County officials, customers are unable to contact firm
This is off of the Sun-Sentinel.com
Palm Beach County officials checking on Auto Transport America’s headquarters in West Palm Beach on Thursday found the parking lot empty of cars waiting to be shipped, the company’s name scraped off the locked front door, and a “for lease” sign outside.
That leaves many retiree snowbirds, such as Jerry Kerzner, wondering if the company is out of business — and if he’s lost the hundreds of dollars he paid Auto Transport in advance to have his car delivered from his upstate New York summer home back to Delray Beach this fall.
“When I call the office, I get a busy signal. Or the message box is full,” Kerzner said. An Auto Transport customer for several years, he paid $575 in advance almost nine months ago, receiving a $50 discount for signing up early.
Other customers reported having to pay truckers extra to deliver their vehicles to their summer homes recently, since Auto Transport had bounced subcontractors’ checks. Some discovered their cars never had left the company’s lot weeks after delivery was promised.
State regulators have received 117 complaints, most of them within the past month, from Auto Transport customers. The state Attorney General’s office asks anyone who had problems with the broker to call 866-966-7226.
Diane Lade can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4295 or 561-243-6618.