Do Not Use - Southerland Auto Transport


Staff Team
Warning! Do Not Use - Southerland Auto Transport AKA

Story 1

Nightmare getting car shipped!!!!!
Has anyone ever gone through Southerland Auto Transport?? They are giving me the run-around on shipping my car........
Paid: 12/4
Supposed to ship: 12/9
Supposed to have my car: 12/16
12/21: Still not even assigned a carrier!!!!! WTF?????
I have been on these bastards every day and they keep telling me they are working on it, call back tomorrow.............yatta yatta yatta, BULLSHIT!

NOW, to make things even worse, they are saying I need to pay them an extra $200-$300 to hurry the shipping process. HELL NO!!!! And if I want to cancel my order they keep $200 for "expenses"........ MY ASS

So pretty much I am either stuck paying those lazy fuks more money to sit on their ass and be late, or wait a long ass time until they decide I have waited long enough to get my car. Who knows when this will be.....

I need some advice, what should I do??

By the way, they are located in Cali.

Thanks for the help,


Story 2
Source: received the following consumer message on March 9, 2002:
RE: Southerland Transportation Company - auto transport co. - unhappy with pickup arrangements

Southerland Transportation Company is a brokerage company to transport vehicles from one location to another. I read the contract with Southerland and questioned the section of the contract that economy shipments are picked up by the next available carrier.

I called the 800 number supplied and asked the gentleman (who said his name was Bill) how soon the vehicle would be picked up under this arrangement he stated that they needed a ten day window. If I could wait the ten days then go with that option if I could not then I would need to go with the Premium option and the vehicle would be picked up on the day specified or if not possible the following day.

I explained that I needed to have the vehicle picked up as soon to the ten days as possible, that the people I purchased the vehicle from asked that it be picked up within ten days. I told him that I would talk to the people and see if that would be OK. He informed me that I could call back or I could go online and do the transaction.

We went online and filled out all necessary information on 11/26/01 my credit card was charged on that date. I asked that the pickup date be 11/29/01 I stated that the delivery date was not important but the pickup date was.

I called Southerland repeatedly after they had not contacted anyone about pickup of the vehicle.
On 12/16/01, I contacted Southerland and asked about the pickup of the vehicle. At that time they said that they could not see picking up the car in the near future.

But, if we paid an additional $200 they would see if they could get it scheduled for pickup within two weeks and that they could not guarantee that it could be picked up then. I then felt that they could not or would not fulfill their contract with me.

I was well past the time allotted by the seller at this point so I had no other option but to make other pickup arrangements.

I did pay a non-refundable deposit of $200.00 but I feel that that should be refunded due to their misrepresentation to me on the phone about the pickup time. I feel that they deliberately misrepresent themselves in order to charge more for their services when the customer is dissatisfied with the
length of time that they are taking in arranging shipping.

Story 3
Source: Email

Good morning,

I read your story with great interest, and was glad to see that I could respond!

I am an auto transport broker, as is Southerland. I have never done business with Southerland, so I cannot say first hand that the company conducts bad business practices. However, many of the trucking companies that I use have done business with them, and the vast majority will no longer haul their cars because they don't pay the trucks in a timely fashion, if at all!

The auto transport industry can be tricky to consumers like yourself. Again, as an honest, ethical broker, I am so glad to have the opportunity to write this. As you may already know, most trucking companies have designated routes, such as up and down the east coast, from the midwest to the east and back, from the west coast to the midwest and back, from the northeast to the southwest and back, etc., etc. So, if John Doe in Pennsylvania is looking for a transport company to transport a car he bought for his mother in Arkansas, it would be extremely difficult for him to find a trucking company that runs that particular route. He may have to call 25 to 100 before finding one.

That's where brokers come in. If we are ethical, we have an ICC number issued by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration ( and we are bonded (if a broker does not pay a truck for a car they delivered, they can file a claim with the broker's bond company). We have access to hundreds of trucking companies, as well as, where we check to ensure that the trucks we use have federal authority and proper insurance. If I received John Doe's order, I would charge him, say, $550. I tell John Doe that I am a broker (many brokers do not admit this) and will do my best to have the car transported in a timely fashion. I further explain that the process could take five minutes, or up to one month. John Doe receives our terms and conditions (copy attached), and I request a deposit amount by credit card and the remainder of the fee is COD to the truck. However, I do not process John's deposit amount, which is my fee, until his mother's car is dispatched to a truck. If it is taking too long to dispatch his mother's car and John can make other arrangements, he simply cancels his order with me.

