Pickup & Delivery

WEIGHT. Charges for long-haul moves are based on weight and distance. You may verify the “tare-weight” – the weight of the vehicle and (only) the driver – before your property is loaded. The driver will have that document. You are entitled to witness the official weighing of the loaded vehicle. (The weight of your shipment – the difference between the tare weight and the loaded weight – is the basis for determining your cost.) If you can’t be there for weighing, and it afterwards, you may insist upon a re-weighing, but you may have to pay for it if the original weight was accurate.

DELIVERY. Be at the destination site at the time agreed upon for delivery. If you are not there, and delivery can’t be made because of your absence, your property may be placed in storage. You then will have to pay storage charges, too.

Check the condition of your property before signing a delivery receipt. If there’s damage – or loss – make a written notation on the inventory sheet. Be specific! And be sure the notations appear on both copies (yours and the carrier’s). If you don’t, it could be very difficult to collect on a claim.

If there’s a box or a container you don’t want unpacked right away, you and the mover should inspect it for signs of damage. And it is important to check for damage to especially valuable items while the mover is present.

BE PREPARED TO PAY. Unless you have made credit arrangements with the mover, you will be expected to pay for the move before your goods are unloaded. Unless other arrangements have been made, payment will be expected in cash, money order, or cashier’s check.

IF CHARGES ARE MORE THAN 110% OF THE WRITTEN ESTIMATE (that is, 10% higher than the written estimate), the carrier is required to give you 30 days to pay the balance.

? NOTE: This is one good reason to get a written estimate – and keep your copy.

If you pay 110%, the carrier MUST unload and all your goods.

CLAIMS: Claims must be filed within 9 months of the date of delivery. A successful claim for loss or damage depends on your having written an accurate description of the loss or damage on the inventory list or bill of lading – on the carrier’s copy, too! Unless you note the loss or damage on these documents, the burden will be on you to prove the carrier is responsible for it.

File your written claim in a letter specifically describing the loss or damage, and include a copy of the inventory list and/or bill of lading. Send it to the carrier at its local office. If there is no local office at your destination, file it at the carrier’s home office.

Movers must acknowledge written claims within 30 days, and act on them (that is, pay, settle, or deny a claim) within 120 days. Be sure to keep the damaged property, because the mover has a right to inspect any damaged property before settling a claim.

Illinois law allows only the courts to adjudicate claims for loss or damage. But you can contact the Illinois Commerce Commission for advice on how to file and pursue a claim with a carrier or for an explanation of your rights and duties regarding a claim.

STORAGE: If your goods are put in storage, you will have to pay for unloading when they go into storage and reloading them when they come out again, as well as the storage charges themselves.

Besides, the carrier’s liability may end if your goods go into long term (or what is called “permanent”) storage. Call the Illinois Commerce Commission for details.

? NOTE: Certain local moves may not be subject to regulated rates. Call the Illinois Commerce Commission for more information and decision making guidelines.