B-153044, JAN. 30, 1964

B-153044: Jan 30, 1964

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YOUR BILLS WERE COMPUTED AND PAID ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHTS APPLICABLE FOR EXPEDITED SERVICE BUT THE GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING COVERING THE SHIPMENTS APPARENTLY DID NOT BEAR ANNOTATIONS SHOWING A REQUEST OR ORDER FOR SUCH SERVICE. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE CHARGES AS BILLED ARE APPLICABLE BECAUSE THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY ORDERED THE SERVICE AND BECAUSE THE COMBINED UNIFORM HOUSEHOLD GOODS BILLS OF LADING AND FREIGHT BILLS ISSUED BY YOUR COMPANY BEAR THE REQUISITE ANNOTATIONS. WE HAVE HAD OCCASION TO CONSIDER THIS SAME PROBLEM RECENTLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE CLAIMS OF ANOTHER HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIER. WE DETERMINED THAT THE CHARGES CLAIMED WERE ALLOWABLE PROVIDED THE ANNOTATIONS CONTAINED IN THE COMMERCIAL DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY THE CARRIER WERE CORROBORATED BY INFORMATION FROM THE SHIPPING AGENCY VERIFYING THAT THE SPECIAL SERVICE IN QUESTION WAS IN FACT ORDERED.

B-153044, JAN. 30, 1964

TO GREYHOUND VAN LINES, INC.:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, 1963, CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF SOME 12 NOTICES OF OVERCHARGE ISSUED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IN CONNECTION WITH VARIOUS BILLS SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY FOR PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES PERFORMED FOR THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY. YOUR BILLS WERE COMPUTED AND PAID ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHTS APPLICABLE FOR EXPEDITED SERVICE BUT THE GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING COVERING THE SHIPMENTS APPARENTLY DID NOT BEAR ANNOTATIONS SHOWING A REQUEST OR ORDER FOR SUCH SERVICE. THE TARIFF RULES AND REGULATIONS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE INTO MILITARY RATE TENDER 1-A REQUIRE SUCH ANNOTATIONS AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO PAYMENT OF PREMIUM CHARGES ON THE BASIS OF CONSTRUCTIVE WEIGHTS. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE CHARGES AS BILLED ARE APPLICABLE BECAUSE THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY ORDERED THE SERVICE AND BECAUSE THE COMBINED UNIFORM HOUSEHOLD GOODS BILLS OF LADING AND FREIGHT BILLS ISSUED BY YOUR COMPANY BEAR THE REQUISITE ANNOTATIONS.

WE HAVE HAD OCCASION TO CONSIDER THIS SAME PROBLEM RECENTLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE CLAIMS OF ANOTHER HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIER. IN THAT CASE, WE DETERMINED THAT THE CHARGES CLAIMED WERE ALLOWABLE PROVIDED THE ANNOTATIONS CONTAINED IN THE COMMERCIAL DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY THE CARRIER WERE CORROBORATED BY INFORMATION FROM THE SHIPPING AGENCY VERIFYING THAT THE SPECIAL SERVICE IN QUESTION WAS IN FACT ORDERED. WHERE A SHIPPING AGENCY DENIES THAT THE SERVICE DESCRIBED IN THE ANNOTATION ON THE COMMERCIAL SHIPPING DOCUMENT WAS ORDERED, WE NECESSARILY MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE INCLUSION OF THE ANNOTATION IN THE DOCUMENT WAS AN UNAUTHORIZED, UNILATERAL ACT ON THE PART OF THE CARRIER AND IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SHIPPER'S CONSENT WAS LEGALLY INSUFFICIENT TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENT OF THE TARIFF RULE.

WE HAVE NOT REVIEWED THE ACCOUNTS HERE IN QUESTION BECAUSE IT IS NOT OUR POLICY TO REVIEW AUDIT ACTIONS BY THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION UNTIL FINAL ACTION, AS BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE, HAS BEEN TAKEN. WE ARE, HOWEVER, FORWARDING YOUR LETTER AND ENCLOSURES TO THE TRANSPORTATION DIVISION FOR CONSIDERATION THERE AS PROTESTS TO THE NOTICES OF OVERCHARGES NOW OUTSTANDING. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY SUPPLIED THE DIVISION WITH COPIES OF YOUR COMBINED UNIFORM HOUSEHOLD GOODS BILL OF LADING AND FREIGHT BILL FOR EACH OF THE 12 SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION, WE SUGGEST THAT YOU DO SO. ALSO, IF YOU HAVE ANY CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY EVIDENCING REQUEST BY THAT AGENCY FOR SPECIAL SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION, COPIES OF SUCH CORRESPONDENCE WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THE DIVISION IN ITS DISPOSITION OF THIS MATTER. IN THIS CONNECTION, WE NOTE THAT THE COPY OF THE NOTICE OF OVERCHARGE ATTACHED TO YOUR ENCLOSURE. EXAMPLE NO. 2, INDICATED THAT THE SHIPPER AT CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY, REPORTED THAT NO REQUEST FOR EXPEDITED SERVICE WAS GIVEN.

IN THE EVENT YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE FINAL ACTION TAKEN BY THE DIVISION IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THESE ACCOUNTS, WE WILL, AFTER SETTLEMENT, GIVE CONSIDERATION TO A FURTHER REQUEST FOR REVIEW SHOULD YOU CARE TO SUBMIT ONE.