FMCSA closes loophole; tightens noose on rogue moversBy Eric Anders • Jul 2nd, 2012 • Category: Consumer Help, Consumer Protection, FMCSA, Scammers
Recently the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule that strengthens protections for consumers moving their personal property across state lines.
Under the new rule, if a household goods moving company and a consumer negotiate a revised written cost estimate for the move, all additional goods or services must be accurately listed on the revised estimate. This applies to both non-binding (actual weight) estimates, and binding (fixed price) estimates.
Many inexperienced and uninformed consumers complain that on load day their mover suddenly cited the need to increase their cost because of additional items they wanted to have transported. Usually, however, the new written estimate or addendum the salesperson or driver presented them with never itemized the additional items or the actual pricing for the services required to ship them.
This new final rule also removes the undue (and long forgotten) burdens for moving companies by eliminating the requirement that they specify who would pay for collect calls from consumers.
This stipulation was added decades ago by the now defunct Interstate Commerce Commission. Most consumers relocating today don't even know what a collect phone call is.
Finally, the FMCSA's new final rule also clarifies that goods transported from a factory or store to a consumer’s residence are not covered by federal household goods regulations.
This change eliminates confusion about additional delivery charges which might be accessed by a carrier or driver when they encounter unexpected or unexplained access or egress difficulties.
This final rule is effective August 20, 2012, unless an adverse comment, or notice of intent to submit an adverse comment, is either submitted to the above docket via http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FMCSA-2012-0119-0002 on or before July 20, 2012 or reaches the Docket Management Facility by that date.
If an adverse comment, or notice of intent to submit an adverse comment, is received by July 20, 2012, FMCSA will withdraw this direct final rule and publish a timely notice of withdrawal in the Federal Register.
Federal Register: Document Number: 2012-14999 – Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
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