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The Brookfield Megathread

H2eau

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Hello All, if anyone can provide input or advice I would appreciate it.  Basically this is our situation:

We are closing on our house on a Monday.  Brookfield is telling us we have to pack, load and clean on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the closing date.  They are telling us we have to travel on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The HG&E delivery is on Wednesday but we don't take possession of our new house until Friday so storage, lodging and food for two days (Wed and Thur) will have to come from Personal.
We thought we had set up a door to door move with closing on a Monday and possession of new home on a Friday with three travel days in between but we are told we are wrong because the moving company doesn't work on weekends.  Brookfield is telling us we can not be in town on the day we close our house but we need to be there because there are conditions of our sale that will be inspected that day.  If anything comes up we need to be present to deal with it. I can't move up the closing date on the other end because we are going to Bagotville, my spouse does not speak any french and I am away on course and can't physically be there until the Friday.

Help?
 

DAA

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See Chapter 5, specifically 5.03, 5.04 and 5.05.  Also, ILM&I do not have to be on "consecutive days" and the extra day for "cleaning" comes out of Custom.  Delivery of your HG&E on the other end is "not within your control" PROVIDED you report directly to the Brookefield Office on arrival at your new location and Base Traffic is provided with a contact # to get ahold of you.

If the movers are doing a pack and load on Thurs/Fri, your stuff will probably sit in a yard for the weekend.  Don't sweat what your being told, so long as you don't try and take advantage of things, it will all work out in the end.

If your Lawyer says you "have" to be there on Monday, then you have to be there on Monday but you will need a letter to this effect.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I've never had to use Brookfield. I don't know if there's any stories out there that show them in a good light. Co-operative, willing to work with the customer during special circumstances (deployment, course, etc.) and make things easy for the stressed out service family.

What I do read, constantly here and other places, points me in the direction of a selfish, money grubbing company, that would seem to have friends on the inside of the bidding process. They treat service people with contempt and appear, as in the example above, to flat out lie in order to create an untenable situation for the customer. All for the service of their own needs and bottom line. The serviceman shall not get in the way of their paycheck seems to be their mantra.

On the face, it seems scandalous and dollar wasteful. It would appear the whole process could use a good look at by an Ombudsman and perhaps a Ministerial Inquiry or an investigation by the Opposition MP's.

I feel for all the people that post their woes about having to deal with supposed robberbarons and count my lucky stars that I am well past the point where I will ever need these services.

Am I off base or not reading this right? It just sounds too archaic that someone isn't doing something about this.

Anyway, good luck to all those currently dealing and having to do future business with them.

It sounds like you'll need it.

Sorry for the tangent.
 

PAdm

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On a good day I refer to Brookfield as Nazis.  If you cannot speak reason to the agent, go see your base IRP Coord.  You are door to door but nothing is ever good enough for them.
 

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recceguy said:
I've never had to use Brookfield. I don't know if there's any stories out there that show them in a good light. Co-operative, willing to work with the customer during special circumstances (deployment, course, etc.) and make things easy for the stressed out service family.

What I do read, constantly here and other places, points me in the direction of a selfish, money grubbing company, that would seem to have friends on the inside of the bidding process. They treat service people with contempt and appear, as in the example above, to flat out lie in order to create an untenable situation for the customer. All for the service of their own needs and bottom line. The serviceman shall not get in the way of their paycheck seems to be their mantra.

On the face, it seems scandalous and dollar wasteful. It would appear the whole process could use a good look at by an Ombudsman and perhaps a Ministerial Inquiry or an investigation by the Opposition MP's.

I feel for all the people that post their woes about having to deal with supposed robberbarons and count my lucky stars that I am well past the point where I will ever need these services.

Am I off base or not reading this right? It just sounds too archaic that someone isn't doing something about this.

Anyway, good luck to all those currently dealing and having to do future business with them.

It sounds like you'll need it.

Sorry for the tangent.

I'd say you're pretty spot on. My last posting from Pet to Gagetown in 2010 wasn't too bad, but last APS was quite an eye opener. According to several friends and subordinates who were posted out last summer, the IRP agents apparently no longer actually "consult", it is up to you, the relocatee to read the book and figure out your own entitlements and if you don't ask, they won't voluntarily tell. At least not until something is amiss in your file that could result in scrutiny of their "consulting". I almost dread the thought of another posting for this very reason. Sad, really.
 

