: Anyone here been defrauded by Southerland?

12-25-2002, 02:16 PM
Car Movers Beware!
Before you choose a car carrier please read.

On August 20, 2002, I was searching for various car shipping companies on the internet and found a company called Southerland Auto Transport. I submitted an email to request a price quote from Southerland Auto Transport and received an email response prompting me to call the company by phone. I called Southerland and a gentleman quoted me a price of $595 to ship my BMW from California to Texas. I read all the information on the site and the company advertised that they had 99% on-time delivery. After reading all the information, I concluded that Southerland sounded reputable, so I called the company back and spoke to a customer service representative who assured me that since I am placing my order 4 weeks in advance, Southerland would have no problem delivering my car on time.

On September 10th, I went ahead and placed an order to have my car picked up on October 3rd to arrive in Texas on October 10th. Two weeks prior to October 3rd, I called Southerland as well as emailed them to make sure everything was ready to go as scheduled. Lynne, the office manager, assured me that they would have a truck available to transport my car. Two days prior to the pick up date, on October 1st, I called Southerland to check on the delivery and Lynne told me that they would have a truck there to pick up my car as scheduled.

On October 3rd, after waiting all day, I called Southerland and Lynne told me that they were still trying to find a truck to pick up my car. She then said that I should call back tomorrow. The next day I called Southerland and left messages on the company’s answering machine with no response. One of my phone calls was finally answered by a gentleman that rudely answered my call and hung up on me.

On Wednesday, October 9th, the truck still did not arrive, so I phoned Southerland. Lynne told me that Southerland itself charges $200 for the delivery service and the remaining amount goes to a trucking company that actually delivers the car. She said no trucking company is willing to ship my car for the remaining $395 and if I wanted my car to be delivered, I would need to pay more since $395 was too low of a price. I told Lynne that if she knew that no trucking company would deliver my car for $395, then why did Southerland quote me such a price to begin with. She answered there was nothing she could do.

I then waited for almost another two weeks and still did not hear anything from Southerland. I sent Southerland an email saying that I have waited over 2 and a half weeks for my car to be delivered and cannot wait any longer because I need a car for transportation. I asked Southerland to please refund my money if they cannot have my car shipped, so I could get another shipping company to deliver my car. The next day, I received an email stating that my order was cancelled. I then called my credit card company to have my charges reversed. Approximately six weeks later, I received a letter from my credit card company regarding my request for the reversal of charges.

The credit card letter stated that Southerland had refused to refund the full $295 amount Southerland had charged on my credit card. Southerland only refunded $95 out of the $295. Southerland told my credit card company that the $200 was a nonrefundable amount charged for processing the order. After I received the letter from my credit card company, I contacted Southerland twice asking them to refund my money and both times they refused to refund my money stating that the $200 was a nonrefundable processing fee.

Southerland did not process anything. They did not even assign my car a truck carrier. The contract stated that if I cancelled the contract before the scheduled delivery of my car; the $200 fee would be nonrefundable. That is not the case for me. I waited more than 2 weeks after the scheduled pick up of my car before I contacted Southerland for a refund. I have written a letter to the State Attorney General as well as filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If anyone is in the process of getting their car shipped, please beware of this company.

Fraudulent Business Practices:
After some research on the net, my story started to collaborate with other defrauded customers. It seems that Southerland Auto Transport has been making a habit of quoting a low price to consumers and then later demanding more money once the "Processing fee" has been charged. They would use various stalling techniques to request for more money and if a customer refuses to pay, they would make them wait for long periods of time. Eventually most customers give in and pay Southerland more money or go to other companies and loose their $200 Processing Fee.

Their Business Sites:

You are also welcome to contact Southerland Auto Transport to verify this story.
Southerland Auto Transport
Lynne - Office Manager: info@movingmycar.com
ICC - MC398001 - Licensed and Bonded Broker
19397 Anna Road - Anderson, CA 96007
Toll Free: 1.800.688.4085
TEL: 530.378.2293 FAX: 1.866.790.5573