How customers can avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.
(This information was taken from a report written by Bob Sullivan, MSNBC News – Technology and Science)
The auto transport business is essentially an unregulated industry.
In the mid-1990’s, when the Interstate Commerce Commission was closed, responsibility for industry regulation was given to the Department on Transport’s Federal Highway Administration. Unfortunately, the DOT does not have the resources to monitor the auto transport industry.
What does this mean for consumers?
Less-than-honest movers can easily deceive consumers, which tend to go with the lowest price. With the advent of the Internet, car movers can set up shop in a day, start “low-ball” biding, take the consumer’s deposit, and then disappear as quickly as they appeared. In fact, only four or five bids out of ten will be honest ones. The rest will be low-ball quotes designed to get the consumer to sign a contract the mover will add on additional fees later.
What are some of the hazards that a consumer faces by a less-than-honest mover?
Loss of deposit: Many companies will charge a deposit. When the moving company does not pick up the vehicle within a reasonable time frame, customers who attempt to cancel their order, to find another moving company may be surprised to find their deposit is non-refundable!
“Priority shipping” fees: When customers learn they will lose their deposit if they cancel the order, they may also be told they can pay and additional “priority shipping” fee to expedite the pick-up of their vehicles. Of course, this is after the pick-up has already been delayed by several weeks!
Demand for extra fees: Even through the customer has already paid for the services in full; truck drivers will demand more cash when they arrive with the car. In fact they may hold the car hostage unless the customer pays the additional fee!
What can a consumer do?
Beware of an auto transport company that requires a deposit Remember that the lowest price does not mean the best quality Confirm that the quote you are given includes all fees, including insurance, taxes and tolls Find our how long the company has been in business, and where their physical location is Make sure the company will offer you the option to pay in full, on delivery Get referrals from family, friends and co-workers who have used auto transporters