PAdm

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I have always said you have to be your career manager. Now you need to be your own relo agent/admin clk as well. 
 

Cansky

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Capt. Happy said:
I'd say you're pretty spot on. My last posting from Pet to Gagetown in 2010 wasn't too bad, but last APS was quite an eye opener. According to several friends and subordinates who were posted out last summer, the IRP agents apparently no longer actually "consult", it is up to you, the relocatee to read the book and figure out your own entitlements and if you don't ask, they won't voluntarily tell. At least not until something is amiss in your file that could result in scrutiny of their "consulting". I almost dread the thought of another posting for this very reason. Sad, really.


I am sorry your troops had bad experience.  Where were they moving from?  I have had 4 moves with Brookfield and this past APS was the best one ever.  Agent from Borden was amazing answered every question I had and even found us entitlements we weren't aware of.  We didn't have to read the book to much as she had been with Brookfield for about 8 years and really knew her stuff.  Only issue I had was with legal papers here in AB and even when she said we weren't entitled to anything she still research and found out how we could get it covered. 

I only wish there were more agents like the one I had.  She really made dealing with Brookfield a positive experience so different from the previous 3 moves.
 

CombatDoc

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KL, I'm glad you had an excellent experience with Brookfield.  I suspect you're in the minority.
 

garb811

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Kirsten Luomala said:
I am sorry your troops had bad experience.  Where were they moving from?  I have had 4 moves with Brookfield and this past APS was the best one ever.  Agent from Borden was amazing answered every question I had and even found us entitlements we weren't aware of.  We didn't have to read the book to much as she had been with Brookfield for about 8 years and really knew her stuff.  Only issue I had was with legal papers here in AB and even when she said we weren't entitled to anything she still research and found out how we could get it covered. 

I only wish there were more agents like the one I had.  She really made dealing with Brookfield a positive experience so different from the previous 3 moves.
And here's the biggest problem illustrated.  Based on my experience of 4 moves with Brookfield (including 2 international) where every one of the agents was "new", Brookfield churns their employees due to the cyclical nature of their business.  Borden is lucky due to the number of QL3 students that constantly go through that they can build and sustain an employee base that has a level of knowledge.  Most other bases don't have the clientele during the non-APS to support the number of pers they require for APS, so they hire people short term, give them very basic training and try to have them learn on the job.  Thus you end up with Brookfield employees providing advice and guidance, some of which can have severe financial repercussions for members, when they don't even understand the intricacies of the program themselves.
 

DVC185

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PAdm said:
I have always said you have to be your career manager. Now you need to be your own relo agent/admin clk as well.

How true and I found that out when we were moving from a location in Alberta to Yellowknife.

The IRP 'consultant', and I use that term in the absolute loosest term of the word, said we were not entitled to storage of F&E at the Queens expense due to the size of available housing. I said "oh yes we are" and pointed out the reference in their manual. She balked and yammered some incomprehensible gibberish that this was new to her. "Right" I said and I also mentioned that she best call the previous guy back to advise him of his entitlements and apologize for the misunderstanding

In addition to all the other stresses of a move, it is truly sad that Joe and Jane Airman/Sailor/Soldier must also assume the role of the old admin clerks to know the regulations. Those clerks used to do a bang up job for us and ensured we received everything we were entitled to.  :salute:
 

Cansky

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CombatDoc. Yes I agree I am in the minority but sometimes people need to hear the good stories as well as the bad ones. 

Garb811 you are more than likely correct in your observations. Borden does handle a large amount of moves and this does give the Brookfield agents an advantage.  However my agent I believe was a rarity even in Borden.  Having taught at the Health Services school and my students were all Sgt & WO's most of them were not so lucky and had some rotten agents there.  Of course the chain of command isn't allowed to intervene which I believe is a failure of the system. We can only advise from reading the manual and aren't allowed to discuss the individual subordinate's case with the Brookfield agent.  I shudder to think of the poor QL3 trying to navigate such a complex and unforgiving environment such as Brookfield.
 

devil39

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H2eau said:
Hello All, if anyone can provide input or advice I would appreciate it.  Basically this is our situation:

