Moving home from one place to another is considered to be one of the most stressful events in one’s lifetime. Some sources say that it can be even more stressful than a divorce. Fortunately, there are professional packers and movers in India that take care of customers’ relocation requirements and provide them a hassle-free moving experience.
Unfortunately, there are also some fraudsters or shady packers and movers that breach the trust, commitment and honesty without being held accountable. Being in the industry for a long time, I’ve seen many circumstances where customers feel completely harassed by the rude and unprofessional attitude of movers and packers companies. There are also complaints about overcharging, delay delivery, damages of goods, and outright stealing done by moving companies. There can be several other reasons for disputes with packers and movers companies.
The best solution to avoid these unpleasant experiences on a house moving is hiring a reputable and reliable company of packers and movers. Despite having the best shifting plan and hiring the best company of movers and packers, you may encounter some unpleasant experiences with the services. So, how can you resolve the issues with the service provider? How can you take legal action against your packers and movers if required? In this article, I will discuss all the possible things you can do to resolve the dispute with your movers if they fail to meet their commitment.
Top Reasons for Disputes with Packers and Movers
There are several reasons that can create disputes with packers and movers. Some common reasons are the following.
Late Delivery of Goods
Your packers and movers didn’t deliver your goods on time – This is one of the most common reasons for disputes between consumers and packers & movers companies. When you hire packing and moving services, you will always need to sign a contract (bill of lading) in which the date of delivery goods will be mentioned clearly.
If the service provider fails to deliver your possessions on that particular date, you have a right to sue the company. But taking legal action against the moving company is not only the solution. You should first make a casual approach to resolve the issue.
If your packers and movers are late for delivery of your goods, then contact them to know the actual reason and request for delivery as soon as possible. There is no need to take legal action against the company without knowing the actual reason. Sometimes, delay delivery of goods may be out of your movers and packers’ control. The delayed delivery can be caused by bad weather, truck breakdown and so on. After making conversations with movers, if nothing works in favor of you then take legal action against the company.
Lost or Damaged Goods
Your packers and movers damaged or lost your goods – This is one of the most common reasons behind why many consumers take legal action against movers. The relocation company is accountable for damaging or missing your household items. You have a right to file a complaint about your movers if they have damaged or lost your items. But before directly take legal action, first, inspect your belongings and find the list of items that are damaged or missing. Immediately, inform the movers and ask them to provide you compensation for the same. If you have bought moving insurance before the move, then the complaint process will much easier.
Outright Stealing of Goods
When movers and packers refuse to deliver your belongings – In this case, you must sue or take legal action against the moving company. Before you sue the company, first of all, file a claim with the company itself. You will need proof of that particular company has received your goods and now refusing to deliver the same. You can use a similar approach when your movers are refusing to compensate damages to your goods.
Overcharging on Services
When movers overcharge on services or demand extra delivery charges – In several circumstances of home relocation, packers and movers overly charge on their services or demand for more money before delivery goods. If you are in such type of situation then you should not agree for that. You should not agree to pay extra delivery charges or any unrealistic cost. For example, if your movers have quoted you XYZamount then you pay only that amount. To avoid such a scenario, you should always get a price estimate in writing before the move. Clearly read the terms and conditions before signing the agreement. Stick to that agreement and don’t pay even a single rupee if they are demanding in name of extra charges or additional services. You are free to take legal against the company if they are forcing you to pay extra money.
How to Sue or Take a Legal Action Against Packers and Movers?
If you have hired a company of packers and movers for house shifting and encounter disputes with them, then stick to the following steps.
Check the Agreement
When you have a dispute with your movers, the very first thing you need to do is checking the agreement. Thoroughly go through the contract you have signed before the move. Read every point of terms and conditions. The agreement may have clearly mentioned that you will need to inform the company about the damage, claims, or any issue within a certain period of time, such as within the 15 days of delivery or 1 month of delivery. Make ready the insurance paper to claim the damage as movers will ask for the same.
Contact Your Movers and Expect for Peaceful Resolution
The lawsuit against packers and movers is not the very first solution. In my point of view, the fastest, most efficient and highly logical step that you ought to take is talking directly to the movers and packers. It is advisable to contact your movers immediately and try to iron out the issues in a peaceful manner. When contacting your movers, stick to terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement. It is strictly advisable to keep a record of your communication with the moving company. Plus, keep the track of every conversation and response from your movers. Keep in mind, the peaceful resolution of a dispute is always the best solution because it will save you a lot of time, money and nerves. Why you should get into dirty litigation when you can iron out the issues by a mutual understanding.
