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. State and federal laws are in place to help protect you from unscrupulous movers.
Moving companies in Georgia are required to hold a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Effective July 1, 2012, the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division ("DPS") became the state agency responsible for certifying movers and enforcing state regulations regarding the handling and moving of your household goods. The rates of licensed professional movers must not exceed those published in the Maximum Rate Tariff. Unlicensed movers operating outside the law may provide little or no protection for loss or damage to your property.
The DPS’ authority extends to ensuring that an intrastate company is operating within the transportation rules and the tariff.
When planning a move, you can check the reputation and complaint history of various companies with the DPS, 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.
Get references from friends or family and a written, on-site estimate of the cost of the move. Eliminate unneeded clutter that will add to the weight of your move. 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.
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:
Georgia Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 1456
Atlanta, Georgia 30371-1456
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 nine 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.
The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) handles complaints against movers that involve violations of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act, such as false, misleading or deceptive advertising. You may contact OCP to report a suspected violation of this nature.