible without creating substantial, un-repairable damage. Talk to your mover about the various options available to handle these types of furniture.
WHAT IS THE MOVER’S LIABILITY FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE?
It is important to understand the mover’s liability in the event your goods are lost or damaged. This is governed by the valuation statement on the bill of lading. In most cases, in the event of loss or damage, you will not be entitled to a payment that comes near the value of your household goods unless you declare the actual cash value of your goods on the bill of lading or purchase A full replacement value protection for your goods. Both these options will increase the cost of your move. Ask your mover to explain the cost and various coverage options available for your particular type of move.
You may also have the option to purchase additional insurance from your own agent or broker.
FILING OF CLAIMS
As previously explained in this booklet, the amount of the mover=s liability for loss and damage may depend upon the type of protection you purchased. If you need to file a claim, the earlier this is done, the sooner the mover can review it. Your best proof of a claim is to make a notation on the bill of lading, inventory or delivery receipt at the time of delivery. If you should later discover that an article was lost or damaged, and you have proof that such loss or damage was caused by the mover, you may still file a claim. However, your claim is much more difficult to review if it is made a long time after you receive your goods. Unless there are unusual circumstances, a claim should be filed within 90 days from the date your property is delivered.
Under the Department of Transportation regulations, every moving company that receives a written claim for loss or damage to property is required to acknowledge such claim in writing within 30 days after receipt. Further, the mover is required either to pay, decline, or make a firm compromise settlement offer in writing within 120 days after receipt of the claim. In the event the mover is unable to do so, the mover is required to notify the customer every 30 days thereafter, in writing, of the status of the claim and the reasons
for the delay in making final disposition.
The Department of Transportation can be of assistance to you by requiring the mover to take timely action on your claim. However, it has no authority to determine whether the mover is liable in particular circumstances, or the amount necessary to repair or replace articles cannot be decided by the Department of Transportation. If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement, your recourse is a civil action in court or arbitration.
Movers are required to file evidence of insurance with the Department of Transportation. This assures the payment of any claims for which the mover may be liable. You may obtain the name of a mover insurance company by writing to the:
Department of Transportation
Office of Safety and Security Services
50 Wolf Road, POD 53
Albany, NY 12232