Bill who? You’ll be hearing a lot about this guy called Bill of Lading. He holds a tremendous amount of power. Actually, the bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. The law requires that the mover prepares a “bill of lading” for every shipment it transports. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading before loading your furniture. You must also sign it.
So who’s supposed to read that bill thing? You are. It’s your responsibility to read the bill of lading before you sign it. And, if you don’t understand or agree with something on the bill of lading, don’t sign it until you do.
Bill of Lading: The formal contract between you and the moving company. This document serves as both your contract and your receipt for your belongings. Make sure you’ve read and understand the fine print on the bill before signing.
What’s on this bill of lading? Your bill of lading will include:
- Names and office address of the shipper and carrier
- Where the goods are picked up and when
- Where the goods are to be delivered and an estimate of when
- An attachment of an inventory of goods
- The number of boxes/pieces and the total weight
- Special instructions for the shipper
- The total cost of the shipment, plus how and when it is to be paid
- Legal fine print: The bill of lading requires the mover to provide the service you have requested, and it requires you to pay the mover the charges for the service.
Be careful not to lose or misplace your copy of the bill of lading in the confusion of moving. Have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid, and all claims, if any, are settled.
Read the bill of lading and inventory sheets carefully. The bill of lading is your contract. The inventory is your record of your possessions and their condition. You will need these papers if any questions arise about your shipment after delivery.