The Federal Trade Commission
has charged two Las Vegas automobile transporters with misrepresenting their
ability to have consumers' cars picked up or delivered in a timely manner.
AAAA Auto Car Brokers
Inc. (AAAA), AAA Anywhere Anytime Auto Brokers Inc. (AAA Anywhere), and their
owner, Katherine Ann Carter, settled FTC charges in October by paying $45,000
in consumer restitution. In addition, the defendants are prohibited from making
false claims about the certainty of pick-up and delivery dates and from falsely
claiming they have a superior record of timely performance or that cars will
be picked up or delivered on specific dates without having a reasonable basis
for such claims.
According to the FTC's
complaint detailing the charges, the defendants are automobile transport brokers,
who, for a fee, offer to arrange for consumers' cars to be shipped throughout
the United States and overseas via truck, ship or rail. The auto brokers often
locate independent trucking companies to handle the transport. The FTC says,
as a result of promised delayed pickups and deliveries, many consumers were
forced to cancel their contracts with the brokers and lose their deposits
of $200 or $250. In addition, some consumers also experienced extreme delays
waiting for arrival of their vehicles, requiring them to rent cars or incur
other incidental costs, the FTC alleged.
In addition, the settlement
requires the defendants to pay $45,000 in consumer redress. These funds will
be given to identified consumers who, according to company records, cancelled
contracts and failed to obtain refunds of deposits or certain other fees.
Copies of the complaint
and the stipulated final order are available from the FTC's web site at www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580. To file a consumer complaint or get free
consumer information, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), or use the
complaint form at www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm.