Yes, charging a customer for an interstate move based on cubic feet is legal if the mover has a provision for cubic feet charges in its tariff and follows the general provisions of the law. Charges based on cubic feet, or other volume based charges, are allowed if the written estimate is BINDING. A mover may also offer options to a customer to charge based on weight OR cubic feet if the mover has a TARIFF that allows for both options.
Federal law under 49 USC Section 14104(b)(1)(C) requires that "non-binding" estimates must be based on weight only. This section does not prohibit charges based on cubic feet; however it limits cubic feet charges to "binding" estimates. Moreover, a mover must generally follow certain requirements to legally charge a customer based on cubic feet. The following are general requirements for correctly/legally charging a customer based on cubic feet:
(1) Estimates based on cubic feet must be BINDING.
(2) Estimate or rescission must indicate that charges are based on cubic feet.
(3) A mover must have a TARIFF which permits cubic feet charges.
(4) The cubic feet charges must be based on accurate measurements.
(5) A mover may charge a fee for providing a written BINDING estimate.
Note: In addition to the above general requirements, an interstate moving company must continue to follow all provisions of federal law governing interstate moves. Federal laws regulating moving companies are designed to help protect consumers and create an even playing field for moving companies. By following the law, moving companies can avoid government fines, lawsuits, and provide better service to their customers.