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Can I Get Paid If Movers Are Late? Discover Compensation Options

No, unfortunately, you can’t get paid if movers are late.

A survey claims that a local move cost $913- $2527 and a state move may cost up to $10,000. But it’s a matter of sorrow that there are no specific laws in place that require moving companies to compensate customers financially for late deliveries, there are still some steps that you can take to get paid if your movers are late. It is termed an inconvenience/ delay claim. 

But for that, you need to show the legal contract with the company mentioning the timing. Explore the blog to know the ins and outs of delayed delivery, options of compensation, your rights, and others.

Last year, during my own cross-country move, I encountered a significant delay in my delivery when the moving company’s truck broke down. Undoubtedly, it will only consume your valuable hours if the movers are late with reaching your belongings. 

Often movers are late due to the distance of delivery sites and their lack of work efficiency. Besides, various factors lead behind this delay and mostly it occurs due to some unexpected causes such as hazardous weather, roadblocks, and snowfalls.

Factors InfluencingRoad closures or construction work Late Arrivals

some factors that are responsible for movers being late has been showed

Late arrival may not be a choice but a consequence. Some common facts are seen in maximum cases. That is harsh weather, traffic jams, vehicle breakdown, unexpected accident, and many more. Know some of the details-

Weather conditions

I spoke with John, a veteran mover with 15 years of experience, who explained that weather-related delays are not uncommon and how they manage such situations.

As sometimes you don’t know how the weather might be, it may create a troublesome situation for the movers. Like – when there is heavy rain or snowfall, it will create obstacles to transfer your products without any harm for the movers. Movers will need more time than they need on other days. 

Besides, heavy snowfall increases the chance of congestion of traffic which in turn becomes a huge obstacle for the movers. Consequently, the movers are late to deliver your goods.

Road closures or construction work

Sometimes, the movers pack early and leave the site timely. But they get delayed due to the circumstances they have to face during their journey. 

Such as – unexpected traffic jams due to construction works or any kind of checking procedure by legal authorities, any protest may occur meanwhile the movers are transporting the belongings from the site to the destination. This leads to their late arrival.

Equipment malfunction or vehicle breakdowns

Another important reason causing the late arrival of the movers is the malfunctioning of the equipment or the sudden breakdown of the vehicle.  It needs extra time to repair the vehicle and make it properly functional to reach the destination. 

This consumes a lot of time which makes the mover late. And it’s a matter of concern that sometimes it might not be possible to repair the vehicle early if the damage is too severe.

What are my rights if my movers are late?

Certain rights including delay claim can be claimed by you for the late. I remember feeling anxious and frustrated when my belongings didn’t arrive on time. It was a challenging experience. But eventually I discovered that anxiety only makes situation worse! You should be a patient one without freaking out and that will help to solve the problem easily.

There are certain reasons behind the movers being late to deliver your belongings. Whatever it is, you’ll have to face some difficulties due to this no doubt. So the rights that you can claim for your mover’s late delivery compensation are –

  • Discuss the terms of the contracts which you have signed with the moving company for your stuff transportation. There must be some stated terms that ensure that your belongings will be transferred within your expected time. If your movers are late, then ask for the logical cause.
  • The date and time of delivery must be stated in the contracts. This ensures the right time delivery of the products. If this period is over, you should contact the moving company. They are compelled to clarify the cause and update you with the probable time of arrival.
  • If the movers can’t reach your belongings within the time they have ensured, you can claim your damage from the company. No doubt that you might face some troubles due to the delay and it’s your right to ask for mover’s late delivery compensation. But it should be stated in the contracts which you are signing.
  • The amount of damage you can recover will vary with the specific circumstances. The charges will be decided then. Like – you can’t expect a one-day loss charge as much as ascertained for two days or vice versa. So, it will be better if the recovery charges are stated also in the contract.

How do I file a claim for damages if my movers are late?

You can claim damages if you face a moving company’s failure to deliver your belongings. I filed a claim for my late delivery and can provide some insights into the process. There is a certain, specific way through which you can file for the claim –

Go through the contract: The stated terms and conditions related to the delay and failure to deliver damages will help you to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Make documentation of your damages: You must provide a record of your contract or receipt or any photographs that can be used as evidence of your belongings before and after the move. It will help to support your claim.

Inform the moving company: Contact the moving company about their delay and any damages incurred. You must keep a record of your communication with the moving company (Such As– any letter or email).

File a claim: You have to file the claim according to the instructions provided by the moving company. State all the information that you have including the date, photographs, receipt, details of damage, etc. Keep copies of every record you provide as those might be needed later.

Complaint through FMCSA: You can submit a complaint to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) if the moving company ignores your correspondence or fails to handle your claim properly. They are in charge of overseeing interstate movers.

Go to the FMCSA website and follow their instructions for submitting a complaint. Give all the information and evidence you need to make your case, including supporting papers.

Seek legal consultancy: If your claim is not settled through the preceding processes, you might consult with a lawyer who focuses on contract law or consumer rights.

What are my chances of winning a claim against my movers?

