For quite a while we get calls from clients saying their auto was never grabbed on the planned pickup date, or that the auto transports organization they enlisted changed the cost at the pickup date.
Basic steps which will help you pick the right auto transport organization and stay away from scams!
Regularly, scam organizations will have inadequately kept up sites with minimal genuine data. Likely there will be no contact data, especially no telephone numbers or email addresses at which you can get a grip of somebody in the organization.
They will probably have few pages on their sites aside from a landing page and possibly FAQ and administrations pages, however those don't tell anybody much at any rate. An extraordinary approach to keeping away from a trick organization is to look at them on Transport Reviews and the BBB, as authentic organizations will have a ton of positive audits and life span.
Auto transport has a high turnover rate, with numerous organizations coming up short after the first year or two. Organizations that can survive numerous good and bad times are organizations that have incredible contact and generally a robust notoriety, which is pretty much as imperative as being around a while.
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Other known scams in auto transport industry:
1. The Lowball "Limbo" Transport Scam
The general practice followed by auto transport industry is that the brokers work as intermediary party or middlemen trying to fix a deal between the customer and the trucker who will transport the vehicle. The pricing is provided by the broker that fluctuates based on various factors such as number of vehicles to be transported, the route of transportation, number of truckers available in the customer's locality, etc.
Therefore, the competition seems to be high and one has to be wise with his pricing tactics while approaching the customer. In order to seek customer's attention, the brokers decrease their pricing and fix as early as possible. On the other hand, the trucker would not be agreeing to transport the vehicle at such a reduced price.
The Lowball "limbo" scam takes place when in the last minute; the broker cleverly manipulates the customer's (limbo) mind by giving an excuse that the driver has encountered a problem due to which he will not be picking up the vehicle. Also, he has arranged for a substitute driver but the substitute will be charging more for the last minute request. The customer at this point will be left with no choice but to pay the charges demanded by the substitute truck driver.
2. Detective Transport Scam
Detective scam is being practiced in most of the cases and there are many people falling for it. You have already submitted a form requesting for transportation of your vehicle. Once done with that, you receive flood of pricing quotes through calls or emails from various transport companies. One such company may attempt to get your pickup and delivery addresses through such means and put it on the national board which is used by all the independent transporters and brokers. In this way, they are avoiding other truckers and brokers to contact you any further and forcing you to sign a deal with them. Hence, unless you have finalized with a particular company, never reveal your pickup and delivery information.
3. Auto transport Broker Clone Scam
You receive a call from abc company claiming to be xyz company (company you have booked to transport your car). They lie about losing your information for pickup and delivery from their system and ask for it again for re-processing. This information will be posted on national board at a higher price than the company you are working along with, stating that you have signed paperwork with this company (clone company) and you do not want any contracts from other company (cloned company). The customer having no idea about all this ends up with a big hole in his pocket. Therefore, to ensure it does not happen, save the number of your broker after fixing up the deal.
4. The PRETENDER Transport Scam - Beware!!
The PRETENDER is the latest scam technique used on the pretext to deceive customers by getting their credit card information, pickup address, contact name(s) and phone number(s), delivery address, contact name(s) and phone number(s). Here, the scammer will contact the customer who is already in a deal with a broker and pretend to be that broker's carrier. He complains the customer demanding for more money, saying the broker did not pay the right amount. Furthermore, to get their target act promptly they state that there are limited spaces available on his truck and therefore, the customer will have to take an immediate decision.
To avoid such situations, beware of the following things:
- The legitimate carrier in contact with your broker will have all the information about the vehicle.
- A legitimate carrier does not ask for credit card information. They are usually paid after the delivery of the vehicle.
- On receiving any dubious calls from the carrier company, cross-check with your broker and clarify your misconceptions.
Tips to avoid getting scammed by auto transport companies:
- Always remember to pay the carrier upon delivery.
- Never give your pickup and delivery addresses to any calls from independent truckers or carriers.
- Don't fall for low ball quotes only to be charged more lately.
- Check out the shipping or transporting company's references, reviews and ratings on the internet. Most preferably, go for a known auto transport company from your locality.
- Don't get carried away by the presentation and reviews on their website. Sign up with company only after talking to them over phone and analyzing them from different angles.
- If a company charges lower than average, take a minute to judge the company. There may be additional charges like, gas, storage and insurance to pay for on the transit. Realize if the deal is "too good to be true", stay alert.
- To differentiate between legitimate and non-legitimate transport companies, look for spelling and/or grammatical errors on their websites. Fake companies will never mention phone numbers and any other contact details to avoid getting into trouble. And if there is a phone number, give them a call and check out on various forums before signing up the paperwork.
Victims of auto transport scams:
1. Lorin and her husband faced major inconvenience while shipping their new car from Phoenix to Ocean port in LA. They hired Brian through TowingQuotes.com and gave their credit card information to him for making payment. Brian, the scammer, called them and convinced them to pay via e-check. On not receiving their vehicle even after three and a half weeks, Lorin and her husband suspected Brian and after checking up with the ocean freight company, they got to know that they were scammed.
2. An awful experience shared by an anonymous customer with an auto transport scammer. It shows how lack of research about the auto transport company before getting into the deal will make one experience delays in delivery and pay extra charges.
3. CBC News on May1, 2014 gave an example of car shipping scam to alert its viewers. It shows how even a legitimate and professional looking company can be successful in manipulating the customers to sign a deal and make them pay. The victims have a hard time in getting the delivery of their vehicles and end up paying more than budgeted.