Two Nevada automobile transport brokers settle FTC charges of false and misleading practices

| Monday, December 03, 2001

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.

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