Moving companies that are planning to move interstate need to have a sound moving contract. This moving contract should provide all your services such as costs, agreements, terms, insurance, and laws set by the FMCSA. This contract needs to correlate with your tariff. All of this information may feel overwhelming to some especially if you are starting your business for the first time. However, I’m gonna break this down so it’s super simple.
What is a Tariff?
A tariff is a menu of all services that you provides line haul charges, services, waiting times, delivery windows, cost of material, and charges for bulk articles. A tariff also sets all the laws and regulation and the valuation charges which is required to have on your moving contract.
What is a Moving Contract?
The most important piece of paper in a moving contract is a bill of lading. A copy of the bill of lading must be given to the customer on the day of the pick up or move. This is a receipt of all charges correlating with your moving contract.
A professional moving contract may consist of many more pieces of paperwork. These pieces of paperwork will set out all agreements and costs so what is agreed between the moving company and the consumer is clear and easily understood. These moving forms are also a blueprint for the company employees to follow the proper directions set from the movers tariff. All good movers give the option of valuation, which is an option that the consumer can purchase at a premium rate for additional coverage if they have not previously bought moving insurance.
Never sign blank paperwork before the move has begun. The agreement should be set before loading the vehicle begins. This is set by the FMCSA and is considered a law in the transportation industry for household goods.
Before moving companies can move their customers, they usually have contracts that have been previously made. This ensures that the customer agrees to their terms of services. These contracts must cover all services that are provided by the moving company and all the rules related to those services. When a draft of the contract is made, it must be checked multiple times for missing agreements and errors. For example, if you are offering a service and it is not found in your contract, a customer is able to file a claim on a charge for that service.
It is up to you as the mover to make sure all of your services are included in your contracts. These services should also include the pricing for each service whether it is a fixed cost or a flat rate. This will enable you to protect yourself against customers who raise false disputes. If you are still planning to create a contract, please contact us for assistance. We are happy to help!
Besides services and prices for your contracts, your contract must also include a time frame and company rules. The customer must follow these in order for the move to happen. Make sure your contract has the correct time frame for the move as advertised. If you advertise online that you are able to complete a move within 14 business days, that must also be stated within your contract. Make sure that you are able to complete moves within the time frame listed in your contracts. There may be times where it is impossible to complete a move within the time frame listed on your contract. Make sure you have something in your contract to deal with complaints you may receive about this.
What can I do to improve my contract?
You can make an agreement where you reimburse the customer an amount of money for each day the move is extended. To be safe, many moving companies like to allot a good amount of time for each move. They want to make sure each move does not go over its due date. However, this may drive away customers who are looking for a fast mover. The moving contract must also include rules of payment.
If you do not accept credit card for any payments made for a move, it must be stated within the contract. Accepting credit card for some of the payments but only accept cash for the rest of the payments must be stated as well. This can include rules such as not being able to continue with a move until payment is received. You must have these rules. This protects you from fake claims by customers.
Many moving companies require payment before the full move is completed. By including these rules in the contract a moving company will save itself from shady customers. Including this will make your contract solid. If you have any questions or need help with creating a contract for your moving company, please call us at our number and we can help you with the process of building one.