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BBB Issues Rebuke Against Apison-based Moving Company
The Chattanooga-area Better Business Bureau has "revoked accreditation" on Northern Van Lines, headquartered in Apison, Tenn.
According to a news release, the BBB accreditation was revoked by BBB Board of Directors due to the “failure to eliminate the underlying cause of complaints on file with the BBB and failure to maintain required industry licensing.” Cross examination on Northern Van Lines with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) yielded a pattern of being “Out of Service”, in these cases their registration was revoked and operations ceased. Northern Van Lines currently holds an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest grade possible.
Customers across the United States are frustrated with Northern Van Lines by the lack of communication and contractual service they have received. In the past 36 months, 88 customer complaints were filed with the BBB against Northern Van Lines, and 74 of those complaints are still pending and unresolved. Northern Van Lines also indicate that they have locations in Oregon, Kansas and New York.
According to the news release, BBB has been in contact with the company to help resolve customer complaint issues. Directed by its Dispute Resolution Process, the BBB has sent emails, left phone messages and sent certified mail to the company about complaint and licensing issues.
Some complaints state:
-- “I asked [the] sales rep several times if I would have to pay extra to have my fax and T.V. set padded and she answered no each time. I was charged an additional $125. […] One truck broke down and [the] trucker called me asking for money to fix his rental truck before he would deliver my things.”
-- “It is now past the legal 21 business days and I STILL have no idea where my delivery is, and I have not been able to get a hold of anyone about when my delivery will get here.”
-- “I then asked the rep about the status of my furniture as I had already made several inquiries about that prior to her call. She stated she would have someone call me. Nobody called. […] I have only been in contact with the contracted delivery driver, and he has not been able to assist me with getting in contact with the company as they aren’t returning his calls as well.”
When BBB is successful in speaking with Northern Van Lines the company promises answers and resolution to complaints, but responses are sporadic. Wednesday the BBB is receiving the following response to customer complaints filed against Northern Van Lines - “we are no longer members of the BBB therefore if anyone has an issue with Northern [Van Lines], if you would be so kind as to ask them to contact the company directly.” Northern Van Lines is not providing any other communication, response or resolution.
On August 17, 2012 – after receiving the above response on multiple customer complaints, BBB sent a letter to the president of Northern Van Lines and explained that it is the charter of the BBB to maintain a program for handling consumer and business complaints about businesses. In addition, BBB is required to show and report a clear pattern of issues, which include improper licensing and/or meeting required law and regulations of this industry. Also, based on BBB standards and its complaint history, there is evidence that suggests Northern Van Lines has failed to be responsive and transparent to their customers.
It is BBB’s expectation that Northern Van Lines will work diligently to resolve each of its customer complaints. BBB as a neutral third party and through its Dispute Resolution Process will work to assist the consumer and Northern Van Lines in their resolution. At this time, BBB has not received response from Northern Van Lines in reference to the letter.
For more tips and information about the moving industry and finding a mover, visit the FMSCA website: www.protectyourmove.gov, and the BBB website at www.chattanooga.bbb.org.
More Business News
Last Update on October 24, 2014 17:58 GMT
NEW HOME SALES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. sales of new homes were essentially flat in September, after the government sharply revised downward what was initially an August surge in buying.
The Commerce Department says new-home sales edged up 0.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000. The report also revised down the August sales rate to 466,000 from 504,000.
The pace of sales for newly built homes has improved a mere 1.7 percent so far this year compared to 2013. Only the South has experienced gains in buying year-to-date.
Housing has struggled to fully rebound since the recession ended more than five years ago. Many potential buyers lack the savings and strong credit history needed to afford a home, causing them to rent or remain in their existing houses instead of upgrading.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford's net income dropped 34 percent to $835 million in the third quarter, dragged down by the cost of launching its new F-150 pickup.
The company closed its Dearborn truck plant for five weeks during the quarter and cut back on truck sales in order to preserve inventories while it readies the new aluminum-sided truck. That hurt pretax profits in North America, which fell 39 percent to $1.4 billion.
Ford earned 21 cents per share, down from 31 cents in the July-September period a year ago. Without one-time items, including separation costs in Europe, Ford earned 24 cents. That beat Wall Street's expectation of 19 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue fell 2.5 percent to $34.9 billion, better than the forecast of $33.7 billion.
ATLANTA (AP) -- UPS is expecting an 11 percent jump in December shipments as the holiday shopping season heats up.
