February 1st, 2015

Bekins Van Lines Reputation Management

Aggrieved moving company users have in the past resorted to publishing their complaints on a website they have built themselves specially for that purpose. Like this ripped off consumer we reported on in October 2013. Now we have another example.

Last November Dianne Langdon hired Bekins to move all her belongings from San Diego to Castle Rock, Colorado. On 5th November, 45 minutes into the journey on the I-5, the breaks of the Bekins van caught fire. The flames quickly spread to other parts of the truck and by the time Camp Pendleton fire-fighters arrived Dianne had lost everything she owned (image below).

Bekins van fire destroyed everything

Dianne paid Bekins extra for the “Full Replacement Value Protection Plan” that is offered by interstate moving companies. She was under the impression, as most people are, that this was an insurance policy that would cover her loss. Unfortunately for her this is not the case and the maximum she can claim (in this case) is $6.00 per pound times the weight of the shipment. This equates to $33,000 for her particular shipment, however Dianne has estimated that her items are worth nearly three times that amount.

Unfortunately for Dianne Full Replacement Value Protection provided by all interstate moving companies by law are not insurance policies governed by State insurance laws. They are in fact Federal contractual tariff levels of liability authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

(As we have advised before the most prudent option for consumers is to purchase third party insurance from one of the reputable moving insurance companies but do check first to make sure that you are not already covered by your existing Home Owner’s Insurance Policy).

Naturally Dianne feels that as Bekins and no one else were responsible for the total loss of everything she owned they should pay for everything to be replaced. Bekins on the other hand are sticking to the letter of their contractual obligations and offering only the $33,000 compensation.

The question is are Bekins doing the right thing? How often is it that one of their customers has a total loss as a result of a fault in one of their moving van’s? In Dianne’s case perhaps Bekins legal obligation should be transcended by a moral obligation to recompense her in full. Bekins executives may like to ponder on the ancient proverb “a good reputation is more valuable than money” which is even more true in today’s world of social media than it has ever been.

Dianne Langdon’s “Bekins Burns” website can be found here.

Bekins Burns website screenshot

1 comment to Bekins Van Lines Reputation Management

  • Kimberly Ventura

    The Bekins truck that picked up my things, left with a man in the back of the truck, closed in the cargo area, smoking a cigarette. I complained about it, and it fell on deaf ears. My loss with Bekins occurred in a different way, but has been just as traumatizing. I have had thousands of dollars of damages and lost items I purchased their Full Replacement Value Protection… and no worries, they don’t honor it either. I am currently in dispute with them now. They are a HORRIFIC company to deal with. I am so sorry for your loss… only 50% of my shipment was load and destroyed.

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