You are right - people need to be extremely wary of who they are dealing with in this industry and they need to READ WHAT THEY ARE SIGNING. Yours is a horror story that I hear every day. Again, there are some ethical brokers out there, and those who are not, unfortunately, give us all a bad reputation.



Story 4
Source: Email

I have also had horrible service with them, and have submitted claims with BBB, and the Attorney Generals office. Unfortunately, I am now no longer working at my employer with who I had all of my correspondence, which was plenty.

I have a copy on DVD my email correspondence by currently do no have it at my current location. When I do get it, I will forward the pertinent emails to you, plus my letters to BBB an AG.

A quick summary:
Bill Southerland took me on a similar ride like yours, although my case was to move a business vehicle for my workplace from Virginia to the Bay Area. Nothing ever took place, and since I called them virtually every day for status after about 3 weeks of nothing, he got so pissed that HE cancelled my order. I received a Order cancellation email the next day, and I was also informed that they still get to keep the $200 non refundable fee - EVEN THOUGH HE CANCELLED IT!!! I questioned Virginia (office staff), and had some correspondence with Jennifer?, and they said that they keep the fee regardless of who cancels the order. My process was ongoing through about 12 weeks when the BBB sent them correspondence, which they refunded all the money except $200. I never cashed the check to keep the account open, and to also show that I did not accept anything except the full amount. I forwarded everything onto the AG and then hadn't followed a lot of things through since. Now, I no longer work there.


Story 5
Source: Email

I am sorry to hear that you too were mislead in this company. Bill Southerland is the most rude person that I have ever come across. He promise me delivering within a weeks time and I paid him extra to have my car expedited and it took several days for him to even find a carrier. That was because I was constantly asking him when my car was going to be assign and picked up. When he finally assigned the car for pickup it was an open container and I clearly told him on the phone that I wanted it to be a enclosed container because the car that was going to be picked up was a 1970 cuda, that I had boughten for my husband as a surprise.

I called Bill on it and everything went down hill from there and fast!!! He cursed at me on the phone and handed the phone over to someone else and then that person gave the phone to another person name Lynn. They all were nasty and finally I told them what I thought and hung up on them. I email Bill several time asking for my money back and his emails were very nasty and rude, in one of his emails he called me a DIP SHIT and told me to read my contract and that he wasn't going to send me all of my money back, that he was going to keep $200.00 of it. To make a long story short finally after about 6 weeks of fighting with him he sent me a check for $500.00 only because I threaten to sue him . Anyway I am going to send the complaint form that I received with the District Attorney, Rae Ballard and hopefully we can put this guy out of business and get the rest of our money back. Again I am sorry for what happened to you, this guy is a pain in the ___________________.

Good Luck,

Story 6
Source: Consumer Affairs

Bob of Rochester MN writes (7/13/01):
I was given a quote of $795 for the transport of my Porsche 911 from Lemoore, CA to Rochester, MN. This quote was for an economy shipment which was described as follows: "economy shipments will be picked up with the next available carrier".

The contract stated the company would contact me prior to any charges being made and to confirm the approval of the contract. This was sent in on July 2nd. The company never contacted me. I contacted the company on July 7th because I had not heard anything. At that time I was told that they were working on it and no date was available as to when it would be shipped.

He also told me that I could add another $200 to expedite the shipment. I refused to do so and he told me that they would keep working on finding someone to ship it. After another week of not hearing anything I contacted the company on 7-13 and again was told they are working on it but no date is available. I was again told that if I gave them another $200 that they would expedite the order. When I refused to do so and stated that I didn't think I was getting the service as it was described, Bill told me he didn't have time to play word games and that he was going to hang up. I told him not to hang up and that I didn't want him shipping my vehicle and he said send me a cancellation and hung up.

