When contacting a company to provide transportation
services there are a few things you should expect to get.
There should be a terms & conditions form attached with
their contract. Our Terms & Conditions was very simple and
laid out in our best interest. Most every company has similar
terms. View a copy of our terms and conditions HERE. You
will note that your insurance is stipulated as primary, this
was done by our attorney due to the fact that our insurance
premium was much less because the customer was required
to have insurance prior to our moving the vehicle.
Also one will notice that the transporter is not responsible
for mechanical or electrical damage. This is due in part to the
large number of vehicles purchased sight unseen and
customers being unhappy with the mechanical condition upon
arrival. The seller said it worked when it left and the customer
is left blaming the transporter. In one example we had a
vehicle that we had to winch on the trailer because it
wouldn't run and when we delivered it to the customer he
was very angry. The seller had told him the vehicle was in
perfect running condition. Luckily we had written on our bill
of lading at the time pick-up that the vehicle didn't run and
the seller signed it.
The above was just standard business practice and made
sure the customer wasn't upset with us, and it also made
sure the "legal" conditions of the terms and conditions form
never had to come in to play. We also made the practice of
photographing vehicles prior to loading a standard affair as
well. This way there was always photographic evidence that
supported our damage notes on the Bill of Lading.
We always required a deposit from our customers. This was
for two reasons; one, it ensured the customer was not going
to jump to another transporter once we had it scheduled and
planned on our calendar, but also to pay the initial expense
of the trip. Our typical deposit was 35% rounded to the
nearest whole dollar. There are some transport companies
that require a larger deposit and some that have a flat dollar
amount instead of a percentage.
As long as you know the company you are dealing with is
legitimate and they have a good reputation, there should be
no uneasy feeling paying a deposit. When working with a
transport broker the deposit is almost always
non-refundable, and this is scary for several reasons.
We helped many customers who had been hurt by transport
brokers. They had paid their deposit and waited several
months and the brokers couldn't find a transporter to move
their vehicle for the bid they made. The customer gets
impatient and finds another form of transport and loses their
deposit paid to the broker.
With the above information in mind it would be wise to find a
transporter you can work directly with. We were licensed not
only as a transport provider, but also as a broker. This was
because at times we would get more work then we could
handle and sold some of our jobs to other transporters.