We hired Tristar Trucking (automovenow.com) to pick up our vehicle on chosen date of 12/29/2010 and our original contract was posted with a person named Matt. Being sure to read the entire contract word for word, the pickup date, the quoted trucker charge, the deposit paid (against total price) and all additional info. was all there and seemed legit.
But the nightmare begins
With no contact from a trucker/carrier, nor from Tristar Trucking on the established pickup date agreed on, we called and got a person named Carl. He claimed to be only the dispatcher and assured us car would be picked up by the following week and explained he had no control over truckers taking holiday time off. Understandable.
Another week goes by and holidays are over and still no contact from Tristar Trucking nor a trucker/carrier, so we call only to be put off once again and verbally promised another pickup date which comes and goes as well. Numerous phone calls between Carl, my husband, my young daughter (owner of vehicle) and myself getting nothing but empty promises. We considered actually terminating contract but Carl assured us the vehicle would be picked up from Seattle soon and delivered to New Mexico in a timely manner. We actually get the car a month after our original agreed upon delivery date! So if time is of essence then do not attempt to work with this company because they do not honor contract engaged with you. They are a RIPOFF and willingly take advantage of people. This is where things get tricky and it's too late for you to realize they have no intension of honoring the contract with you.
The contract stated: received signed contract on 12/28 broker fee 175.00 paid and all the detailed info.
They have your car finally picked up and en route with an estimated delivery date, but no mention of changes in the costs/fees yet to be paid. Then a couple of days before we are contacted by the trucker/carrier about our delivery we get another email from Tristar Trucking and it happens to be the EXACT copy of our original contract with no mention of changes to balance or fees from original quotes. The night before delivery we get a call from the trucker/carrier, the third party which by the way handled our vehicle fine. Trucker said will deliver car the following day and you owe $900.00 before car can be released to you.The trucker had their contract with Fairway Auto Transport Inc. which is the same company we find out later as Tristar Trucking and I have since come to realize that they also use a website at automovenow.com providing same phone numbers and false promises and false ratings as well. The carrier tells us Carl agreed to a contract with them of a much higher quote, not just a few dollars, we are talking hundreds of dollars more then we were originally quoted. We were never notified about any change in costs or fees throughout the entire time.In the contract paragraph 15a which Carl loves to try to hide under it states Tristar Trucking reserves right to refund deposit in full or get additional sum of money,- but get this sentence that follows :
If you are not prepared to bid more, we will continue seeking a carrier to move your vehicle at the quoted price. The customer agrees to have Tristar add monies to the carriers pay in $50.00 increments, until vehicle is accepted for transport up to a maximum of $250. Any increase will be due at time of delivery and the customer will be informed of amount of increase. There you go! That is what Carl hides behind, but reality is during numerous conversations with Carl we were never informed of price changes as quoted on our original contract. If it had been a few dollars difference a person might tolerate it, but I am talking hundreds of dollars above and beyond the agreed upon amount written in our contract, an increase that was not expected. We are not rich and we value our money as well as time. It is of great importance to us, when we sign an agreement/contract, we EXPECT it to be honored and treated in a business-like manner, none of which we got from Tristar Trucking via Carl!
Trying to point out his dishonorable practices has gotten us no-where. The frustrations and uncertainties all along in this business transaction has been a total nightmare and pushed each of us far above and beyond your imagination.
If you cannot pay the amount trucker/carrier asks for, the vehicle will be taken to a holding place and you will incur additional holding fees until you pay their amount plus storage fees. It is my assumption that Carl and company know the hold they have on people and use it to their advantage with no remorse.
We tried to call Carl the evening before delivery to ask about the sudden increase in bill that was not shown on our recent email from him and he would not return calls so we called and faxed Tristar Trucking office early the following morning asking about the difference in prices quoted and our dis-satisfaction about delayed pickup and delivery times and that I expected him to make it right. There was no response to our fax or phone calls.
I tried to work it out with Carl at Tristar Trucking in a civilized manner once I got him on the phone that morning of delivery. I was basically informed that I didn't read the contract correctly and that I needed to read it, which I explained to Carl that it was right in front of me and I have read it several times word for word, and nowhere does it state anything other then the deposit of $175.00 (paid) which goes toward the broker fee as stated on the contract, which he tried to say was a deposit and not related to the broker fee and that I needed to pay an additional $175.00 but as mentioned above it said in the contract that deposit went towards the broker fee! Amount due of $460.00 is now a balance of $900 which we did not expect at all, or we do not get the car!
Carl would not provide me business owner name nor a contact number.
I asked to speak to the owner of the company and Carl said he was not available. I insisted on a name of the owner and he tried to evade my question and then throws out the name John, but with no last name and no contact info. Again refusing to provide me with an owner name and contact number.
So I asked for the Matt person who was on my original contract and he said Matt no longer works there. He said I had to talk to him/Carl even tho he earlier stated he was only the dispatcher! So there was no level of authority at all.
Carl was arrogant and rude and walking over the top of everything I was trying to say and kept referring to paragraph 15a of contract! I tried to go line for line, word for word, from 15a paragraph but he suddenly hangs up the phone. Conversation ended.
He did the same thing to my young daughter (owner of vehicle) when she tried talking with him about the change of balance due. She was the one with cash in hand for the delivery of her car to New Mexico! I was financially responsible for helping her to pay this bill and had made the initial deposit and given her the final balance due of $460.00!
Thankfully we were able to talk with the trucking/carrier company that did the transport and they agreed to meet us halfway on the price difference, but that means we were not the only ones taken for a crappy ordeal, the trucker/carrier got ripped off as well!
Our lesson is to do your homework before you hire someone to transfer your personal things whether there is a contract or not, the wolves are out there ready and willing to prey on you! Once they got your property you become their captive victim and there is nothing you can do, and they know it! And going to their website and reading about their supposedly good high standards and ratings means absolutely NOTHING! So my intension now is to get the truth out there in any and every format possible and let others know of the deceptive practices of this business so that no one else has to go through the amount of emotional and financial stress that we have been put through!