Law Offices of Michael Garcia
Transportation law  •  Tariff Publishing  •  Regulatory Compliance  •  Consumer Protection
Consumer Protection Information:
Long distance moving service options:

Option 1: Full service all inclusive moving from a nationally known major van line.

The top of the line service in the moving industry is a full service all inclusive move performed by a nationally known major van line.  Generally, the major van lines perform quality services with the highest degree of professionalism and will charge a premium for their services. They will send a representative to your home to provide an estimate, send a team of movers in matching uniforms to do all the packing in your home, transport your goods in shiny new trucks, provide full insurance coverage for any loss or damages, and deliver quickly on a guaranteed date. The nationally known major van line is a good choice for consumers who don't want to lift a finger during their move, receive white glove services, and don't mind paying a premium price.

Option 2: Regional independent moving company and/or moving broker offering á la carte services at discounted pricing.

A great alternative to hiring a nationally known major van line is to use the services of a moving broker working with a network smaller independent regional moving companies. Many of the regional independent moving companies in the broker's network offer á la carte moving services. Typically moving brokers provide written estimates based upon a specific list of á la carte moving services and items to be moved. Consumers can choose to save money by selecting the service options they want.  For example a consumer may wish to choose to perform their own packing, or select the longer ground delivery window instead of an expedited or guaranteed delivery service option. Services are generally offered at a lower cost since the consumer may choose to do some of the work themselves, the broker searches its network for a moving company who has availability on that date, and the property would be consolidated with other shipments on the same truck for transport.

Using the services of a regional independent moving company from a moving broker's network can result in great cost savings. However, consumers need to be aware that prices are quoted based upon a specific list of services.  Any deviation or additions to the services ordered can result in price increases - sometimes dramatic price increases.  For example, a price quote could be issued based upon moving 150 specified items with no packing services included.  If however, on the day the mover arrives for the pick-up the customer adds 30 additional boxes to be moved and also needs the movers to finish some of the packing the price will increase. Consumers hiring a regional independent moving company from a broker's network can save a great deal of money, but should have a very clear understanding of what services are and are not included in the price.  Any extra service or additional items to be moved that were not included on the moving quote will increase the final price. 

Option 3: Self pack and load - they drive container service.

Consumers wishing to do all the packing and loading themselves can hire a "container" service company. Generally, companies offering "container" services will drop off a large container at your home. It is up to you to perform all the packing and loading of the container yourself. Once you have completed the packing and loading the company will pick up the container and deliver it to your new home where you will unload and unpack.

Container services are good alternatives for people who do not need any assistance with packing or loading of their property. Container service companies charge based upon the size of the container rented, the distance the container is transported, and the days you keep the container in your possession.  Consumers need to be aware that container services may not offer insurance coverage for any damage or breakage of the property moved since it is self-packed.  Additionally, container moving services for long distance moves are not regulated by the government and therefore a consumer is not protected by the moving industry consumer protection laws - such as requirements for licensing, cargo insurance coverage, and price increase limits.

Option 4: Complete do it yourself rent-a-truck moving.

The least expensive option in moving is a do it yourself move. Consumers choosing this option will rent a truck from a rental company and do all the packing, loading, and driving themselves.  Keeping in mind that moving is excruciatingly hard work, this is a good option if you have friends and family who can help and you don't mind taking on all the responsibility and stress for completing the move.

Costs associated with a self-service rent a truck move includes the costs of the rental truck, per mile charge, fuel charge, packing supplies, your time in driving, and in some cases pizza and beer for your "volunteers."

Transportation law  •  Tariff Publishing  •  Regulatory Compliance  •  Consumer Protection
"Understand the law, enforce your rights, and protect your property."
Michael Garcia, Attorney at Law
Copyright © 2011 Law Offices of Michael Garcia All Rights Reserved
By using this website you agree to the terms and conditions for the use of this site.
The Law Offices of Michael Garcia specializes in interstate and intrastate transportation law and the representation of household goods moving companies and consumers in actions against moving companies. His practice focuses on regulatory compliance and training, tariff and contract requirements, and consumer protection laws. Mr. Garcia's practice has a strong emphasis on training in order to avoid litigation and regulatory actions by educating moving companies to operate in compliance with the law and to protect consumers.

Moving Company Laws  Regulatory Compliance:

Moving company representation: Mr. Garcia's regulatory compliance practice includes training, drafting of shipping documents (bill of lading, order for service, binding estimate, non-binding estimate, etc.). Mr. Garcia's firm publishes custom interstate moving company tariffs in compliance with FMCSA and STB regulations. Mr. Garcia's firm also represents moving companies in regulatory actions and civil lawsuits against moving companies.

Lawsuit Against Moving Company:

Consumer representation: Mr. Garcia's represents consumers in lawsuits against moving companies and in arbitration. Lawsuits against moving companies may include damages to property, breach of contract, tariff or regulatory violations, and hostage loads. 

Mr. Garcia is admitted to practice before all state courts in California; and the United States District Court Northern District of California. He frequently represents motor carriers in administrative actions before the United States DOT FMCSA Eastern, Southern, Midwestern, and Western Service Centers.

The information contained on this website is designed for informational purposes only. Nothing on this website is designed or intended to constitute legal advice. Federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the moving industry change frequently and may be interpreted differently by different people. If you need specific legal advice you should consult Mr. Garcia directly or a representative from the US DOT.
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Law Offices of Michael Garcia
Contact information and mailing address:
7676 Hazard Center Drive,  5th Floor
San Diego, California 92108
Telephone: 1-877-299-0550
Fax: 1-877-845-6048