I now believe the initial quote is lower than the accepted rate in the industry for this shipment. Southerland is just a broker and has to find a shipper willing to ship the vehicle for the price they quoted. Therefore, because the rate is lower than what is normal to the industry no shipper will accept this rate. At this point it is a losing situation for the consumer because you can either pay the additional $200 and hope someone will take the job at that price or say forget it and lose your deposit.

Story 7
Source: The Squeaky Wheel

I was using Southerland Transport to deliver a car that I purchased off Ebay. I paid for the transport upfront through my credit card. They told me that I could expect 7-9 days for the car to be picked up and an additional 6-9 days to get it delivered. 5 Weeks later the car was still parked in the same spot.
I remained patient with this company, after all I did choose the cheapest transport. However as I was checking on the status of my car one day (by the way I told by one of the employees to contact her at this time), the owner answered the phone. For no reason at all he started yelling, screaming, and swearing at me. He also hung up on me 3 times. I continually asked him to have a civil conversation, however this went on dead ears. I have never been dealt with in such an unprofessional manner as this.

Even though I would have probably continued waiting for delivery, after this conversation I immediately canceled my order. They responded very quickly to my request to cancel. It's almost as though they were wanting me to cancel all along. I feel that this company makes a lot of money by delaying services to the point that their customers either cancel and pay a $200 cancellation fee, or they pay in an additional $200 to finally get their car.


This company needs to be put out of business.

Eric Erlandson

Thanks very much for your support.
Eric Erlandson

Story 8
Source: The Squeaky Wheel

Don't Let Bait and Switch you.
Very Important: We are now organizing a Class Action Lawsuit against Southerland Auto Transport, Inc. Please email me what happened to you along with your contact information and I will add you to the data base.
Warning. If you are going to contract to have your car shipped, read the contract before you sign. Southerland Auto Transport is a Broker. They collect a $200 fee on every car they attempt to ship. Look at the total price charged, subtract $200 and ask yourself if an honest Car Transporter will accept that low-ball figure to move your car. They won't and you will be waiting a very long time.

I have been waiting since 12/11/02 for them to transport my car. They know that at some point in time you will need to get your car.

They ask you to pay the driver an extra $200.00 for your car to be moved. They have an 800 number for placing your order. When you want to inquire about the status of your order, you have to call (530) 365-2598. I have made numerous calls to this number only to be told that my car will be picked up very soon. They keep stringing you along until you either pay the upgrade fee or you take action against them.

I filed a complaint against them with the Attorney General’s Office, The Better Business Bureau, the District Attorney, and posted to the Squeaky Wheel. Their response was to cancel my contract "per harassment and threats". Don't let them do this to you. Use a legitimate auto shipper. Contact the BBB where they do business. I am not the first person they have taken.

Southerland Auto Transport is dishonest. Don't let them rip you off too.

Thanks very much for your support.
David Feldgus

Story 9
Source: The Rip Off Report

I hired Southerland to transport my car from DC to LA. Their form contract did not specify how long it would take. Therefore, I called them and asked. I was told it would take around 10 days for my car to be picked up. I ordered the service and sent in a cashier's check (they don't take credit cards and now I know why) for the amount.

Its been almost 3 months and my car still has not been picked up yet. I've called and e-mailed the company repeatedly and they keep saying my car will be assigned to the first available carrier (this is what they spit out before they hang up on me). However, they will not tell me when that is. It's funny how before they receive your payment, pick up is 10 days but after they get your money, they cannot specify when your car will be picked up.

The company also says if I cancel, they will not return $200 of my fee for the processing charge. Furthermore, if I try to challenge the $200 processing charge, they will hold me liable for another $150 for their time and expense. I do not believe any of these charges are valid, however, if you do decide to take them to court, Southerland has conveniently provided a venue clause in their form contract which requires you to go to their place of business for any lawsuits. Therefore, it is not worth the time and expense for most people.

