The Queensland Office of Fair Trading has issued a warning to Australians about three transport companies that have allegedly scammed people out of more than $130,000.
Vehicle shipping and transportation companies Auto Transporters, MV Transporters and VTrans are currently the subject of a national investigation being led by the Office of Fair Trading after receiving dozens of complaints over the past two years.
According to the OFT, the companies have a history of taking people’s money and not supplying the service they guaranteed at the time the booking was made.
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“To date, Australians have lost over $130,000 to these companies and their dodgy practices,” the OFT said in a statement.
It’s understood the companies have changed names and websites a number of times, with All Australia Auto Transporters, AAA Transporters, Auto Transporters, AA Auto Transporters, MV Transporters, MV Transports and VTrans among the business names used.
“All consumers affected by the deceptive behaviour of Snezanna Mladenis and her husband Paul Mladnis allege the traders fail to transport vehicles within the time frame specified and/or guaranteed at the time the booking was made and payment accepted. Or, when no particular time frame was expressed, the vehicle was not delivered within a reasonable timeframe,” the OFT says.
“Refunds and requests for compensation are always declined as the companies rely on terms and conditions and service policies which they do not disclose when accepting the booking.
“They only provide a 48-hour window from the time of booking to make a cancellation or seek a refund in any circumstances.
“Consumers also allege they find it extremely difficult to contact the traders when they experience delivery delays.
“On the rare occasion customers do get a response, the trader advises that the vehicle is ‘in transit’ and refuses to confirm the location of it to allow the consumer to retrieve their vehicles and make other arrangements.”
The Office of Fair Trading is now urging anyone who has had dealing with Auto Transporters, MV Transporters, VTrans or their trading entities, to come forward and contact the Queensland OFT by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or by making a complaint online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.
“It is possible there are several victims who are unaware they have been misled, or that a national investigation has commenced,” Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said.
“The OFT will continue its investigation in order to identify other clients of Ms Mladenis and Mr Ingham and take action under the Australian Consumer Law.”
The three transport companies operate from the Gold Coast and Broadmeadows in Victoria.