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This article was reprinted from WABC-TV in New York.

Protecting Yourself When Using An Auto Transport Company

(New York-WABC, May 29, 2002) — When hundreds of car owners hired a company to ship their vehicles from Florida to Long Island they were promised delivery within a week. But after waiting about a month they felt like they had been taken for a ride, so they called Tappy Phillips and Seven On Your Side.
Hundreds of Long Island ‘snowbirds’ are without their wheels after an auto transport company hit some major potholes when moving cars from Florida to New York. After one couple was tired of renting they picked up the phone and got Seven On Their Side.

For nearly the last three weeks, Gloria and Milton Feldman were stranded in Suffolk County.

Gloria Feldman, Kingsway Auto Transport Customer: “Totally inconvenient. We’re handicapped here.”

The problems started earlier this month when Gloria contracted with Kingsway Auto Transport to ship her Maxima from Florida to New York for about $500.

Feldman: “They told me it would be five to seven days for delivery, which was satisfactory. It is May 27, I don’t have my car.”

Meanwhile, the Feldman’s have had to rent a car, costing them more than $200. And when Gloria called Kingsway to find out when their car would arrive, Gloria couldn’t believe their response.

Feldman: “Their answer was “come down and get your car in Florida.”

Ron Kreuscher, Kingsway Customer: “What was almost as bad is their attitude when we called up. It was like, ‘Why are you bothering me?'”

When we visited Kingsway’s offices we found a group of other unhappy customers camped outside. They were finally getting their cars, after waiting more than a month.

Kreuscher: “Not only did they not say, ‘I’m sorry, we’re having a problem,’ but they were so nasty.”

When we spoke to the owner of Kingsway she said more than 300 cars were delayed, saying the problem was due to their trucks.

Betty Lachance, Kingsway Auto Transport: “You’re only as good as your trucks. We didn’t know at the time they wouldn’t be available.”
Tappy Phillips, Eyewitness News: “Why didn’t you notify them?”
Lachance: “There are 300 people waiting. Notify them about what?”
Phillips: “That they’re cars are being delayed.”
Lachance: “I’m sure they’ve called here several times.”
Phillips: “They said they couldn’t get an answer.”

But we got an answer to Gloria’s problem, just three days after we called Kingsway, her Maxima finally arrived.

Before booking an auto transport you should always check whether the company is licensed and bonded . You can also check with your state’s department of transportation to see if the company has had any complaints. Still, those tips may not always protect you. Kingsway was licensed and had only one previous complaint.