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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According to a news release, the BBB accreditation was revoked by BBB Board of Directors due to the “failure to eliminate the underlying cause of complaints on file with the BBB and failure to maintain required industry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Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) yielded a pattern of being “Out of Service”, in these cases their registration was revoked and operations ceased.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 22, 2014 17:29 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer prices edged up slightly in September, with the overall increase held back by a third straight monthly decline in gasoline prices. The tiny gain was the latest evidence that inflation remains dormant.
The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September after having falling 0.2 percent in August. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, also rose 0.1 percent after no gain in August.
Over the past 12 months, overall prices are up 1.7 percent and core prices are up a similar 1.7 percent. Both increases are well below the 2 percent target for inflation set by the Federal Reserve. The absence of inflationary pressures has allowed the central bank to keep interest rates at record lows to boost the economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says millions of older Americans who rely on federal benefits will get a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly payments next year.
It's the third year in a row the increase will be less than 2 percent.
The annual cost-of-living adjustment affects payments for more than 70 million Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees.
The government announced the increase Wednesday, when it released the latest measure of consumer prices. By law, the increase is based on inflation, which is well below historical averages so far this year.
Congress enacted automatic increases for Social Security beneficiaries in 1975. Until recently, the increases were rarely less than 2 percent.
AIR BAG RECALL
DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. government is adding more than 3 million vehicles to a rare warning about faulty air bags that have the potential to kill or injure drivers or passengers in a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday put out a new list of vehicles, increasing the number from 4.7 million to 7.8 million. The agency urged people to get their cars repaired if they're being recalled, especially in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.
The air bag inflators made by parts supplier Takata can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are inflated. Safety advocates say at least four people have died from the problem.
The warning covers many models from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal health officials are significantly expanding the breadth of vigilance for Ebola, saying that all travelers who come into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for symptoms of illness for 21 days.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the program will begin Monday and cover visitors as well as aid workers, journalists and other Americans returning from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.
The program will start in six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Georgia.
CDC Director Tom Frieden says state and local health officials will check daily for fever or other Ebola symptoms.
Passengers will get kits to help them track their temperature and will be told to inform health officials daily of their status.
J&J to spend up to $200M on Ebola vaccine program
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Johnson & Johnson will start safety testing in early January on a vaccine combination that could protect people from a strain of the deadly Ebola virus.
The health care products maker says it has committed up to $200 million to speed up and expand production of a vaccine program being developed by its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.
J&J is developing the vaccine with the Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic. It involves a regimen in which two vaccines are delivered two months apart. The combination provided complete protection in animals against a virus strain similar to the one causing the current outbreak in West Africa that has killed thousands of people.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company says it will also determine whether its vaccine protects against the version causing the outbreak.
MORTGAGE RISK RULES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators are proceeding with new rules that ease guidelines for banks selling mortgage securities and could mean fewer borrowers will need to make hefty down payments.
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to adopt the rules, which six federal agencies have been working on since 2011. Three other agencies adopted the rules Tuesday, and the Federal Reserve has scheduled a vote for Wednesday afternoon.
The rules govern the amount of risk banks must take on when they package and sell mortgage securities in a multitrillion-dollar market. In the final rules, the regulators have dropped a key requirement: a 20-percent down payment from the borrower if a bank didn't hold at least 5 percent of the mortgage securities tied to those loans on its books.
MINI-OVERSTATED GAS MILEAGE
DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. government has told BMW to reduce the gas mileage estimates on window stickers of four Mini Cooper models.
Testing by the Environmental Protection Agency lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, discovered the overstated mileage.
The vehicles affected are the 2014 Mini Cooper three-door and Mini Cooper three-door S models with manual and automatic transmissions. BMW must cut the highway mileage by one-to-four miles per gallon depending on the model. Estimates for city driving and combined city and highway fuel economy also must be reduced.
The EPA says it audited the Mini gas mileage and came up with lower values than BMW, which makes the cars. It's the fourth time in the past two years that the EPA has found discrepancies in the gas mileage estimates provided by an automaker.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A new study confirms what many Internet users know all too well: Harassment is a common part of online life.
The report by the Pew Research Center found that nearly three-quarters of American adults who use the Internet have witnessed online harassment. Forty percent have experienced it themselves.
The types of harassment Pew asked about range from name-calling to physical threats, sexual harassment and stalking. Half of those who were harassed said they didn't know the person who had most recently attacked them.
Young adults -- people 18 to 29 -- were the most likely age group to see and undergo online harassment.
The survey was conducted between May 30 and June 30 among 3,217 respondents.
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