The Importance of Terms of Service
The Terms of Service effectively forms a contract between the service provider and the user in a way that prepares the user for how the service works, what is included in the offer and what their own responsibilities may be when utilizing the service. In the Auto Shipping world, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires, by law, that these are made available.
However, despite the deep importance of understanding the service they’re considering using, most customers simply ignore the document outlining an Auto Transport Company’s Terms.
By and large, Auto Transport companies make their Terms of Service known by displaying them on their website. Others may prefer to include them directly in the Shipping Agreement / Contract to make sure a customer personally receives, and acknowledges reading, the full description of terms governing the agreement.
In general, the Terms of Service for an Auto Transport company should provide you with detailed information on the following:
The Shipping Process
Although each company will differ, most will ensure their Terms of Service specifically mention the finer details that a customer may miss during the consultations or booking process. For this reason alone, it is imperative that the customer takes the time to review these details in order to better inform themselves of what the service actually entails.
In most instances, the Terms of Service in the Auto Shipping industry will inform you of what to expect from booking straight through to delivery. This will include time windows for booking, pickup and delivery windows, various time policies and any guarantees, where applicable.
The Payment / Refund / Cancellation Process
In addition to assuring customers that their information is protected at all times, a company’s refund and cancellation process should always be outlined.
A client’s personal information could be misused in two ways:
- personal payment information can be processed using non-secure processes. Companies need to remain up to date with PCI compliance in order to ensure their payment environment has sufficient security to handle sensitive data.
- the company may sell your personal shipping information to other companies. Some companies focus entirely on gathering your information in order to sell it to different transportation brokers. These companies are called Lead Aggregators.
As such, legitimate and professional auto transport companies will make a point of addressing the use of customer information within their Terms of Service.
Refund and Cancellation:
Some companies may require you to wait a certain period for your refund or they may specify that after a certain cut-off period the deposit becomes absolutely non-refundable. Alternatively, they may charge cancellation fees depending on whether or not certain criteria have been met.
Given the variety of possible policies, a potential customer should always be aware of a company’s specific refund and cancellation policies prior to committing to utilizing a service.
Yellowfin Logistics makes sure our Terms of Service is listed directly within the initial Shipping Agreement so that our customers have a personal copy at hand throughout the shipping process. Be sure to take the time to read through the list carefully in order to make sure you can address any queries you may have with your Dedicated Shipping Advisor prior to finalizing your transport arrangements.