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How to Avoid Bad Auto Transport Companies

Auto transport has a recently tainted history. The advent of the internet greatly diminished barriers for getting into the industry. Auto brokers became very popular, attracting honest and dishonest people alike. Unfortunately the dishonest people had a huge advantage over their more ethical counterparts, lowballing. Deposits were taken, but when the time came to ship the car no carrier would show up. When the customers called to complain they were ignored and of course the deposit wasn’t refunded. It took a while for the government and consumers to catch up. Brokers have a bad reputation to this day.

The business continues to draw in undesirables, though they are far fewer in number now. Smarter consumers and stricter regulations have given the virtuous brokers a foothold on the industry. But the internet is free to everyone, scams are still numerous and getting more difficult to spot. It pays to be cautious where you submit your information, sensitive or otherwise. Getting scammed is certainly still a possibility.

The easiest way to spot an objectionable company is a poorly designed website. These websites are usually younger and more hastily put together, the pictures are pixelated and there are misspellings in the text. The creator may not want to invest time or money in case of a forced shutdown or in case of the website (or company name) getting a bad reputation. This is a common technique used by scammers all across the web. Once the first site gets enough negative reviews he will create a new site and a new company name. This isn’t a definite sign but it is a red flag.

A quick Google search can reveal all of the companies secrets. Cheated customers are far more likely to share their experience on the web, so if a company has been deceiving people there will definitely be someone on the web making it known. These reviews are usually the first results to show up, this is an enormous red flag. If there are multiple reviews by customers who never received their deposits back, never got their cars moved, or simply had trouble reaching the broker, avoid that company without hesitation.

Lowballing is a time tested con, some people simply cannot stay away from the possibility of saving so much money, no matter how unrealistic. While you shop for an auto transport company the prices will be about the same. Every company calculates their quotes differently but in the end the prices should come within about $100 of each other. No broker can get you a drastically lower price, they are at the mercy of the truck driver. If a broker guarantees a price, stay away. If a broker’s price is much lower than most other companies, stay away. If a broker’s price is much higher than other companies, stay away. Resist the temptation, at the very least retain your credit card information until a carrier is found and you have the price in writing from the broker. The old saying is truer in auto transport than about anywhere else, if it sounds to good to be true than it probably is.

Multi quote sites (lead providers) are not untrustworthy in concept. You go to one website and receive quotes from multiple companies, it’s a good idea. These websites are not auto transport brokers, they merely sell your information. They are essentially middlemen to the middlemen, which, again, isn’t bad in and of itself. The problem is that these websites attract illegitimate brokers. Most lead providers don’t screen who they sell to, they want to make as much as possible from your info. It’s possible to find a decent company but keep your guard up.

The best way to judge a company is to call them. Customer service says an enormous amount, questions should be answered knowledgeably, the phone should be picked up quick, and the representative should be well spoken.

Use your common sense, it’s your most reliable tool.

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