We are closing on our house on a Monday.  Brookfield is telling us we have to pack, load and clean on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the closing date.  They are telling us we have to travel on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  The HG&E delivery is on Wednesday but we don't take possession of our new house until Friday so storage, lodging and food for two days (Wed and Thur) will have to come from Personal.
We thought we had set up a door to door move with closing on a Monday and possession of new home on a Friday with three travel days in between but we are told we are wrong because the moving company doesn't work on weekends.  Brookfield is telling us we can not be in town on the day we close our house but we need to be there because there are conditions of our sale that will be inspected that day.  If anything comes up we need to be present to deal with it. I can't move up the closing date on the other end because we are going to Bagotville, my spouse does not speak any french and I am away on course and can't physically be there until the Friday.

Help?

Sounds about right to me even if it might be wrong.  I am going through a move from Ottawa to Edmonton right now. Brookfield appear to be hard over on the door to door move stuff based on Treasury Board direction.  The flexibilty that we used to have, to have 21 days of flex between sale and acceptance of our new home is gone.  Now we have to play the home sale closing date game, because it is going to cost us out of pocket.

When did the CF (or Brookfield) start spending our posting allowance?  I remember in the old days you were paid a posting allowance....you didn't have a bunch of contracted movement people spending your money on behalf of the CF like happens now.....

My posting allowance is no longer MY posting allowance....just another pot of money to be spent....
 

Fishbone Jones

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I have to wonder how the Brookfield 'consultants' are paid. Is it commission where the sooner you move your case to close, the sooner and better you get paid? Or is it salary, where they don't care and get paid, no matter what hoops you have to jump through or what they tell you? Or maybe a combo of both, or some other?

It certainly doesn't seem to be based on the calibre of work they do to make a clients transition simple, cost effective (maybe it is for Brookfield though) and painless as possible. ::)
 

PAdm

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devil39 said:
My posting allowance is no longer MY posting allowance....just another pot of money to be spent....
devil39 - are you my wife and you never told me you were on the forum??  This is a common theme in our house when it comes to moves and my wife's biggest pet peeve for 2 reasons:
1.  the post allowance is still on the books as a compensation for turmoil but yet it is a funding pot that Brookfield will spend to the fullest given a chance.
2.  this funding envelope varies from mbr to mbr e.g. cpl vs maj.  on my last move i had to eat a 13K mortgage penalty which destroyed all my funding env, but fortunately i had a relatively lg personalized env.  a cpl could have easily been in the same predicament but with a much smaller personalized pot.
 

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DVC185 said:
In addition to all the other stresses of a move, it is truly sad that Joe and Jane Airman/Sailor/Soldier must also assume the role of the old admin clerks to know the regulations. Those clerks used to do a bang up job for us and ensured we received everything we were entitled to.

we are dangerously close to another anti-brookfield thread.  My point to everyone is that if you are posted, you need to have a clear idea of what your move is about, and what your plan is.  You cannot go into Brookfield with a vague idea or "we are not sure if we are going to buy or rent at XX.  You need to have a plan!  Next, and equally as important, is you need to read the policy cover to cover and extract every item that you may be entitled to based on your plan.  If you do not raise a question, it cannot be answered.  My favourite Brookfield form is the "it is not our fault form" which is the long form where you have to tick off what areas of the policy you want to discuss and Brookfield annotates what date it was discussed with you.  They may indeed discuss the topic, but unless you go in with a full understanding of your move plan and the policy, you will not know what questions to ask about that policy.  I truly pity the poor sod who wanders in to Brookfield thinking that they will be treated with kindness and have their move spoon fed to them. :'(  Love it or hate it, the "new" relocation process places the burden on the mbr and the family.
 

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devil39 said:
Brookfield DND appear to be hard over on the door to door move stuff based on Treasury Board direction.  The flexibility that we used to have, to have 21 days of flex between sale and acceptance of our new home is gone.  Now we have to play the home sale closing date game, because it is going to cost us out of pocket.

DND is driving this and letting this happen.

