About 500 military families have complained that they've been missing their cars for weeks – or even months – after relocating to another base, after a firm with a $305-million Pentagon contract failed to deliver their vehicles on time, WJLA-TV reported.
U.S. soldiers from the 29th Infantry division, based in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, USA, take part in a wreath laying ceremony to honour the division, in La Cambe, France, as part of the commemoration of the 70th D-Day anniversary, Wednesday June 4, 2014. World leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week in Normandy. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Melanie Buckley, who relocated with her Army husband from a base in Germany to Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia, in June, notified the Army's inspector general about her complaints regarding the contractor, International Auto Logistics. Buckley said she received different stories from the company all week as to why their PT Cruiser did not arrive on Aug. 4 as scheduled.
“Whoever the powers that be, if they knew that this contractor was treating military families with such disrespect, I think they’d be furious,” Buckley said.
She said when she contacted the auto contractor, she was told, “`We haven’t lost your car. We just don’t know where it is.'”
“Show respect to the men and women in uniform,” Buckley said. “Follow through; answer your phones, return emails, give us the truth and find our cars.”
According to WJLA, the Army’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, or SDDC, has received 500 complaints about the company from across the country. The SDDC told the station it was very concerned about the matter and working to alleviate the problems.
In a statement, IAL said it is doing what it can to deal with the highest customer volume it's ever had.
"IAL had less than two months to begin their contract that started during the busiest time of the year, leading to unanticipated quantities of vehicle processing requests that tested their new systems,” the company's statement said. “The volume of vehicles IAL has been requested to move in the months of June and July represent the largest volume for those months in the history of the program.”
The company said it is working closey with the U.S. Transportation Command, or USTRANSCOM, and the SDDC on a solution.
“To address customer complaints and comments, IAL hired additional employees, opened a new call center, joined a task force with USTRANSCOM and SDDC to monitor improvements and has already begun to fix process issues,” the company's said. “Solving these issues and delivering the highest level of customer support is the number one priority for IAL, as they have many military veterans on their staff who have used POV services for their own families. IAL is committed to providing the military personnel they serve not only what they demand but deserve.”