B-206038(1), APR 6, 1982

B-206038(1): Apr 6, 1982

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DIGEST: FORMER ARMY MEMBER WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO MOVE HIS MOBILE HOME IS LIABLE FOR THE $34 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF MOVING HIS MOBILE HOME AS REPRESENTED TO HIM BY THE MOVER AND THE COST THE MOVER ACTUALLY BILLED THE ARMY. THE CHARGES THE MOVER BILLED THE ARMY WERE CORRECT - APPLICABLE UNDER A TARIFF FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION - AND THE MOVER WAS REQUIRED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT TO COLLECT THEM. FORMER MEMBER IS REQUIRED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO REIMBURSE ARMY FOR ANY OF MOVER'S CHARGES IN EXCESS OF HIS ENTITLEMENT. SINCE THE CHARGES THE MOVER BILLED THE ARMY WERE CORRECT UNDER A TARIFF FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION. THE MOVER WAS REQUIRED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT TO COLLECT THEM.

B-206038(1), APR 6, 1982

DIGEST: FORMER ARMY MEMBER WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO MOVE HIS MOBILE HOME IS LIABLE FOR THE $34 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF MOVING HIS MOBILE HOME AS REPRESENTED TO HIM BY THE MOVER AND THE COST THE MOVER ACTUALLY BILLED THE ARMY. THE CHARGES THE MOVER BILLED THE ARMY WERE CORRECT - APPLICABLE UNDER A TARIFF FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION - AND THE MOVER WAS REQUIRED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT TO COLLECT THEM. FORMER MEMBER IS REQUIRED BY JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO REIMBURSE ARMY FOR ANY OF MOVER'S CHARGES IN EXCESS OF HIS ENTITLEMENT.

HOYT V. HILL:

MR. HOYT V. HILL, A FORMER MEMBER OF THE ARMY, APPEALS A SETTLEMENT OF OUR CLAIMS GROUP WHICH DENIED HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE $34 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF MOVING HIS MOBILE HOME BETWEEN EL PASO, TEXAS, AND BENTON, ARKANSAS, AS REPRESENTED TO HIM BY THE MOBILE HOME MOVER AND THE COST THE MOVER ACTUALLY CHARGED THE ARMY FOR THE MOVEMENT. SINCE THE CHARGES THE MOVER BILLED THE ARMY WERE CORRECT UNDER A TARIFF FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, THE MOVER WAS REQUIRED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT TO COLLECT THEM. MR. HILL'S CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE THE ARMY COLLECTED FROM HIM IS DENIED.

THE ARMY AUTHORIZED THE MOVEMENT OF MR. HILL'S MOBILE HOME FROM FORT BLISS, TEXAS, IN EL PASO, TO BENTON, ARKANSAS. ON JUNE 4, 1979, THE MOBILE HOME MOVER PICKED UP THE MOBILE HOME AND GAVE MR. HILL A COPY OF ITS FREIGHT BILL (THE TRANSPORTATION CONTRACT) WHICH SHOWED THAT THE CHARGES WOULD BE $1,362. HOWEVER, AFTER THE MOBILE HOME WAS DELIVERED IN BENTON, THE MOVER BILLED THE ARMY FOR $1,396 AND WAS PAID THAT AMOUNT. MR. HILL KNEW THAT HIS MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT WOULD BE COMPUTED ON 74 CENTS A MILE FOR THE MILEAGE DISTANCE BETWEEN EL PASO AND BENTON AND THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO REIMBURSE THE ARMY FOR CHARGES IN EXCESS OF HIS ENTITLEMENT. PARAGRAPH M10004 OF VOLUME 1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1 JTR). HE REIMBURSED THE ARMY $616.82 FOR THAT PART OF THE $1,362 CHARGES IN EXCESS OF HIS ENTITLEMENT UNDER PARAGRAPH M10004-3. HOWEVER, HE CONTENDS THAT HE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL $34 DUE TO THE MOVER CHARGING THE ARMY $1,396 INSTEAD OF THE $1,362 SHOWN ON HIS FREIGHT BILL. HE CONTENDS THAT THE MOVER SHOULD BE BOUND BY THE AMOUNT CONTRACTED FOR AS SHOWN ON HIS FREIGHT BILL OR THAT THE MOVER MADE AN ERROR IN COMPUTING THE MILEAGE DISTANCE INVOLVED.

