So, you have done all of the packing and loading. Your belongings have been carefully placed on the moving truck and they have been delivered and unloaded. You are pretty much done with the most intense and difficult parts of the moving process. The next part is to basically look over your final documents and sign this paperwork. Here are some considerations as you sign for your belongings.
Be Present At New Location
This is the first and foremost rule before signing anything. You should do everything in your power to be at the new location before the movers arrive. You never want to have your moving crew sitting on your lawn or front porch waiting for you...that's a great way to turn an otherwise great move into a poor experience.
Of course, sometimes it is just not possible. In that case, you can certainly have a very trusted friend be waiting for the movers ahead of time. You will have to make sure they are familiar with exactly what you have in terms of household goods. Then, make sure that they examine everything closely for any signs of damage...and that they know what to do in case there is damage!
Before Signing The Agreement
By signing on the dotted line, you are pretty much stating that everything was handled properly and that there is no damage initially present. In light of that, consider doing the following first:
- Supervise the unloading: Make sure that everything on your inventory list is unloaded. Seriously, have a copy of this list and check things off one by one, as they come off the truck. Also, check for damage. If you find anything, bring it up to the movers immediately...before signing anything.
- Compare bill of lading to service order: These two pieces of paperwork should be identical. Make sure of this ahead of time, since if anything is actually lost or damaged, you will have problems if it isn't listed on your bill of lading.
- Check for new charges: On the final bill, make sure all the prices are what you agreed upon. If there is anything new, find what they are and why the charges were added.
- Method of payment: This should be listed as the method you agreed upon. Check, since sometimes mistakes are made, and it could be a problem coming up with a lot of cash when you thought credit cards were acceptable.
- Inspect for damage: You should be doing this as item come off the truck, but always double check just to be sure. If there are any issues bring this up to the movers and possibly get started on the claims process.
Finally, sign the bill of lading. If there are any issues, know that you do have up to nine months to file any claims for lost or damaged goods. Of course, you will probably want to get the claims process started much earlier.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.