We are very experienced military folk who face danger, can make a solid plan on the fly, and accomplish objectives.  We are smart folks in the field or deployed in general when we truly apply our craft.  A move is a far more challenging event as you are bringing the family dynamic into it.  DND wants you to simply find accn at your next place of duty.  Could be a mansion, or a house, or an apartment, or a cardboard box - as long as you report back that "yes, I have a place to live e.g. in Edmonton effective 1 Aug..."  The reality is that you need to pay attention to where the schools are; where potential spousal employment is; what the neighbourhoods are like for resale; safety; potential child health issues so where is the specialist located; commute time; housing cost; does 'the missus' like the house or the neighbourhood; what is the possession date of the houses you are looking at; does the house need work; etc, etc.  Any fool can go to e.g. Edmonton and secure a place to live effective 1 Aug.  The challenge is getting a place 1 Aug that is financially viable, in a good neighbourhood, that you can sell in 3 years, that your wife likes, that is close to a good school, in a safe area, reasonably close to work.  DND could care less about those intangible aspects that are very tangible for you. 

so buying a house is a very complex task.  And now we have the infamous door to door criteria imposed upon us and any deviation required in order to factor in the intangibles is a personal problem.  I always though the 21 day rule of thumb was still a challenge, buy a very fair envelope.  DND makes moving far too stressful on the family.

I wish all of you posted this APS patience, good luck and safe travels.  :salute:
 

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Kirsten Luomala said:
I am sorry your troops had bad experience.  Where were they moving from?  I have had 4 moves with Brookfield and this past APS was the best one ever.  Agent from Borden was amazing answered every question I had and even found us entitlements we weren't aware of.  We didn't have to read the book to much as she had been with Brookfield for about 8 years and really knew her stuff.  Only issue I had was with legal papers here in AB and even when she said we weren't entitled to anything she still research and found out how we could get it covered. 

I only wish there were more agents like the one I had.  She really made dealing with Brookfield a positive experience so different from the previous 3 moves.

Gagetown. There is a constant supply of QL3s moving all year long here. Don't get me wrong, I have had a couple good consultants myself, but the fact that someone who is posted needs "to check off what they wish to discuss" is pure and utter BS. When we do yearly IBTS or predeployment training, do we get to "check off what we wish to review"? Why is it that something that could bring a soldier / sailor / airman/woman's deployability to a halt as quickly as a move across the country gone bad is treated with less importance than a bloody C7 shoot? I understand the need to curb unnecessary spending such as those deliberately misusing the 21 day hotel bit, but I think DND has adopted too much of a hand's off policy here  :brickwall:
 

PAdm

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Capt. Happy said:
but I think DND has adopted too much of a hand's off policy here  :brickwall:

Love the brick wall at the end!  mil points inbound!
 

DAA

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Capt. Happy said:
I think DND has adopted too much of a hand's off policy here  :brickwall:

It's called "contracting out".  Brookefield does not have any "leeway" what so ever with regards to CFIRP policy.  They must go with what is in the book.  Mind you, they do have a "proprietary" operations manual which relocation agents can refer to and which does have examples and clarifications but these are not available for review by CF members.

So for the OP, you need to look at and be prepared to answer these questions:

a.  Which category do you fall into?  Art 2.2.01 or Art 2.3.01?  (2.3.01 can sometimes, result in a reduction in ILM&I benefits)
b.  Did you try and arrange for a closing date for the SALE on anything other than a Monday?  A closing on a Monday can be viewed as a 3 day extension of benefits!
c.  Did you try to arrange the closing date for the PURCHASE as close to the SALE closing as possible inorder to facilitate a door to door move?  You should have as a minimum, in your case a seven (7) day window (ie; pack, load, clean and 3 x days TNL).
d.  Have you consulted with both your Realtor and Lawyer regarding the "requirement" for you to be physically present the day of closing and do you have this in writing?  (on our last sale, we cleaned and went to our lawyers office either that afternoon or the day after, signed the papers, gave him the keys and then left town and the closing date on sale was another 3-4 days after that).

These are some of the questions that you "may" need to answer inorder to avoid any bumps in the road.  However, looking at the timeline which you have provided in your post, you seem to have made a sufficient effort inorder to arrange for a "door-to-door" move, in which case, I would have no heart ache supporting that your benefits (ILM&I) be paid.  But then again, someone may see it differently....

It's not like you are trying to milk the "maximum" out of the relocation, so they really shouldn't be trying to "nickel and dime" you!
 
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