Write Packers and Movers Review
In case the company of packers and movers that you have hired is not willing to take the matter seriously, then write a review about them and their services on social media and online forums. Raise your voice and issues at platforms like Mouthshut, Facebook, and Google Reviews. Chances are movers and packers will take the matter seriously after this and try to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.
File a Consumer Complaint Against Movers and Packers
If still the dispute with you and your packers and movers is not resolved, then file a consumer complaint against packers and movers in various online forums.
If you, as a consumer, have any grievances or disputes with packers and movers about frauds, quality of services, damages then you can file a consumer complaint and seek redress. There are several government, and non-government forums where you can lodge a complaint or share the grievances. In my point of view, you should go with government forums for faster resolution.
You can register a consumer complaint by making a phone call or online. To lodge the online complaint you will need to register that site first. You will need to submit your personal details such as the name, email, address and phone number of the complainant. Plus, you will need to submit all the required supporting documents along with the online complaint.
Some popular online consumer complaint redressal forums are the following:
- Jagograhakjago.com (Jago Grahak Jago)
- INGRAM (consumerhelpline.gov.in) -You can call to register your grievance 1800-11-4000 or 14404
- Corecentre.org (Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre)
- Consumercomplaints.in (Indian Consumer Complaint Forum)
- Nationalconsumerhelpline.in (National Consumer Helpline – 1800 11 4000)
File an FIR Against Fraud Packers and Movers
If your grievances are not redressed by peaceful ways or even consumer forums, then you must not hesitate to take further legal action. If you are feeling yourself in the trap of fraudsters or moving company has been disappeared after taking your goods then immediately inform the nearby police station. Generally, the policy may not accept FIR against in the case of an unofficial enquiry. But the fraud done by proven and you have the proof then, you can file the FIR against movers under section 421 of Indian Penal Code on fraud and cheating. Simultaneously, you can also file a consumer case against the scammer.
How to Avoid Disputes with Packers and Movers?
Always hire a registered, licensed and reputable company of packers and movers.
Take your time to verify the credentials of packers and movers before hiring the services.
See the licensed and registration documents in original.
Get estimates in writing. Make sure the company has printed GST registration number on it.
Read terms and conditions of packers and movers thoroughly.
Hire the right and perfect service with the right relocation booking portal, i.e. Movingsolutions.in.
Some Relevant FAQ’s Curated from Web
Q. Should I consult with a lawyer for a dispute with packers and movers?
Answer: Yes, you can consult with a lawyer for a dispute with a company of packers and movers. If your movers and packers have damaged or lost your items or refuse to deliver your goods or demand for more money to deliver the items, then you must take legal action against them. If you cannot resolve the issue on yourself then you should consult with a skilled, experienced and knowledgeable business lawyer. A right lawyer can give you the best advice for the same and help you issue is resolved soon.
Q. Can I sue my movers and packers if they have damaged my belongings?
Answer: Yes, you can. As a consumer, you have always the legal right to sue the company of packers and movers (filing a lawsuit against packers and movers) if they have damaged, destroyed or stolen your items. But you should not be very panic. First of all, you should approach the peaceful ways to resolve the issue. If nothing works then you take further actions such as registering consumer complaints in forums or filing FIR in the police station. What type of lawsuit you want to file, where you want to file the complaint (forums or police station), and what are your allegations & claims are something that you need to consider carefully. It is always advisable to take professional legal advice if your dispute is in the courtroom litigation.
Q. What to do if packers and movers theft or damaged my belongings?
I’ve recently shifted from Pune to Bangalore with a Packers & Movers company. When I first discussed my requirements with them they assured me that goods will be correctly packed and transferred safely using closed container. But, the reality was totally different. They shifted my goods in shared and open truck. Also the delivery was made after 2 days of committed day of delivery. I got most of my belongings damaged, plus, found that out of 50 boxes, 8 are missing. I have made a big mistake to pay the full amount without checking my items on delivery. Now, when I am contacting them they are not taking any interest in matter. They are even talking with me rudely and in high voice. Now they have blocked my phone numbers. I have also written several mails to them but they did not give any reply. What can I do now? I am stressed and feeling cheated. Government must take strict action against such as fraudsters and scammers.
Answer: In this case, you need to claim your damages through consumer court. But before filing a consumer complaint against the movers, you will need to send a legal notice to them demanding compensation for damaged and lost items. If they fail to redress the issue within the given time-period then proceed to consumer court with the aid of professional lawyer. Plus, you can file a case against them in nearby police station or in the appropriate consumer forum. You can claim for compensation and mental harassment and inconveniences caused by movers.
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