What is a Moving Tariff?
By Dermound Becker
There are numerous facets of moving that don't simply involve packing and locating long distance moving companies. One of those areas is moving tariffs. Essentially, they protect you from being overcharged or being involved in a moving scam.
A moving tariff is a regulation that the federal government has placed on moving companies. It is a list of every charge that a mover can charge a customer for any service. This will include provisions, rates, rules and classifications. This tariff must be available for public inspection at all times. Moving companies are required by law to make you aware of this tariff, and parts of it must be included on your bill of lading.
The moving company tariff is required to include three items that you must know: an accurate description of that company’s services, the specific rates and how they are calculated and some sort of format that allows the customer to be able to calculate the services and the rates that will be incurred for any shipment.
When you inspect it, each section of the tariff should allow you to easily see each type of service and their corresponding rates. For example, you should be able to easily see how much the company charges for each box, for packing the box and what it will cost to unpack that box.
Now, most tariffs are now computerized, but the mover must make copies available to you if you ask. Also, these tariff books are huge, as they cover every conceivable possibility. So if you are going to check out the parts that apply to you, you may need to specify what parts you want to see. The mover must, by law, comply.
Sections of the tariff will also include information about the mover’s liabilities. This is a section you will want to take a look at. They should not only describe what the mover will and will not cover if a problem arises, but also what the time limits are for filing claims. There should be a section describing what circumstances would allow the mover to assess additional charges for certain services.
The company is not required to file their tariff with any government agency, but they are required to keep it all available to any customer or governmental agency. If the company changes its rates, the new rates must be updated or amended to the tariff right away. Only after the tariff has been updated may the company then charge the new rate.
When you are moving, you should do your homework and find a reputable moving company. You should not need to inspect that company’s entire tariff, but you really should take a look at the sections that will pertain to your move and the expenses they are quoting you. Taking a little time before there is any trouble can save you a huge headache later.