Movers Association Offers Tips For Avoiding Scams

TOMS RIVER—Planning a move? The New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association offers the following tips:

The best way to avoid scams is to research the mover before you hire them. Use a local, established company and check references.


All moving companies are required to be licensed, but regulations vary; if you are moving within New Jersey, movers must have a license from the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs. If a mover tells you they only need a DOT number to do a local move, find another company. If the mover does interstate moving (out of New Jersey), they must also have an ‘MC’ number, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Check because they only list licensed movers. They also provide links where you can check the correct government agency website for license and regulations, and information about your rights and responsibilities before moving.

Get an accurate estimate: A reputable mover will come to your home and perform a visual survey and give you a written estimate or a binding price. Have a written list of items to be moved and show each estimator everything on the list to be moved, items not to be moved or other special requests. Show them all the items that you expect the mover to pack and what you will pack. Don’t accept a mover that doesn’t come to your home; any prices quoted over the phone or on the internet can be changed on moving day.

What can change the price? The mover is allowed to change the price if any circumstances change that was not included in the original price. Moving includes normal delivery. Additional charges should be expected if problems arise during your move, especially when known problems are not included in writing.

Here are some common reasons:
(a) you did not request packing and did not get all of your packing completed or added packing not shown to the estimator.
(b) Your shipment is delivered into a building with flights of stairs or elevator, and not written on the estimate
(c) Access to your residence is more that 75 feet from the mover’s truck to your front door.
(d) You have added or changed the items to be moved, changed dates or destination.
(e) Delays beyond the mover’s control; such as waiting time for closing or delivery delays, rearranging furniture or re-stacking in a storage space, basement, attic or garage.
(f) Storage and redelivery costs.

What coverage is included for damages? Movers are only responsible for damages up to $.60 per pound per article unless you purchase additional coverage with your mover. You may be able to purchase insurance through your homeowner’s policy or other insurer at additional cost before the move begins.

Movers do not assume any responsibility for:
(a) Money, jewelry or collections.
(b) Operating condition of appliances and electronics or loss of data.
(c) Missing items not specifically inventoried by the mover unless documented as missing on delivery.
(d) Items previously broken, repaired or glued.
(e) Damaged items not documented on delivery.
(f) Loss or damage to items packed in cartons by you. Items that are packed and unpacked by the mover are only covered up to $.60 per lb unless you purchased insurance.

Other important items: Do not pack or ship items that may cause damage to your shipment, such as matches, flammables, propane, aerosols or liquids like bleach. This could void all insurance. Also, make sure you receive a copy of everything you sign; ask for it and keep it safe until the move is finished.

The New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association is a non-profit trade association established in 1969 to provide education, instruction and training for movers and to assist consumers about state and federal regulations for moving.

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