ALTHOUGH MR. HILL AND THE MOVER'S REPRESENTATIVE ESTABLISHED A CONTRACT OF CARRIAGE WHEN THEY SIGNED THE FREIGHT BILL ON THE DAY THE MOBILE HOME WAS PICKED UP, THAT CONTRACT IS ALSO GOVERNED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, AS AMENDED, 49 U.S.C. SEC. 10101 ET SEQ. (SUPP. III, 1979). THAT ACT IS A COMPLEX REGULATORY SCHEME REQUIRING MANY THINGS OF MOVERS, ONE OF WHICH IS TO COLLECT ONLY THE CHARGES SHOWN IN TARIFFS FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION. 49 U.S.C. SEC. 10761 (SUPP. III, 1979). THE CHARGES THE MOVER BILLED TO THE ARMY ARE THE APPLICABLE ONES SHOWN IN A TARIFF FILED WITH THE COMMISSION, AS VERIFIED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, THE AGENCY WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AUDITING THE GOVERNMENT'S TRANSPORTATION CHARGES. THEREFORE, THEY WERE CORRECTLY COLLECTED BY THE MOVER. MR. HILL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE CHARGES AND HIS ENTITLEMENT UNDER PARAGRAPH M10004-3. SEE 1 JTR M10004-2(5). AS THE COURT SAID ABOUT A CONSIGNEE IN A SIMILAR SITUATION:

"EVEN THOUGH A CARRIER MIGHT ERRONEOUSLY QUOTE A PRICE TO BE CHARGED FOR SHIPMENT OF GOODS, THE SHIPPER OR CONSIGNEE IS NEVERTHELESS LIABLE FOR THE ACTUAL PUBLISHED TARIFF RATE AND NOT THE PRICE ERRONEOUSLY QUOTED TO IT. THIS IS TRUE DESPITE THE FAULT OF THE CARRIER."

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO. V. UNITED STATES, 490 F.2D 1385, 1391 (CT.CL. 1974).

MR. HILL'S CONTENTION THAT THE MILEAGE DISTANCE SHOWN ON HIS FREIGHT BILL IS GREATER THAN THE ACTUAL ROAD DISTANCE BETWEEN EL PASO AND BENTON IS CORRECT. HOWEVER, THAT WAS NOT AN ERROR. THAT MILEAGE DISTANCE SHOWN ON MR. HILL'S FREIGHT BILL WAS THE RESULT OF PROPERLY INCREASING THE ACTUAL ROAD DISTANCE BY 10 PERCENT, UNDER THE MOVER'S TARIFF, IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THE MOVER A GREATER CHARGE BASIS TO RECOVER THE INCREASED COSTS OF MOVING AN OVERSIZED MOBILE HOME SUCH AS MR. HILL'S. THIS 10 PERCENT INCREASE WAS MATCHED BY A 10 PERCENT INCREASE IN THE BASIS OF MR. HILL'S ENTITLEMENT. SEE PARAGRAPH M10007 OF THE REGULATIONS. THE ONLY ERROR THAT THE MOVER MADE IN THIS CASE, CORRECTLY DESCRIBED IN OUR CLAIMS GROUP'S SETTLEMENT, WAS SELECTING A $1,351 CHARGE FROM THE WRONG MILEAGE COLUMN OF HIS TARIFF AND INSERTING IT, PLUS AN $11 PERMIT CHARGE, ON MR. HILL'S FREIGHT BILL. THE MOVER DISCOVERED ITS ERROR AFTER IT DELIVERED THE MOBILE HOME, SELECTED THE CORRECT MILEAGE COLUMN, AND BILLED THE ARMY THE CORRECT CHARGES BASED ON THE MILEAGE DISTANCE SHOWN ON MR. HILL'S FREIGHT BILL.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE MOVER CHARGED THE ARMY THE CORRECT AMOUNT FOR MOVING MR. HILL'S MOBILE HOME UNDER THE APPLICABLE TARIFF FILED WITH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, AND SINCE THE MOVER IS REQUIRED TO COLLECT THAT AMOUNT REGARDLESS OF ERRONEOUS ADVICE IT MAY HAVE GIVEN, OUR CLAIMS GROUP'S DENIAL OF THE CLAIM FOR AN ADDITIONAL $34 BASED ON THE MOVER'S ERRONEOUS ADVICE IS SUSTAINED.