FMCSA fines seven HHG carriers

| Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced July 19 it has fined seven for-hire motor carriers hauling primarily household goods from Florida for violating commercial regulations. The carriers were assessed fines ranging from $7,000 to $71,000.

A Millennium Moving & Storage (A Millennium), Ameri Van Lines (Ameri Van), Elite Van Lines (Elite), Majesty Moving & Storage also known as America's Best Movers (Majesty) of Plantation, FL, Star Movers (Star) of Sunrise, FL, Southeastern Van Lines (Southeast) of Miami and Century Express Van Lines (Century) of Fort Lauderdale, FL, were served with notice of claim letters to initiate enforcement action for violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Commercial Regulations. The carriers were assessed civil penalties of $13,500, $70,000, $39,500, $71,000, $57,000, $7,000 and $9,500, respectively.

A Millennium was cited for failing to charge its applicable tariff rate, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of its dispute settlement program, failing to relinquish possession of shipments upon payment of the original non-binding estimated price plus 10 percent, failing to prepare orders for service, failing to prepare bills of lading in the prescribed form and manner, and operating a charge card plan without a tariff provision.

Ameri Van was cited for failing to charge its applicable tariff rate, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of its dispute settlement program, failing to prepare estimates in writing and retain copies as addendums to the bill of lading, failing to prepare binding estimates in the prescribed form and manner, failing to relinquish possession of shipments upon payment of the original non-binding estimated price plus 10 percent, failing to prepare orders for service, and failing to prepare bills of lading in the prescribed form and manner.

Elite was cited for failing to charge its applicable tariff rate, failing to participate in a dispute settlement program, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of its dispute settlement program, failing to relinquish possession of shipments upon payment of the original non-binding estimated price plus 10 percent, failing to prepare orders for service in the prescribed form and manner, failing to prepare bills of lading in the prescribed form and manner, failing to have a copy of all active agency agreements, and operating a charge card plan without a tariff provision.

Majesty was cited for failing to charge its applicable tariff rate, failing to participate in a dispute settlement program, failing to follow the loss and damage claims procedures, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of its dispute settlement program, failing to retain copies of estimates as addendums to the bill of lading, failing to relinquish possession of shipments upon payment of the original non-binding estimated price plus 10 percent, failing to prepare orders for service in the prescribed form and manner, failing to prepare bills of lading in the prescribed form and manner, and using false, misleading or deceptive advertising.

Star was cited for failing to publish a tariff, failing to participate in a dispute settlement program, failing to follow the loss and damage claims procedures, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of their dispute settlement program, failing to relinquish possession of shipments upon payment of the original non-binding estimated price plus 10 percent, failing to prepare estimates in writing and retain copies as addendums to the bill of lading, failing to prepare orders for service, failing to prepare bills of lading in the prescribed form and manner, and failing to have a copy of all active agency agreements.

Southeastern was cited for failing to publish a tariff, failing to participate in a dispute settlement program, failing to follow the loss and damage claims procedures, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of its dispute settlement program, failing to prepare binding estimates in the prescribed form and manner, failing to prepare orders for service, and failing to have a copy of all active agency agreements.

Century was cited for unauthorized transportation, failing to charge its applicable tariff rate, failing to provide the required consumer information "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and summary of its dispute settlement program, failing to prepare estimates in the prescribed form and manner and retain copies as addendums to the bill of lading, failing to prepare orders for service in the prescribed form and manner, failing to prepare bills of lading in the prescribed form and manner, and failing to weigh shipments in the prescribed form and manner.

The motor carriers will have the opportunity to contest the alleged violations and the amount of the penalties in an agency proceeding.

Consumers can file household goods or other commercial motor carrier complaints by calling 1-888-368-7238 (1-888 DOT-SAFT) or online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/. The form can be mailed to FMCSA, 400 Seventh St., SW, MC-PA, Washington, DC 20590, or faxed to (202) 366-7298.

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