UPS recently announced that it would hire up to 95,000 people to handle the tremendous volume. That's up from last year when the Atlanta company initially planned to hire 55,000 seasonal workers. Major U.S. shipping companies were overwhelmed by a shift in American shopping habits, namely the success of Amazon.com. with its free shipping, and UPS was forced to hire an additional 30,000 people.
United Parcel Service Inc. also maintained its guidance Friday for 2014 adjusted earnings between $4.90 and $5 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict $4.95 per share.
PROCTER & GAMBLE-DURACELL
Procter & Gamble removes the batteries
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Procter & Gamble is removing the batteries and making Duracell a stand-alone company.
P&G, which acquired Duracell in 2005, announced earlier this year that it would shed more than half its brands around the globe over the next year or two.
If a split off occurs, P&G said that its shareholders would have the option of exchanging some, none or all of their P&G shares for shares of the newly formed Duracell company.
The Procter & Gamble Co., based in Cincinnati, said Friday that it is also considering a spinoff, sale or other options for Duracell.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Chiquita shareholders have rejected plans to merge with Irish fruit importer Fyffes that would have made the world's largest banana supplier.
Chiquita Brands International Inc. said Friday that the shareholders didn't approve a revised transaction agreement between the two companies during a special shareholders meeting.
Chiquita said it now expects to enter talks with investment firm Safra Group and juice company Cutrale Group on their competing offer of $14.50 per share. Chiquita previously rejected buyout bids from the two Brazilian companies.
CHILD SEAT RECALL
DETROIT (AP) -- Evenflo is recalling more than 202,000 rear-facing infant seats because the buckles can become difficult to unlatch.
The recall affects Embrace 35/9999 models with an AmSafe QT1 buckle. Documents posted by U.S. safety regulators say that if the buckles don't release easily, it may be difficult to get a child out of the seat in an emergency.
The affected seats were made at various times from December 2011 through May of 2013.
Not all Embrace 35 models are covered by the recall. For others, the company will provide replacement buckles if requested by customers.
The recall comes after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Owners with questions can call Evenflo at (800) 490-7591.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The founder of a popular brand of food for observant Muslims has been indicted on charges that he shipped beef to Malaysia and Indonesia that didn't meet those countries' import requirements.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment Thursday against Bill Aossey Jr., who founded the Midamar Corp. in 1974. The Cedar Rapids company grew into the leading U.S. halal brand, selling more than 200 products in the U.S. and abroad.
A 19-count indictment charges Aossey with directing employees to change labels and fabricate documents to make beef products appear that they originated from a slaughterhouse that met Malaysia and Indonesia's strict requirements. Halal meat is supposed to be killed in ritual slaughter.
Aossey's attorney called the indictment unfair Friday, saying the allegations were "a minor regulatory violation" at most.
NEW YORK (AP) -- NBCUniversal will pay $6.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by unpaid interns who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and other shows who claim they are owed wages, according to court documents.
The interns claim NBCUniversal wrongly classified them as non-employees in an effort to avoid labor laws. NBCUniversal said in court documents that even though it is settling the suit, it denies the allegations and doesn't admit any wrongdoing.
The average amount that class-action members of the suit will receive is $505, although the main plaintiffs will receive more. The number of class members is capped at 8,975.
The interns had been seeking recovery of unpaid wages, attorneys' fees, interest and liquidated damages. The settlement still has to be approved by a judge. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York.
NBCUniversal is owned by Philadelphia-based cable provider Comcast Corp.
S&P upgrades Cyprus on commitment to bailout deal
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Rating agency Standard & Poor's has given Cyprus a one-notch upgrade to its credit grade, raising it to B+.
The agency cited the country's commitment to the terms of its bailout program and better-than-expected economic growth. It also said the outlook for Cyprus is stable, with good economic progress offset by lingering challenges to its banking system, which is still burdened with a huge amount of bad loans.
LONDON (AP) -- Official figures show Britain's economic recovery is continuing, despite a gloomy global environment.
The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent in the three months through September compared with the previous three months. That is down slightly from a 0.9 percent quarterly rate in the April-June period but remains among the strongest growth rates among developed economies.
Compared with a year earlier, the economy was 3.0 percent larger.
Treasury Chief George Osborne says the figures show Britain "continues to lead the pack in an increasingly uncertain global economy."
Samuel Tombs, the senior U.K. economist for Capital Economics, says growth in Europe's third largest economy has become broader-based, though recent falls in stock markets, manufacturing surveys and eurozone growth have intensified concerns over the recovery.
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