Moving anytime soon? Moved recently?
Every year, 40 million people move in this country. That's why moving companies are one of the most inquired industries in the Better Business Bureau marketplace.
Just ask one Tampa Bay-area woman. She did her research, but her stuff still didn't show up a month later.
Marianne Morisette, originally from Sarasota, now lives in North Carolina.
And while she's made it there safely, all of her possessions have not.
“The whole series was for pick up on June 1, then it would go into storage until June 8," Morisette said. "My belongings were to arrive between June 11 to June 15."
10Investigates spoke with Morisette some five weeks after First Class Moving Systems says her items would arrive.
“It was over $6,000 for furniture that was supposed to arrive a month ago,” Morisette said.
Now, she did receive some boxes: a mattress, bedside tables and a dining room table.
"But they did not bring parts to put together the table or a single chair to go with that table," Morisette said.
She claims the boxes and mattress were damaged by water.
"You feel helpless," Morisette said.
Resources: 5 hidden costs of moving
So where is his furniture and why is it taking so long?
Morisette says the company told her this is a busy time of year and there is a shortage of drivers.
The company tells me:
“Providing great customer service is our top priority and we regret that our efforts fell short in this case. We are working hard to resolve this matter as quickly, fairly and efficiently as possible.” -Chris Hunt, CEO of First Class Moving Systems Inc, said in a statement
“Summertime is always the busiest time of the year for movers so they will have a lot more moves going on," said Bryan Oglesby with the Better Business Bureau of West Florida. "One of the questions to ask, 'I know it’s moving season, do you have an adequate amount of drivers? Do you have past consumers you’ve moved recently? Can I call them?'
“Ask if those goods are going to be insured. There are going to be some basic insurance covered. But if you want the goods it’s usually covered at a very low cost so you want to inquire about additional insurances.”
Oglesby says to do research on the company -- look at their reviews, which is something Morisette did. The company has great reviews.
Morisette made the right decision and had full coverage for her belongings.
She also had her furniture just days after 10Investigates contacted the company.
Oglesby says taking out full coverage when moving is very important because basic insurance sometimes only covers 60 cents to the pound.
Here’s some information on protecting your move and what you need to know from the Department of Transportation:
Keep in Mind: Some of your actions may limit your mover’s liability. These include- Packing perishable, dangerous or hazardous materials in your household goods without your mover’s knowledge. Packing your own boxes. You may consider packing your own household goods articles to reduce your costs, but if the articles you pack are damaged, it may be more difficult to establish your claim against the mover for the boxes you pack.
- Choosing Released Value coverage when your household goods are valued at more than 60 cents per pound per article.
- Failing to notify your mover in writing about articles of extraordinary value.
- Do not sign a delivery receipt for your household goods if it contains any language about releasing or discharging your mover or its agents from liability.
- By law, you have nine (9) months to file a written claim. Strike out this kind of language or refuse delivery until a proper receipt is provided. Report loss and damage promptly. You have nine (9) months following either the date of delivery, or the date on which the shipment should have been delivered, to file a written claim.
- Interstate movers are required to participate in a dispute resolution or arbitration program to address your loss and damage claims. If your mover does not provide you with information on its program, ask for it – movers are required to provide a concise, easy-to-read summary.
To check if your movers are licensed within the state of Florida visit: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Business-Services/Moving-Companies
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