More DOD disconnects in DP3 Domestic 400NG-2010TariffBy Eric Anders • Feb 22nd, 2010 • Category: Appliance Service, Defense Personal Property Procurement Program (DP3), Department of Defense/Military, GOVERNMENT SPONSORED RELOCATION, Military Moves, MOVE MANAGEMENT
Recently the diligent folks over at Daycos reviewed the revised Defense Personal Property System (DPS) 400NG tariff and the International Tender in preparation of the upcoming DPS rate filing. Fortunately for those who either subscribe to their blog or use their service, they've already identified several areas which have changed for transportation service providers (TSPs) in the two documents.
One issue likely to create problems in the DPS 400NG tariff is the new provision that states “Third Party Servicing DOES NOT APPLY to washers (e.g. front load) and other household articles that require bracing/stabilization (and de-bracing/destabilization) of moveable parts IN or ON such appliances. The cost of this service is considered to be part of the TSPs transportation charge” (emphasis added). The 400NG, incidentally, was updated on January 15th to become effective May 15, 2010.
Last October I published a short article about Moving a front loading washer and posted it at both my blogs and Moving and Relocation page at Examiner. Since then the article has become one of the most popular pieces viewed by readers at all three venues from both inside and outside the U.S.
Why? Because most of these new, energy-efficient washing machines come with shipping/stabilizer bolts, spacers and installation tools that need to be removed to operate the new unit when it's installed in a home. According to most manufacturers' written operating instructions, the same hardware is also required to be installed to properly service the appliance before it can be safely moved without damaging the unit.
The reason I posted the article is because many consumers (yes, that includes military service members, including ranking officers, top brass, and civilian government personnel) DON'T SAVE the shipping/stabilizer parts! In fact, if you visit some of the popular DIY forums, appliance clinic websites or consumer help communities found online, many owners complain that the delivery crew removed the bolts and spacers and took them with them when the appliance was originally installed. Some claim it's a conspiracy on the part of the manufacturer and/or appliance store to ensure a service call each time the homeowner needs to relocate.
If the homeowner doesn't have them, in some instances, it could take weeks to order proper replacement parts depending on the make and model of the machine. In many cases, especially during the busier summer months, that's longer than the advance notice that PPSOs often give carriers about new shipment awards.
To make the matter more onerous, some front-loading washing machines found in the homes of military or government service members may have originally been purchased overseas where the technology is much more popular because its so much cheaper! That means the cycle time for locating and ordering replacement parts could be even longer.
Although the new tariff language suggests that the costs related to providing the special parts and service should simply be included in the filed transportation charges, this type of simplistic guidance fails to address the issue of of how a responsible TSP or van operator is supposed to arrange safe, damage-free handling to move these expensive ($600-$2700) units if the proper hardware can't be located or installed before load day.
Of particular concern is the impact that this simple little change will have on individual Customer Satisfaction Survey results and Best Value Scores (BVS) – particularly from upset spouses already displaced by their PCS move who can't do their laundry because their ultra modern, energy efficient front-load washing machines don't work.
In DOD's new BVS environment, how do you price the cost of good will to keep an angry soccer mom happy?
Social influence and relocation