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According to a news release, the BBB accreditation was revoked by BBB Board of Directors due to the “failure to eliminate the underlying cause of complaints on file with the BBB and failure to maintain required industry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Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) yielded a pattern of being “Out of Service”, in these cases their registration was revoked and operations ceased.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.
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Last Update on August 20, 2014 17:13 GMT
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