The prospects of winning a claim against your movers rely on various factors including the applicable laws in your jurisdiction, the specificity of your case and the proof you have to back up your claim will certainly affect the chance.

To ensure the win, you have to keep certain factors in your mind –

Be honest about your claim and show exactly what kind of loss you are facing due to the delay of the movers. File a charge against the moving company.

If the moving company is taking too long to respond to you (more than 30 days), take help from the FMCSA.

You have to use all the documents that hold the evidence of your damage including photos and videos. It will help you to reinforce your claim against the moving company.

The company can dilly-dally show irrelevant causes that they were not expecting that delay and it happened due to worse weather or traffic congestion. They can try to escape the charge or minimize the charge showing those reasons but you have to be strict with claims.

You can ask for legal advice from a lawyer so that they can personally review your case details and help you. 

Otherwise, you can seek help from the small claims court or mediation. These procedures will provide a quicker and more cost-effective conclusion than traditional litigation.

Compensation Options for Delayed Movers

Moving company failure to deliver your belongings within time is an unexpected hassle, you can ask for compensation for your loss due to the delay.  Having researched extensively and spoken with industry professionals, I can provide a comprehensive guide to handling late movers. There are a few options for the delayed movers including –

Requesting a refund for delayed service

First of all, you can request a refund for delayed service according to the contract you have signed. They are obliged to pay as the contract states.

Reimbursement for additional expenses incurred due to the delay

You can get reimbursement for the temporary furniture you have to buy until your belongings reach your location including mattresses, coffee makers and so on. 

They also need to pay per diem expenses. These fees are intended to pay for your temporary accommodation and food expenses while you are waiting for your possessions to arrive. This may cost $59 to more. The location of your move and the length of the delay will determine how much per diem payments you will get.

Negotiating with the moving company for movers late delivery compensation

You can negotiate with the moving company to reduce your moving charges due to their delay in arriving your stuff. It may include the cost of movers, travel costs, or others.

What to do if Movers are Late for Pickup

The duration of your moving depends on the pickup and delivery time of your belongings by the movers. If the movers are late at the beginning while picking up your things then the whole process may lack behind.

There are still some available hopes to execute if they are late for pickup. It includes-

  • Stay calm and don’t be anxious.
  • Contact the moving company and ask for an update.
  • Once they assure you that the movers will get there quickly, ask for the estimated time of arrival (ETA).
  • If they inform you that the movers are late for only a few hours, then you can wait without panic. 

    But if they can’t make it that day and inform you to reach your address the next day, then you should make a backup plan and re-arrange your schedule quickly with other moving companies.

What to do if Movers are Late for Delivery

Whatever the situation is you have to remind yourself that being panicked you can’t solve the issue. So, calm down. First, inform the moving company, ask for an explanation of this situation, and request an update. Then-

When movers delay by a few hours

If they inform you that the delivery will be done within a few hours, you can just wait. One of the good ideas for utilizing this period is to start cleaning your new residence. Because now or later, you need to do that.

Also, you can explore the new place and its surroundings, have a walk, and explore the new neighborhood.

When movers delay by 1-2 days

If it takes more than one day, you should review the contract to see what is mentioned there for this kind of delay and call the company to inform you about the exact reason. 

Then look for your sleeping and food arrangement without your essential stuff. Try to collect your essentials from local shops. 

Additionally, you can wrap up your work including painting walls, changing locks, cleaning the house, and so on.

When movers delay by One week or More

From my experience, if the delay is more than one day and you can’t get in touch with the company, you have the right to file a complaint through FMCSA.

You can put a review on the company’s website that you are not satisfied with their service so that people might be aware of them.

People Also Asked

How long does a moving company have to deliver legally?

Within 3 weeks a moving company has to deliver legally.

According to FMCSA, legally a moving company has up to 21 days to deliver your belongings without owing you compensation. Though it’s very rare in this case, you can still get some compensation from any reputable moving company for their delay during this period.

Can movers cancel at the last minute?

Yes, movers cancel at the last minute.

Sometimes the movers can cancel at the last minute. There might be various reasons for the cancellation including extreme weather, shortage of crews, road blockage, accident, technical breakdown, curfew and so on.

What to do when movers cancel at the last minute?

Look for some backup plans when movers cancel at the last minute.

You can ask for a reschedule as fast as possible. If they can’t arrange any, then you should want your payment back with compensation. You can complain against them if the cancellation occurs without any valid reason. Try to find some other moving companies as soon as possible. 

If it’s impossible to find other movers then ask your friends and family members to help you out and rent a truck.

Will moving companies hold your stuff for a few days?

Yes, some moving companies will hold your stuff for a few days.

It is called “storage in transit”. Some moving companies can offer you this service until you are ready to receive your stuff. They can charge extra fees for this kind of temporary storage.

Undoubtedly, no one will expect their movers to be late on the expected day. However, there might be various reasons responsible for this delay. As you have to face some trouble and loss due to this circumstance. So, compensation must be offered and reimbursed by the authority.

But you should always have to deal with the situation with patience and follow the legal rules and regulations.

Brandon Pollard

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