Help Me Hank: Transport Troubles
This is about as good as it gets: itís almost summer and now Mike's got his own car.
"I was pretty psyched."
It was all thanks to Grandma Lipka down in Florida. She figured her darling grandson had more use for the four-door than she did. So Mikeís mom arranged with an auto transport company to hook up the car on a truck like this, and make the drive up the coast and over to Framingham.
"I wanted the car. I didnít want any hassles."
The car arrived, and Mike hopped right in.
"I came outside and grabbed the keys and, you know, signed for it."
But here's where the Mike's summer almost turned to bummer: the car would not steer!
"I would hold the wheel and it would just go back and forth. I would try to turn the wheel and it wouldnít necessarily obey me."
Mike pretended for a minute or two that it was OK, but it just wasn't.
"It just definitely was not a drivable car."
So Mike did what any good high school kid would do:
"I called my parents and waited for them to get home before I did anything else."
Mikeís dad checked it out, and so did a mechanic. The verdict: the rear alignment was shot. This control arm, which helps the car's tracking, was bent and cracked. Whatís more the Lipkas learned: that control arm is where car carriers hook up the chains that attach the car to the trailer.
"The car was obviously backed off the car carrier while still secured with chains. Someone forgot to take the chains off."
Here's the bill for repairs. Mrs. Lipka called the transport company to pay it. But no.
"I wasn't having calls returned, I wasnít having emails returned."
Thatís when she called "Help me Hank". So we called the company and reminded them, the car was fine leaving Florida. It was clearly in their custody when it was damaged.
Yes, they said, we'll pay that repair bill.
And soon after, the money arrived. And now: Mike and his car are all ready for summer. Thanks of course, to Grandma Lipka.
If you're hiring an auto transport company, make sure they're licensed and registered with the US Department of Transportation. So what consumer battle are you fighting? Maybe I can help.