In October 2013, the Department of Transportation announced new regulations for the transport industry designed to improve consumer protection during auto transport. Some of the new regulations include larger security bonds and increased safety measures.
For one auto transport company, the new regulations did not come as a big surprise.
“When shipping a car from point A to point B, the car carrier is responsible for making sure that a vehicle is transported safely, on time, and without damage”, says Ship A Car Direct owner Michael Strickland.
“When there are a few bad apples in the industry, unfortunately its leads to poor customer experiences that affect the industry overall. It is because of that fact, that our company put strict consumer protection policies in place, long before they were required by the DOT. We spend our time hand picking only the best car carriers so that consumers will be well taken care of.”
He continues to explain that the carriers they select must be highly rated, fully insured, and have a clean safety record. They then stand behind those carriers with their own insurance coverage and guarantees. In the rare instance of vehicle damage, if the car carrier does not completely cover it, their second layer of insurance kicks in to make sure the customer is fully protected.
How Consumers Can Make Sure They Are Protected During Auto Transport.
1. Verify the requirements that must be met in order to be selected as a preferred car carrier. Ask if any drivers, carriers, or vehicles have a history of consumer complaints.
2. Find Out if safety requirements are in place such as routine vehicle safety checks, driver infraction checks, medical certifications, and even drug and alcohol testing. Ask if all DOT initiatives are fully supported. Programs such as cell phone texting bans and sleep deprivation prevention programs.
3. Avoid the terminal to terminal process. Some auto transport services deliver vehicles to a terminal directly after pickup, where they are then transferred to a different truck or even carrier for delivery. This leads to confusion, and a decrease in protection for consumers. Consumers are better protected if they select a company that uses one carrier system. A one carrier system requires that the same carrier be used for both pickup and delivery.
4. Ask Questions Up Front. A big part of consumers protection is education. Each part of the shipping process should be carefully explained, and all options presented. Additionally customers should be provided with a toll free number to experienced agents available to answer questions.
5. Ask For A Damage Free Guarantee or an extra layer of insurance. As explained above, each carrier is required to have proper levels of insurance. However, for added consumer protection, consumers should choose only auto transport services that offer an extra layer of coverage.
Visit http://www.shipacardirect.com for more information.
Name: Michael Strickland
Organization: Ship A Car Direct
Address: 150 Murray St #224 Niwot, Co 80544