How to Deal with Movers Who Break or Lose Your Belongings

When you move your stuff, you want it to reach its destination in a safe condition. You want every single thing of yours to reach its destination without losing anything. You trust your hired transporter to perform this task without fail. But there can be some instances where they may break or lose your goods during moving them to a new location. Furthermore, the transport company may commit a crime by stealing your goods.

So what are you going to do when you come across a situation where your hired relocation company commits such mistakes?

In such a situation, having the knowledge with you for the course of action you should be taking is always handy. In this blog, we will explore practical steps that will help you deal with movers who break, damage, or steal your goods, and we will also go into a legal framework that may protect you in such situations. But before that, let’s talk about the precautionary measures consumers can take before or at the time of moving to keep their goods safe from damage.

Precautionary Measures

1. Research before picking a Movers And Packers

It is said that precaution is always better than cure, and this applies to picking reliable Movers And Packers as well. Before you give yourself the task of moving goods to any company, it is always good to conduct thorough research. Before you pick a company, ask for accommodations from trusted sources. Do not forget to check for the certifications and licensing of the company you are looking to pick, and if you are in the process of making up your mind, do not forget to ask about insurance coverage, as it will help you have a safety net for your goods in case any damage or loss occurs.

2. Do not go about moving without preparation or planning

Proper planning and preparation are keys to making sure your goods remain undamaged during the relocation. During the process of packing the goods, make a point to take photographs of valuable items. Take a photograph at different angles to capture any existing scratches or damage to the goods. Keep the labels and documents of fragile and expensive items to ensure that they receive extra care when the movers load and unload them on the vehicle. Give instructions to the moving company to use high-quality material for packing so that the chances of occurrence of damage are reduced considerably.

3. Be the supervisor

When the process of relocation starts happening, as a consumer, you must supervise the whole process. The mere presence of the consumer at the site helps to reduce the likelihood of loss, damage, or even theft of goods. The consumer should be vigilant about the whole process, and if they observe any negligence or unprofessionalism, address them immediately or show their concern on the spot. This attitude will keep the movers’ professionalism in check, and they will be more careful while handling your goods.

Now that you have understood the precautions you need to take during or before the moving process, you are going to be in good condition to receive the goods undamaged at your place. However, even with all the precautions, there can be instances of damage, loss, and theft, so in the next few points, we will discuss what to do in case you encounter such situations.

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What to do if you encounter damage, loss, or theft of your goods

1. Do the inspection again at the time of unloading

This is a natural course of action that most consumers take. They check the goods to locate any damage or determine if all the items have reached their destination or not. Check your prepared list with the received goods, take photographs of all the items, and match them with the earlier photographs taken at the time of packing. Look for damage to the goods. In case you do notice damage to any of your stuff, do not forget to speak to the hired company to provide information about the damage or loss. The quick action will help you get the resolution of your issue at a fast pace.

2. Seek legal recourse

As a consumer, you have every right to ask for any damage compensation or if the items have been lost in the course of action. You have every right to file a complaint in court if you feel that your moving company is not cooperating with you. Before you contact a lawyer, make sure you have filed a complaint with your moving company, explaining to them the damages and losses you have incurred, and keep all the evidence, such as the receipt,  email of communication, and photographs, to strengthen your case in court. However, getting a resolution in a court of law can prove to be a long process, so do not rule out the alternative dispute resolution option as well. Let’s discuss more.

3. Alternative dispute resolution

Your moving company may ask you to find a way to settle the dispute. If you feel that the compensation they are offering you is decent and can help you stay away from lengthy court battles, there is no harm in reaching an amicable settlement for your issue.

However, if you are forced out for legal discourse only, you are not at a complete disadvantage since several consumer protection laws in India can protect consumers who hire a transporter or mover and whose goods are broken, stolen, or lost. Here is an overview of this:

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Laws that can help consumers against transporters

1. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986

This particular powerful consumer law offers them several rights. These include the right to protect the goods from becoming defective or broken. If you are in a situation where you want to file a case for your stolen, lost, or broken goods in transit, you can speak to your lawyer to file a case under this particular law.

2. The Indian Contract Act of 1872

This powerful love governs the contract between parties who enter into any kind of contract. This includes the contract for the transportation of goods as well, and if you have a contract transporter and they fail to deliver the goods in good condition, you can go ahead and file a claim for compensation under this law.

3. The Negligence Act of 1850

This is a law that can help you find a case for negligence and ask for compensation. This law allows individuals to file a case against anyone they think has been negligent and caused them significant loss. In your capacity as a consumer, you can file a case of negligence against the transporter or packer company. Upon checking the evidence and the contract details, you may be able to get compensation for the negligence that caused harm to your goods under the act of the court.

This is just an overview, and many other laws exist to help consumers in these kinds of instances. You should visit an expert lawyer and discuss your case. It is a good thing that in India, there are several consumer protection acts, and with the evidence,  there is always a high probability of getting compensation for damaged goods.

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Conclusion

Moving goods to a new location can prove to be a stressful process. And there is always a chance that your packing company may damage or lose your goods. There have been some instances of theft of the goods as well.

The emphasis in this piece of content has been on the precautions that should be taken during the relocation process. It involves keeping all the receipt photographs and being extra vigilant during a time when the professionals from the moving company are at your place to load and unload the goods. Keeping track of all the moving goods with you and taking photographs will help you compare the condition of the goods after unloading and will serve as evidence in case you need it. This blog also talks about some particular laws available to consumers that can help them get fair compensation for losses due to negligent or unintentional damage. Hopefully, the people who read this content will apply the suggestions mentioned in this unit in their real lives and use the knowledge for their benefit.

FAQs On Break Or Lose Goods During A Move

How Do I Resolve A Dispute With The Movers Or Take Legal Action Against Them?

It is not a pleasant situation when you find yourself resolving a dispute or thinking about taking legal action. Here is everyone’s opinion on what actions you should take.

  1. First of all, always go for peaceful negotiation when you move a company or file a formal complaint with them.
  2. Before moving to court, you can always put a negative review on their site or the Google review option. Bad publicity is never a good thing for any company, and the mover company may reach out to you to find a middle ground for the dispute.
  3. If you are not able to find a resolution for your complaint, you can go ahead and file a formal complaint in the consumer court.
  4. If you feel that the moving company is pressuring you, you can always go ahead and file an FIR at the nearest police station against the moving company.

Can Insurance Help The Consumer In Case Of Loss Of Goods Or Damage To Them?

Having insurance during moving is like a safety net. It helps you to have peace of mind because the insurance will help you with compensation for the costs of damaged and lost goods. Go through the policy properly to have an understanding of all its terms and conditions before buying any insurance.

What Is The First Step One Should Take When Moving To Avoid Damaging Any Belongings During The Move?

The very first step one should take in such a situation is to contact a moving company representative for customer service to let them know about the situation you have found yourself in. Don’t forget to keep all the receipts, photographs, and communications that may have taken place in the form of messages or emails with you. It will help you build a strong case in court if the need arises.

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