A very SAD DAS.
May 17, 2005 (Updated May 19, 2005)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
User Rating: Disappointing
Customer Service Experience:
Ease of Filing Claim:
Pros:Someone always available at the other end of the line, but read on.
Cons:Wow, only 15 words allowed to describe the cons and I've used... get the point?
The Bottom Line: I hope you read the full review for more fun, but briefly, this company is, to use a cliche, shady. Can anyone say "class action lawsuit?"
After reading this epinion, please read the other, similarly negative reviews. You may find a common thread.
Recommend this product?
I sent a cashiers check for an auto I bought from a small, classic car dealership in Florida on 3/26/2004. That same day I paid for transport with DAS. Before choosing DAS I called at least 5 auto transport companies trying to match the best price with the shortest shipping time. I was also looking for an auto shipper that did not subcontract, owned their own fleet, and didn't act as a broker. DAS fit the bill, had a short estimated time for delivery, and a medium price in an uncovered transport for $750. I also purchased additional coverage above and beyond their usual maximum liability of $250 for any possible damage with a standard $100 deductible. A delivery date was promised of 4/12/2004.
The problems began when I noted the shipping status of the car via DASs website. Well, I was going to be patient and trust the process, I decided. A week later I started calling DAS. The car was still sitting at the terminal. It sat for ten days before pickup, from 4/5/2004 until 4/15/2004. I followed their satellite tracking system patiently and noticed the car in transit, finally, by 4/16/2004, eleven days later. I was called on 4/20/2004 and told the car had arrived, 8 days late.
As I attempted to find the "DAS official terminal" where the car was to be delivered, I actually drove right by it. Eventually, realizing my error, I found the terminal. It was rundown place,resembling a junkyard. No wonder I'd missed it. Then, my delight at having found the right address turned to fright and anxiety, as I realized the car I had purchased was but a few feet away from where I parked and had gone unnoticed until now. The vehicle was as dirty as the road it sat on, and nearly the same color. The building whose function was a DAS terminal, seconded as a towing service while its third purpose was, indeed, as a junkyard. I went inside and was not greeted, but ignored by some pretty scurrilous and unseemly characters. Anyone seen the movie Deliverance?
I was told to sign for the car. I noticed that the car needed a final inspection before release so, instead of signing, I went outside and looked over the car myself and noticed a long rubbing on the rocker panel, visible despite the filth. This damage, although obvious, was not indicated on the terminal of origin shipping papers, which contained multi-view diagrams of a car for noting any possible contentious imperfections.
Back inside, I attempted to get cooperation from several of the "DAS Official Terminal" employees to look over the car to indicate and confirm the damage I saw on their receiving papers. They were evasive and uncooperative, acting uninterested. I'm sure they had become quite good at not only ignorance, but ignoring stressed out customers.
They claim the "car came in at 4 am and it was raining and did not know what happened and to take any damage up with DAS and blah blah blah..." I twice begged them to look at the car with me, and they were simply, quite good at deflecting neediness. I was not sure how they did it in retrospect, but they would not leave the building to inspect the car. Somehow, no seemed to make sense here. I was uneasy and they sensed it.
I decided to sign for the car. My only other alternative was to leave the car at this forsaken place, parked in the main drive to the gate of the junkyard in the gravel, mud, and potholes. Really, the only alternative was to leave the car there as they would not inspect. They wanted a release signature, and as you will read about later, it would have taken 17 days for a damage appraiser to actually inspect the car.
I signed for the car and, after getting the car washed, I saw more damage to the hood and fender that was not indicated on the shipping papers. I called the dealer who sold the car and he verified that they spent 20 minutes obsessively inspecting the car. DAS had indicated a few imperfections prior to shipping, but there were far more problems that were more obvious, and surely would have been noted.
I called DAS and told them of the rocker panel damage. This communication was the start of an arduous and comical process involving stonewalling and playing dumb.
I was told that a local appraisal company would be coming to appraise the damage. I was also told, repeatedly, by DAS after each call that they had informed the damage appraisal company of the problem and they would be out shortly. Well for seventeen days, from 4/21/2004 until 5/7/2004 I went back and forth between DAS and the "damage appraiser company" that DAS was supposed to send out. DAS had not actually contacted the appraiser yet but told me they had done so over and over. Meanwhile, the appraisal company acted like, who the @#$ are you? Finally the same DAS agent I had been dealing with throughout this whole ordeal, flat out asked me for the fax number of THEIR own contracted, damage appraisal company that I had been calling.
Their process seemed deliberately slow and calculated, as if in hopes that I would eventually love and support them in a healthy way. Thinking back, what better way to plant the seed of hopelessness then for the DAS agent to feign ineptitude causing me to wonder if anything at all would come of this situation. I guess that was so, if any small settlement did come around, I would be grateful.
The damage appraiser finally called and told me DAS had authorized them to come out. This was on 5/7/2004, 17 days after I received the car.
Later, I further understood why DAS delayed getting the appraiser out to look at the car. They are well versed in the process of claims and human nature. First, waiting allows the client to cool off. Secondly, even if more damage was found, making matters worse, they could claim the damage occurred while the car was in my possession. Tricky! Unknown to me at the time, they were only going to pay the damage I noted to them when I called on the day of delivery. That call was in regards to the obvious rocker panel.
The damage appraised at over $932.00, and knowing the low down on the company, was it any surprise to find later that it would cost thousands to truly repair the auto. The appraiser recommended a company, which he was not supposed to do, legally. Surprised? I assumed they would pay the $932, and so, authorized the work at Autocrafters. I also had some additional work done while the car was there, replacing some window seals that I would not blame on anyone- just an older car thing.
So, here I was with a bill for $1457 and I got a check in the mail from DAS for $67.
DAS had offered the $67 for the rocker panel damage and upon calling them, would consider revising their estimate since it cost between $200-300 to actually fix just the rocker panel, if I fax them a separate invoice for the rocker panel only. They eventually paid $133.
I did some soul searching and second guessing. Yes, there was additional damage to the car that they should have, in my opinion, paid for.
I had purchased FULL coverage insurance from them for this reason at an extra seventy bucks! Might as well of tipped the guys at the junk yard $70!
Honestly, I went with DAS because another reputable company recommends them. I see, however, that DAS has a very troubled past with the BBB, and other awful problems on Ripoffreports.com
I guess I am suspicious in nature, but DAS seems to have a fine honed ability to exploit how people naturally react to the problems like I've had. I really sensed that from the company.
Read the other bad reviews on them here on epinions.com and come to your own conclusion. I hope all the opinions here, especially the positive ones, are written by authentic customers. Believe me, my experience is, unfortunately, for real.
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Punctuality: Showed up late
Lost Goods: Yes
Amount Paid (US$): 850
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