1. Door-to-Door: Auto Shipping companies that ship door-to-door are the best choice because the customer retains control of their vehicle right up until the moment it is picked up and on its way.
2. Terminal Vacations: Companies that utilize terminals are often quick to pickup the customer vehicle, hence guaranteed pick-up dates; but that is a double-edged sword as those companies are often slow to actually deliver, hence no guaranteed delivery dates. We say this is where cars go on vacation.
3. Terminals Mislead: Companies that utilize terminals will mislead the customer into thinking that their vehicle will be transported only on company owned trucks, when in fact they often broker the auto shipment to independent owner operators just like the competitors that they criticize. But that usually happens only after the customer is at wits end and many weeks later.
4. Terminals Trap: Companies that utilize terminals will often charge the customer for local hauling if they cancel (hey, they picked it up, right?) and as well for terminal storage charges. It is significantly high enough to make the customer feel trapped in the terminal service. It is an intentional manipulation that we are most critical.
5. Auto Broking: Auto transport broking is virtually the only method equipped to service the entire country. Think about it – how else can vehicles be organized and shipped from thousands of towns going to thousands of towns? No one company with their own trucks can even begin to consider such a daunting task. There are actually several thousand auto shipping trucks running on any given day. Brokering is the most efficient way to handle it, and the internet has made that job all the easier.
6. Deposit: The customer has actually hired an auto shipping company that collects a nominal deposit. Along with that comes an incentive to perform.
7. No Deposit: The customer has actually NOT hired an auto shipping company that does NOT collect a nominal deposit. There is no penalty to that company for failure to perform, and there is no obligation to perform. In fact, they notoriously do not perform.
8. Weak Companies: Companies that do not collect a deposit are usually financially weak and either fear losing their credit card merchant processing gateway, or already have lost it. Some of those companies only accept payment by check or Paypal. Bragging about not accepting a deposit has more to do with covering up their company inadequacy than with customer service. If they could, they surely would. But they can’t, so they put the best face on it.
9. Checks: It is exceedingly more difficult receiving a refund from an original check transaction than it is by credit card. Companies that primarily exist by checks have a notoriously high cancellation rate, which exacerbates the problem. Try getting a weak company to write a refund check. Only transact by check if you have no other choice.
10. Full Payment: Companies that collect the full amount will often first attempt to keep far more than the amount of a nominal deposit. Human nature such as it is, that company may attempt to hire a driver for far too cheap which will usually slow down the process and inconvenience the customer. Only when those efforts have been exhausted, sometimes weeks later, will that company pay a fair price to the driver and the customer vehicle successfully ship. The customer is likely unaware of those shenanigans.
11. Google Search Results: Upon performing a Google, Bing or Yahoo search query for “auto transport” or “car shipping” companies, the user is likely to find that nearly three-quarters of the web site results are not actually in the auto shipping business. For those of us that manage a successful business, it is frustrating to see former competitors who failed in this industry now using their well-positioned domains as nothing more than multiple quote services, or redirecting their traffic to sometimes third rate companies with dubious reputations. Also galling to see cheesy multiple quote sites score higher with Google than legitimate car shipping businesses.
12. Multiple Auto Transport Quotes: Multiple quote sites create more problems for the customer than they solve. First of all, the customer is not prepared for the deluge of auto transport emails and phone calls from seven to ten companies, which seemingly have no end. Many customers later regret having filled out a multiple quote form, giving out their email address and telephone number (never give your home address!), and receiving numerous low-ball quotes that have little chance of shipping in a timely manner. The games many of these lead providers play are too many to list here.
13. Instant Car Shipping Quotes: There are only a couple of companies, ours included, that provide a quote within seconds online. We were the first to do it, and still nobody does it as well. Why? Because it is a mountain of work to automate something so complicated. But most of the web sites that claim to provide instant quotes are simply using the phrase to lure customers into filling out their form. Does the customer get an instant online quote? No.
14. Owner-Operator Carriers: At any given time, there are several thousand owner-operator trucks rumbling down the highway with several vehicles on board. These are hard working people doing a tough job the best way that they can. We respect the job that they do and we need them. Because they are doing that, it means that they can’t be on the phone or internet drumming up business. So they need us. It’s really that simple.
15. Bad Apples in Car Transport: We weed out the bad apples as soon as we sense trouble. Because we do that so effectively, we are left with the gems, which is most of the drivers. Like our customers, the over-whelming majority of drivers are a pleasure to deal with. We have countless stories of their kindness and consideration. At the end of the day, most people are very decent.