AMSA’s Moving Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Program
Got beef with your mover?
The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) offers a program that allows you to voice your concerns.
The AMSA’s arbitration program allows customers to file complaints against their moving companies. Then a third party decides who owes who what. The moving company must be a member of the AMSA or otherwise have in their contract that the arbitration program applies. If not, the only place to turn to is the courts.
Read on to learn about the different disputes the moving dispute resolution program covers and when it’s best to use.
Types of Disputes the Moving Arbitration Program Covers
The AMSA’s arbitration program covers two broad subjects: (1) billing disputes and (2) damages disputes.
- Billing disputes – If you feel that your moving company has unfairly charged you too much money, whether it be for services you didn’t want or a price you didn’t agree to, then you can ask that the AMSA take a look at your case.
- Property damage disputes – If your moving company damaged something en route, you can try to get repaid for the loss.
In either case, you must try to resolve the issue with the moving company first. You should also carefully read your moving contract before filing a claim with the AMSA.
When Filing a Claim for Arbitration Is a Good Idea
Filing a lawsuit is expensive. It requires filing fees that top $400, costs for service of documents, and an attorney. The AMSA’s arbitration process avoid these costs by giving customers a relatively cheap venue to vent their concerns. Total costs are around $300.
If you have a relatively minor moving-related problem, such as a price that is $1,000 more expensive than you were anticipating or a broken couch, the AMSA’s moving arbitration program is a good option for you.
However, the process can take a while, and it can lead to a decision you don’t want, especially if you don’t know how to best present your case. Therefore, if you have suffered an extensive loss, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney and filing in court.
Even if your movers aren’t member of the AMSA, you still have a right to arbitration for interstate moves under the Carmack Amendment. Additionally, state laws may provide similar provisions for in-state moves.