In yesterday’s post about reimbursements when your personally owned vehicle isn’t delivered as promised, I listed some questions that I submitted to Doug Tipton, President of International Auto Logistics (IAL.) IAL is the vendor who took over military member’s personally owned vehicle (POV) shipments in May of 2014.
I received a very nice email from Tipton, who answered my questions and reminded me that each case is being handled on an case-by-case basis. Mr. Tipton’s answers are listed in blue.
1. In what circumstances would a larger car be authorized? For example, I have four teenagers, plus my husband and me. Obviously, we don’t fit into an intermediate sized vehicle. (Heck, we don’t even fit comfortably in a large vehicle.)
IAL has authorized larger vehicles for large families traveling together.
- Are there provisions to make intermediate payments while families wait for their vehicles? For many young military families, even a week’s vehicle rental will strain their budget. The military recognizes this with their program of paying for temporary lodging in 10 day increments. Can you do this for rental vehicles?
IAL has authorized partial payment prior to final settlement to assist service members.
3. For whom are lodging expenses authorized? A single representative for the family, or the whole family, or any combination? When you state that lodging is reimbursed at the per diem rates, are you referring to the full per diem rates or just the lodging portion? Are you using the same family size calculations as the military, or do you have some other system?
The lodging per diem is paid based on location out of JFTR. To date, only one room per family has been requested and we have authorized one room.
- What happens when service members are required to proceed to their duty station without their vehicle? If a servicemember’s car is not ready by it’s RDD, and they proceed to their duty station, who pays for that transportation? How do they retrieve their vehicle if they are unable to return to the VPC? Will you pay to have it delivered to their duty station, or will you pay to store the vehicle until they are able to retrieve it, and pay for vehicle rental for that entire time? For many servicemembers, it might be months before they are able to return to a distance VPC and drive their POV to their duty station.
This is handled on a case by case basis and service members need. We have not transported vehicles to the duty station but we have kept the VPCs open after hours and weekends to assist. We have not been asked to store any vehicles.
I thank Mr. Tipton for his replies, even if they weren’t really as thorough as I expected. I know that there are hundred (heck, probably even thousands) of you who can’t get through to anyone to help you, and it must be extremely frustrating to hear the president of the company make it sound like the process is simple.
If you are one of the affected people, and you are able to get through to a person, don’t take no for an answer. I’d suggest you inform them that the president of their very own company is saying that they have to help you, and take their name and all the information. While these customer “service” representatives were obviously not well trained, there is no excuse for the rudeness and refusal to help that has been reported.
Amy Bushatz continues to look into the military side of this situation, and her report will be up later this week. Stay tuned!