At its core, Arbitration is a part of dispute resolution. Arbitration Program is a method that companies use to legally settle disputes with a consumer. It is the private, judicial determination of a dispute by an independent third party. The moving industry is no different. Disputes between a moving organization and a consumer shipper can rise for many reasons. The most common disputes a consumer shipper can have with a moving company will involve issues of damaged goods, damaged property, missing goods, and charges that were not initially agreed upon. It does not require court time, and it is a non-bias program.

Consumer or shippers have several options in trying to resolve disputes with a moving company. The best method for resolving the dispute is a direct discussion with moving the company’s customer service department. An arbitration hearing consists of either one arbitrator or a group of arbitrators. One and three are the most usual figure of arbitrators. The disputing parties go to the arbitrator to get a fair decision regarding the dispute. The Arbitration provides a totally different option for settling a dispute rather than going to the court.

Is it a good option for consumer arbitration?

It is a good option for consumer arbitration because it is a good way to settle disputes with a mover and help to obtain returns for damages. If a client’s experience with a moving company is bad, they can file a claim to get compensation for those problems. These claims undergo review by an arbitrator to figure the actual amount that is owed to the client.

Who is required to have an Arbitration Program?

All Movers that move from State to State must require an arbitration program just like a Household Goods (HHG) mover. When a claim against a household goods mover is made, the arbitrator that is independent of all parties is required to review the claim. The program would be used to solve disputes concerning loss and any damage claims and charges billed to the mover in addition to those collected at delivery.

What does an Arbitration Program consist of?

The content of the Arbitration Program must consist of these 11 minimum elements:

1) The arbitration program must not allow the movers to have an advantage because the individual shipper lives or works in a place distant from the mover’s principal place of business.

2) The moving company must inform the shipper of the availability of neutral Arbitration. The following three items must be included:

●        A summary of the arbitration process

●        Any applicable costs

●        Disclosure of the legal effects to use Arbitration

3) Upon an individual shipper’s request, the company must provide information and forms it considers necessary for initiating an action to resolve a dispute under Arbitration.

4) An arbitrator must be independent of the parties to the dispute and be able to resolve any disputes in a prompt and fair manner. The mover must ensure the arbitrator is authorized and is able to obtain any information from the mover.

5) The arbitrator does have the right to determine the percentage of the payment for each party, the shipper cannot pay an amount greater than half the cost of Arbitration.

6) A moving company cannot force, require or make an individual shipper agree to use Arbitration before a dispute arises.

7) If an individual shipper requests to go to Arbitration, the mover is bound for claims of $10,000 or less.

8) For claims of more than $10,000, the mover is bound by Arbitration if the shipper requests it and the moving company agrees to Arbitration.

In short, if the claim is for an amount less than $10,000, the mover must participate in the binding arbitration process.

9) If both individual shipper and the moving company agree, the arbitrator may offer to provide an oral presentation of a dispute by a party or representative of a party.

10) An arbitrator must determine within 60 days of receipt of written notification of the dispute. A resolution from the arbitrator may include any remedies suitable under the circumstances.

11) The 60-day period may be extended if the individual shipper or the moving company fails to provide information in a timely manner. The moving company must provide a clear and concise explanation of Arbitration.

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