With the advent of the internet, movers no longer need a physical office. Car movers can now setup a website and get an 800 number practically in a day and start lowball bidding consumers and disappear just as quickly. Since consumers very often tend to go with the lowest price, they are easily lured by such dishonest movers. It is even possible to find numerous websites appearing to be independent companies using the same 800 number.
Consumers who search online for an auto transporter are very likely to come across lead generating sites. Some of the sites claim to be authentic auto transporters, when in fact they simply sell leads to about 7-10 transport brokers. At the end, consumer is left with about 10 quotes, with probably half of them being "low-ball" quotes designed to lure consumers into signing contracts. Needles to say about countless phone calls and emails from about 10 companies. Consumers will usually lose their deposit if they choose to cancel the order or are not willing to pay the add-on fees to "expedite" the shipment.
WHAT CAN CONSUMERS DO?
- Beware of companies that require an upfront deposit. Ten percent or so is fine, but never pay the full amount. Opt for "COD" (cash on delivery) method of payment.
- Run from companies that claim they have their own trucks when in fact they are simply brokers who may not even have a pickup truck. If a company make such a claim, ask for their USDOT number. All carriers who run interstate operations must have a USDOT number.
- Read the contract fully before signing.
- Don't settle on the lowest price. Usually it's an invitation for more problems and fraud then one ever would want to deal with.
(Some of the information used here was taken from a report written by Bob Sullivan, MSNBC News)