Don't be fooled by their professional looking website. Southerland is a bunch of crooks!!!! I've checked with the Better Business Bureau and they've received numerous complaints for the same thing - promising to ship your car w/in 10 days, failing to pick up the car for a ridiculously unreasonable period of time, and refusing to return the $200 fee. Shasta County's Consumer Protection Unit has also received a number of complaints regarding the *&!@#$%! at Southerland. Don't be fooled!

los angeles, California

Story 10
Source: The Rip Off Report

Took an order for him to arrange delivery of a car in 7-10 days. Contract he sent then let him out of this delivery promise with terms and conditions that said nothing about a propmt delivery. Verbally he said he would get the job done. He then asked for an additional $200 to expedite delivery-name your delivery date. Immediately charged our credit card. For 30 days the car was not picked up. Twice he sent e-mails saying the car was picked up and when we asked for a delivery date he said he made a mistake. We then cancelled the order and 2 days later the car was picked up. Okay, so the car was delivered. Next credit card bill came and he charged for expedited services.

His communications are short and rude-even telling us to stop sending e-mails when his e-mails were wrong. After we cancelled the oder he sent new terms and conditions about cancellation charges that were not on original contract. He was supposed to contact us 24 hours prior to pick up and 24 hours prior to delivery. He contacted us hours before the pickup and we called to find out about the delivery.

The guy is a rude, crude jerk.

Omaha, Nebraska

Story 11
Source: Better Business Bureau

Based on our file records, this company has an unsatisfactory performance record for failure to eliminate the cause of complaints.
During the first eleven months of 2002, the Better Business Bureau has received 128 customer complaints. These complaints refer to the consumer being verbally given some kind of time-frame by the company such as an average time or a time within which most vehicles are picked up.

However, complaints indicate that vehicles were not picked up within the time-frame given by the company, and consumers waited beyond the referenced time-frame before filing a complaint.

Regardless of any time-frame alluded to by the company verbally or otherwise, it is important to clearly understand that the company's contract states that there are no guarantees whatsoever with respect for when or if the vehicle will be picked up and delivered.

No reliance should be placed on any company representation as to a time-frame for the company's performance.
Seattle Area
Thanks for sharing Tom. This post could save a lot of people a real headache and some cash. Most people who use transport companies (even though this was a broker, which is more reason to be carefull) have nice cars. Not a lot of people know that they are hiring a broker and not the transport company directly. The brokers can make some mad quick cash by doing what the company you stated was doing. [thumb]


New Member
How about info on good shippers

I read all the horror stories about Southerland too. I ended up trying several different methods. There is a site called that you post as your own broker. I ended up using Dina at This broker got my car booked in one week and it was delivered six days after that. It only cost $900 to move my 96 328i 2600 miles from Louisiana to Bellingham, Wa (80miles north of Seattle) and this was door to door. The actual hauler was BT Auto Transport. I was very happy with the service I got.

Be aware that there are all these brokers that offer different prices but the bottom line is that they all post your car at the lower they quote you the less they offer private drivers to move your car and if they are keeping $150 or more of your fee then you know what they have posted your car for. Do the math, if they don't offer much to move your car it will sit for a long time until a hauler happens to be going by and picks it up.

If anyone else has had positive moving experiences, post them.


Big Daddy

Senior Member
PNW (Left) Coast
I know a good hauler in the state of California however they only haul in state. If anyone needs a car moved within California email me and I will hook you up.


1000 Post Club
Athens, GA
Dang...$800 to send a porche from CA to MN?!? I need to get into the transport business. I could drive it there on that money and have fun doing it!!! [bmwdance] [bmwdance]

I suppose these people don't want the miles on their cars though.

Looks like he won't be ripping anyone off for a while...

Government Actions
It is our understanding that the U.S. Attorney's Office has charged the owner of this company with mail and wire fraud. It is also our understanding that the company has ceased operations. On February 12, 2004, the Grand Jury indicted the company's owner on 12 counts of wire and mail fraud. On February 17, 2004, the company's owner was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty. It is our understanding that a trial was held in March 2005, and the owner of the company was convicted of three counts of mail and wire fraud. In August 2005, it is our understanding that the owner of this company was sentenced to 67 months and ordered to repay more than $95,000 to the 189 victims that were identified.

Report as of 08/20/2006
Copyright 2006 Better Business Bureau of Northeast California