Yes, its that time again. I write reviews based on experiences with companies and products that I encounter along the path I walk in life. Today I had to write this review for a company based out of Boca Raton, FL. The company goes by a few names and there is plenty of bad things to say about them.
As I always do, I start with the facts surrounding my encounter. Recently my daughter moved from Asheville NC to St. Petersburg, FL. She was looking for a fresh start for herself and my grandkids and her boyfriend. They moved here and we were in the process of getting them situated with housing, jobs, school etc. You know all the pertinent details you would come to expect from a major relocation.
Well, after a short time being here, she landed a job and was on her way to work when her boyfriends truck decided to stop running. Long story short, the truck had 340K miles on it. Boyfriend owes more on the truck than its worth. So we decide to ship the truck back to the place he purchased it from. A buy here, pay here lot in Leicester, NC.
I’ve never shipped a vehicle like this, so I start looking for pricing. I submit a couple of requests for quotes and immediately my phone starts going bonkers. Calls from every trucking company in the Southeast I figure. Quotes are also filling up my email inbox. I start contacting these companies and begin talking to Michael Wallberg of Reliable Auto Transport.
The quote from them is a respectable $450 for Insured delivery door to door, with a winch equipped truck. He states that if I am not in a hurry, if I am flexible with my dates that he could have somebody out to pickup the truck by Friday. I had called on Sunday afternoon and agreed to his terms and pricing and timeline. I placed the $450 charge on my Amex card and closed the call out with him.
Friday comes and goes and no contact from anyone. I call Saturday and was berated by Mike stating that I said I was flexible and that he would ultimately have someone out to pickup the truck by Monday. Again Monday comes and goes and no contact yet again. I start to see a pattern here and do a Google search for this trucking company. What I found was not good at all.
Reliable United Auto Transport has multiple scam reports filed with the BBB and ripoffreport.com. It seems that they are not an actual trucking company. They are a broker. That means that they find a carrier to transport your vehicle and charge a fee on top of the trucking companies rates.
Immediately I file a dispute with American Express. Then start the process all over again. I dig through all the quotes I have from other transport providers, research a couple of them, then contact United American transport. FWIW their quote was $350 a full $100 cheaper than the first shyster that tried to scam me. I commit to the deal, they take a $100 deposit and send the contract for acceptance electronically. I am told I will be paying the driver the balance of the fee in cash when the truck is loaded. Perfect.
The next day I get a call from a driver that states they are in the area and would like to pickup the vehicle. I ask specifically if they are with United American transport and the driver says ‘Yes’. I agree to meet him at the pickup location and he arrives about 30 minutes later. I ask to see his paperwork and he shows me his pickup order on an Ipad. He is not with United American, he is with Reliable United and he expects to collect $450 in cash on the spot. I decline and tell him to leave without the vehicle.
A couple of minutes later, my phone rings and its Michael Wallberg asking why I wont let his driver load the truck. I tell him, “You are trying to rip me off, do not call me again. I have disputed the charge you placed on my card. Good day”. He then proceeds to ring my phone several times, I place his number into reject status on my mobile device. He then starts using a block on Caller ID.
Two days later I get a call from the second company. Driver in the area, calling to coordinate a pickup time with me. We setup the time, I get an email with the drivers contact info and an updated price of $420 total. I agree, driver shows up and I help him load the non running truck onto his trailer. Pay the $320 fee, collect my bill of lading and the truck is on its way.
Here is where it gets interesting. I log into my American Express account to check on the status of the dispute. It shows closed and I still have the charge showing as due. Immediately log into chat session with an Amex representative and ask why the dispute is closed. He tells me that Reliable United submitted paperwork that shows the charge as valid.
Dumbfounded I ask the rep how that can be as they showed up the day after I filed my dispute, that I had hired a different company and have paperwork that shows the vehicle being picked up. I also tell him to Google the company in question so you too can see all the rip off and scam reports about them.
The Amex rep, then files another dispute on my behalf, tells me not too worry. They will take care of this for me. He explains how I can upload my actual receipt and within 12 hours of uploading the bill of lading the charge is reversed.
If you are considering using Michael Wallberg to ship a vehicle. Don’t use them. Research them first and see how they have held vehicles hostage and scammed people. If you are looking for a reliable and honest transport company, talk to Robert Santini at United American Transport. Their number is 678-359-3696