On 04-26-05, I completed an internet transaction with Air Land And Sea Vehicle Delivery Corporation to transport a vehicle from Compton, CA to my grandson at Howard University,Washington, D.C.. The price qouted was $877. with a $200. Deposit. The deposit was paid by credit card and a pick up date of 04-29-05 was established.
After the deposit, I received an emailed contract for signature along with a credit card authorization form, apparently to pay the balance of the transport cost which was indicated to be $677. I completed and signed to contract and authorized the payment of the balance.
On Friday, 04-29-05, approximately 10:00 A.M.,I received a telephone call from someone representing M&E Auto Transport. The caller stated that they had just received an order to pick up my vehilce for transport to Washington, D.C.. The caller further stated that his driver would be in the area within a couple of hours.
About mid afternoon, a driver arrived at my home and loaded a 2002 Ford Explorer on his flatbed. He said the vehicle would be taken to Santa Fe Springs and loaded on the "transport". I asked the driver if he knew how long the haul would take and he staed 10 to 14 days. With that, he completed a Bill of Lading and inventory report bering the name of M&E Auto Transport, 10929 Firestone Blvd. #181,Norwalk, CA, 90650. The driver handed me a copy of the completed Bill of Lading, which I had reviewed and signed, and he left.
As I was checking the Bill of Lading more closely, I noted that someone had written $764 in a box marked COD. Though it was more than the balance qouted on the contract, I was not particularly bothered by the difference.
On 04-30-05, I left on a business trip to Alabama and didn't return until 05-12-05. During this time, neither M&E Auto Transport or Air Land And Sea contact me or my grandson regarding the status of the vehicle.
On 05-13-05, I called Air Land And Sea and M&E Auto Transport at their listed numbers. Always a recording referring me to someone else on a particular day of the week to trace a vehicle.
Annoyed, I drove to the Norwalk, CA, address of M&E Auto Transport and found it to be a Mail Box location. I became quite concerned that I might have helped someone steal my grandson's vehicle. I continued to call throughout hte weekend, always getting the same results.
On Monday, 05-16-05, I finally got an answer at M&E Transport. I told the male that answered the phone that I was attempting to locate a Ford Explorer that his company picked up for transport to Washington, D.C.. The male asked me to standby and a few minutes later, he gave me a phone number (301-330-1614) and said that my car was there. I called the number and spoke to a male ( identified as Mitch) who confirmed that the vehicle was there. I asked where was he located and he stated Gaithersburg, MD. I asked when had the car be left there and he stated "SATURDAY'. I asked how much would it cost to get the car and he sated $100. I also asked how far was his location from Washington, D.C.. He stated 35 or 40 miles.
I then called my grandson in D.C. and informed him that I had located the car in Gaithersburg, MD. I had also inquired of John how much would it cost to have his company deliver the car to Howard University and he stated $125. My grandson and I discussed the events and it was decided that we would have the car delivered the next day (Tuesday)because he didn't have ready transportation and was not really familiar with the area.
As promised, John's company drove the car to my grandson's Dorm at Howard. The driver, however, told my grandson that M&E Transport sai additional fees of $764 were due to be paid before delivery. Naturally I protested as my credit card had already been debited for $764 on 04-29-05, the same day the car was picked up at my home in CA. I talked to John, at 301-330-1614, and told him that the transport price had already been deducted from my credit card. He sted that he believed me but had to follow the directions of Dave from M&E Auto Transport. He gave me a phone number (800-690-1796) and I talked to Dave about the situation and told him that my credit card had been debitted $764 on the same day the car was picked. It was agreed that I would take cash or a Cashier's chekc to Dave's location at his office in Santa Fe Springs. I later learned the physical address for M&E Auto Transport is 11642 Pike, Santa Fe Springs, CA. I paid Dave $764 and he gave me a receipt that I subsequently faxed to Natalie at Air Land And Sea on 05-19-05 after discussing the details on the phone. Nothing happened for two weeks. 05-26-05, I telephoned Air Land and Sea several times and I finally talked to Fred and explained the situation of the refund to him. He spoke to Natalie and she said that she id not get the fax. Fred asked me to fax the forms to his machine and he would see that the refund was processed as he stated "we don't do business like that". 05-27-05, I talked to Natalie and she said that she had processed the refund. The refund has not been posted to my accound as of this date. No one answers the phones, email or faxes any longer. I suspect a conspiracy to chet customers exists between Air Land And Sea and M&E Transport. If it is not already in progress, appropriate authorities need to go after this company.