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Resolving Disputes with your Mover
The FMCSA maintains regulations to govern the processing of loss and damage claims, however, we cannot resolve these claims on your behalf. If you cannot reach a settlement with your mover, you have the right to request arbitration from your mover. All movers are required to participate in an arbitration program and your mover is required to provide you with a summary of its arbitration program before you sign an order for service.
Arbitration gives you the opportunity to settle loss or damage claims and certain types of disputed charges through a neutral arbitrator. You may find submitting your claim to arbitration is a less expensive and more convenient way to seek recovery of your claim than filing suit in court. Arbitration is not mandatory for you but it may be for your mover. If you request arbitration for a claim for $10,000 or less, the mover must agree to arbitration and the arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties. However, the mover is not required to agree to arbitration if the claim exceeds $10,000. If the mover does agree, the arbitrator’s decision will be binding on both you and the mover.
You may choose to pursue a civil action in an appropriate court having legal jurisdiction in lieu of arbitration. Legal action may be initiated by filing a claim in your State and serving papers on the mover’s process agent in that State. You may obtain the mover’s process agent information in your State by contacting FMCSA at (866) 637-0635. You may also obtain the name of a process agent via the internet by following the instructions below.
- Go to http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on CONTINUE
- At the top of the screen click on CHOOSE MENU OPTION, for the drop down box and select CARRIER SEARCH, then press GO
- Type in the USDOT or MC number for the carrier
- Click on HTML
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, see BLANKET COMPANY, and click on the link.
- You will see a list of process agents by State, locate the process agent for your State.
The FMCSA cannot settle your dispute with your mover.
You must resolve your own loss and damage and/or moving charge disputes with your mover. You entered into a contractual agreement with you mover. Therefore, you are bound by each of the following three terms and conditions:
- The terms and conditions you negotiated before your move.
- The terms and conditions you accepted when you signed the bill of lading.
- The terms and conditions you accepted when you signed for delivery of your shipment.
You have the right to take your mover to court or request arbitration from your mover to settle a dispute.
If your mover refuses to deliver your shipment unless you pay an amount the mover is not entitled to charge – contact FMCSA immediately at (888) 368-7238.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Handbook