Moving Brokers in Moving
Moving brokers are middlemen between the person who is moving and moving companies. The brokers are not the actual movers and typically do not own trucks or moving equipment or have a professional moving staff. They provide the convenience of finding a moving company and are sales people who “sell” the move.
Typically, moving brokers give estimates for a move either over the phone or on the Internet and collect a fee from the person who is moving. The brokers then bid out the job to moving companies based on the estimate. The benefit of using a moving broker is that the move could be accomplished cheaper than hiring a moving company directly.
However, there are some risks involved with using a broker. There is the possibility that the job might not be accepted by a moving company, usually because of a low estimate, availability or resources, and the customer would be left without a mover on moving day. In addition, unlicensed or uninsured movers might be hired for the job or the moving company might charge extra fees once they see the totality of the job. Interestingly, the brokers do not accept any liability for the acts or omissions of the moving company hired.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is working to provide stronger consumer protections when using a broker. Therefore, moving brokers must:
- Be registered with the FMCSA.
- Provide the customer with the FMCSA Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and the Ready to Move brochure.
- Provide a list of the moving companies they use.
- Use only movers that are registered with FMCSA.
- Have a written agreement with movers they use.
- Base binding or non-binding estimates on the tariff of the mover that will transport the shipment.
- Reference in their advertisements their physical business location, motor carrier number and their status as a broker that does not transport household goods but arranges for this service.
- Have the mover that is transporting the shipment perform a physical survey of the household goods to be moved if they are within a 50-mile radius of the mover or its agent’s location, whichever is closer. It is the client’s option to waive this requirement.