A terrible experience

Pam Christison Submitted this review about A1 Auto Transport
Review made Live: 6/16/2005 12:11:00 AM
I used A-1 Auto Transport to ship my car from New Jersey to New Mexico. I paid $645 to ship a small sedan, which was a better-than-average price. I actually had checked with the BBB, and noticed that A-1 had some unresolved negative feedback. When I asked about it, they replied that they ship 14,000 cars a year, and that there was bound to be some problems, but that 99.5% of their customers were very happy. Next time I will take negative reports on the BBB more seriously.

I dropped my car off at their terminal on Dec. 14th, 2004. I checked with their tracking system 7 days later, only to find it hadn't left the terminal. After a couple of days I called and eventually was told, on the 23rd, that it was assigned to a truck. Several days later it was still at the terminal, and upon calling again I was told that my car had been dropped from the transport. After more phone calls my car was finally picked up on December 30th, having been "staged" for 16 days, and was delivered on Jan 5th. I rented a car for 23 days with a rental cost of $1045. They offered no partial refund, but instead offered me $100 off a future transport, which is insulting and ridiculous--I would certainly never use their company again even if it was free.

When I complained to the BBB, A-1's reply was to print me out a bunch of pages from their website where they say that no transport time is guaranteed. However on the very pages they sent me, they also claimed "vehicles may be staged at a holding terminal for several days prior to being assigned to a transporter. (In some cases 7-10 days) “ which was untrue. They say: "We are aware of how important your vehicle is to you, and we will provide you with a realistic time frame for delivery." Untrue! "A-1 will make its best attempt to accomodate your needs"--if this is true, it should be a big red flag for anyone considering using their services. "When booking your move with A-1, you will be provided with an estimated transit time that your shipment will take, in order that you may plan ahead." False--I was never provided with any estimated transit time other than the cheery estimate on their website. I certanly would have paid more to ship with another company if I'd known how long it was going to take for them to even pick my car up from the terminal--it would have been worth it since I paid to rent a car for so long.

The customer service representatives at A-1 were polite but completely unhelpful and unsympathetic. They obviously couldn't have cared less about how long it was taking to ship my car. Since finding this website, I see that it's because they had so many calls from dissatisfied customers that they just got used to it. I guess my experience with them could have been a lot worse, but for us it was by far the worst part of a difficult move.