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The following document was prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). This is a must-read for anyone who’s considering – or actively involved in – a move. Your mover should provide you with a pamphlet that contains information about your rights and responsibilities as a shipper of household goods. The mover should also furnish you with a pamphlet describing its procedures for handling your questions and complaints. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations protect consumers on interstate moves and define the rights and responsibilities of consumers and household goods carriers (movers).
When you receive a binding estimate, you cannot be required to pay any more than that amount. To be effective, a binding estimate must be in writing, and a copy must be made available to you before your move. The mover is not permitted to charge for giving a non-binding estimate.
A non-binding estimate is not a bid or contract. A non-binding estimate is provided by the mover to give you a general idea of the cost of the move. It does not bind the mover to the estimated cost. Furthermore, it is not a guarantee that the final cost will not be more than the estimate. All movers are legally obligated to collect no more and no less than the charges shown in their tariffs regardless of prior rate quotations contained in non-binding estimates. Non-binding estimates must be in writing and clearly describe the shipment and all services provided. If you are given a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than the amount of the original estimate, plus 10 percent, at the time of delivery. You will then have at least 30 days after delivery to pay any remaining charges.
IF YOU REQUEST THE MOVER TO PROVIDE MORE SERVICES THAN THOSE INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATE, THE MOVER MAY DEMAND FULL PAYMENT FOR THOSE ADDED SERVICES AT TIME OF DELIVERY.