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When is Arbitration with Movers appropriate? .:

Moving disputes eligible for arbitration are unresolved claims that may occur as a result of loss or damage to an interstate shipment of household goods for an individual householder (also referred to as a C.O.D. shipper). Claim disputes involving other types of interstate claims may be arbitrated under the program if both parties agree to do so. In accordance with Federal law and the terms of your Bill of Lading contract, a claim for loss or damage must be filed with your mover within nine months of delivery (a shorter period may apply if a shipper elects to institute a court action). The carrier must acknowledge your claim within 30 days of receipt. Within 120 days, the carrier must pay, deny, make a settlement offer, or advise you of the status of the claim and the reason for any delay in disposition. If you (the shipper) and your mover (the carrier) cannot resolve a dispute with your claim, typically involving the amount of the settlement offer, you may request that arbitration procedures be used to resolve the claim. Before arbitration can begin however, you must be sure that you have exhausted your remedies through the mover's regular claims process and that the mover has made its final offer.

What are the Legal Effects of the Moving Company Complaints Program?

Congress provides guidelines for dispute settlement programs in Section 14708 of Title 49, United States Code, under the authority of the Department of Transportation. These guidelines are reflected in the program rules.

It is important to understand that arbitration under this program is optional and voluntary for the shipper, but not always so for the carrier. If a shipper requests arbitration of a disputed loss or damage claim over $1000, the disputed claim will be submitted to arbitration only if both the shipper and the carrier consent to binding arbitration. Shipper requests for arbitration on disputed claims of $1000 or less must be submitted to binding arbitration by the carrier. Once both the shipper and the carrier have signed the official forms and submitted the dispute to AAA for resolution, a neutral AAA arbitrator renders a final decision.

What can an Arbitrator Award and what is the Legal Status of that Decision?

The arbitrator may grant any remedy or relief the arbitrator feels is just and appropriate within the scope of the agreement between the parties and within the rules of the program. In general, the amount of any award may not exceed the carrier's liability under the bill of lading. In reaching a decision, the arbitrator considers the applicable law and the provisions of the tariff, as well as applicable practices of the moving industry. Under the rules of the program, the arbitrator only has jurisdiction to consider claims for loss or damage to the household goods transported, or such other disputes arising out of the transportation of the household goods that are mutually agreed upon, in writing, by both the shipper and the carrier. The arbitrator has no jurisdiction to consider any other claims including but not limited to the following: consequential or incidental damages, mental anguish, loss of wages, punitive damages, alleged fraud, or violations of law or any claim that cannot be arbitrated under law (such as allegations of criminal activity). The arbitrator's decision is legally binding on both parties and can be enforced in any court having jurisdiction over the dispute. Under the rules of the program, there is a limited right to appeal the arbitrator's decision; however, courts will not usually revise findings of fact or law in a binding arbitration award.

How do I Receive more Information about Arbitration?

If you would like to receive more information on the Dispute Settlement Program, contact your local professional mover

More information on moving company complaints or disputes:

  • Delay of Service Claims
  • Loss or Damage Claims with Moving Companies
  • Moving Company Billing Disputes
  • Solving Disputes with Your Mover
  • When Arbitration with Movers is Necessary
  • Find Reliable Moving Company Estimates with Mover MAX

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