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What can I do if some of my items are lost or stolen by the moving company?

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Asked by Brianne

September 16, 2013 under Moving Companies

Our items were delivered extremely late, some of our items were broken and two of our items are missing (a brand new Xbox 360 and a brand new Wii U). We were not given any paperwork upon delivery and we also did not sign anything when our items were delivered. It was my understanding they were supposed to do both. What can I do?

Answered by Jenna Farmer

September 17, 2013

Hello, and thanks so much for visiting Movers.com!

I'm sorry to hear about your damaged and lost items and I will be happy to answer your question for you.

Unfortunately, moving experiences don't always go smoothly. The first thing you should do is search your boxes to be absolutely sure of the items you are missing before calling the moving company. Sometimes, the moving company can track your lost items and get them returned to you. Next, you will want to file a claim with the company if you are seeking reimbursement. Your movers should give you details about their claims process.

If you cannot resolve this issue with them directly, here are some options:

File a claim with the FMCSA

This agency does not have the authority to legally intervene on your behalf; however, your complaint could prompt a federal investigation against the moving company. You can file a complaint against any interstate movers with the agency easily on its website, or by calling its toll-free number: 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238).

Your complaint will be entered into a database, used for statistical purposes and included on the company's public record. You may be contacted if the agency decides to take action against your movers. The FMCSA is only responsible for regulating companies that operate across state lines. For intrastate moves, contact your local regulatory agency, like the public utility commission, consumer protection office, or the office of the Attorney General.

File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau

You should visit the BBB's website and submit an online claim form, or visit an office near you. The organization will contact the company with your claim within two days, and the movers will be expected to respond within 14 days. If no response is received, a second request is sent. The BBB will keep you updated on the status of the correspondence. The BBB cannot make the moving company compensate you for your loss, but it can act as a third-party mediator to facilitate cooperation from the movers concerning your complaint.

File a complaint with the American Moving and Storage Association

Since your complaint is in reference to lost, stolen or damaged goods, you may be eligible for AMSA's Arbitration Program. The National Arbitration Forum administers the program - a neutral, non-governmental organization not affiliated with the ASMA or any moving companies. Requests for arbitration come with fees that will apply to you and your moving company, unless your movers offer to pay a portion (or all) of your fees. While arbitration is voluntary for you, it may be mandatory for your mover. Your moving company is required to accept your request for arbitration concerning disputes of less than $10,000. For disputes exceeding that amount, it is not mandatory for movers to comply. The forum's decision is legally binding on both you and your movers and can be enforced in court. For more information, visit the AMSA website.

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