Auto Shipping Glossary: Refund Policies
In any industry today, customers almost always have the option of getting a refund if they are dissatisfied with the product that they receive. Service-based industries are a bit trickier; for instance, if you hire a plumber to come fix your toilet, and he does it, and you pay him, chances are you’re not entitled to any type of refund, because the plumber has done his job. If you put a deposit down on a plumber, for whatever reason, and they end up not coming through, that’s a different story, and when it comes to shipping a vehicle refunds by nature have to be handled a bit differently than in other industries.
For starters, most of the time you won’t even pay any money to anyone until your vehicle is actually scheduled to be picked up. When you first book an order, you’re going to have to wait around a bit for a carrier to be found. Though there are thousands of car shipping trucks across the nation, there’s likely no one sitting right next to your home or office just waiting for you – they go where the customers go, and the best car shippers make their money by getting from one area to another as quickly as possible. That’s why you hire a broker to find a carrier for you – auto transport brokers have lists of carriers they utilize to find one that is either in your area now or that will be in your area soon. Once they find a carrier for you, that’s when you pay, typically a deposit of around $200 (some may be a bit cheaper, some a bit more expensive). What’s nice about this method is that if your shipper takes too long in finding a carrier for you, you can easily cancel your order without need of a refund.
This is why pre-paid orders and collecting deposit upon booking of an order are less popular and common. Customers have to put money on the line with no guarantee that the services they are paying or will actually be done, and that wait time can be really detrimental especially if your broker isn’t doing their job. Refund policies will be included in your shipper’s terms and conditions, which are publicly available and must be presented to you upon demand. Most shippers have them on their websites, and if they don’t you can also have your representative read them to you – verbatim, if you’d like. This will explain their refund policies to you in a timely manner and give you a full overview on what to expect if you need a refund.
As we mentioned, unless you had to pay a deposit when you booked your order, you won’t need a refund if you cancel your order before your vehicle is dispatched or picked up. Most of the time you can’t cancel after your vehicle has been physically loaded onto the truck, because at that point there’s really no turning back – the carrier certainly won’t, not unless you’re going to pay him for his time, which will likely be more expensive than if you were to just ship your vehicle from start to finish in the first place. Different companies have different policies in terms of how their refunds are processed and how long they take as well; this is something you also need to look out for, which is why we highly recommend reading a company’s terms and conditions before booking a shipment with them.
You should, however, take a minute to fill out our free online car shipping quote request form. When you do, you’ll receive multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transport companies in your email inbox within an hour of submitting our quote form, and some will start showing up mere minutes after submission. Once you have your quotes you can compare those companies against one another to find the right shipper with the right reputation and experience for your needs. If you have questions about our services, or need some help getting your free quotes, give us a call any time at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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