A Toronto-based company that moves vehicles coast to coast is being criticized for not delivering cars and trucks in the time promised.
“Where is my car?” wondered Pawan Kumar, who recently relocated from St. John’s, NL to Vancouver.
Kumar didn’t want to drive across the country, so he found a company called Automoves Ltd. online and agreed to pay it about $3,500. After putting down a $1,000 deposit, with the understanding that his vehicle would be delivered in 24 days, Kumar says he waited and heard almost nothing back from Automoves.
“Once they picked up my car, they stopped responding to my emails, my text messages and (only) once in a while they responded,” Kumar says.
Kumar says the company’s owner, Andrejs Ludzeneks — also known as Andy Leeds — assured him his vehicle had been delivered to Vancouver. But that wasn’t true. The Toyota RAV4 made it only as far as Toronto, despite assurances to the contrary.
“It was a clerical mistake on one of my guys’ parts. Unfortunately, once in a while, this happens. We ship 200 vehicles a month,” said Ludzeneks in a telephone conversation with Global News.
Ludzeneks declined several requests for an on-camera interview.
Without a vehicle for two months in Vancouver, Kumar flew to Toronto hoping to retrieve it himself, after friends paid a visit to the company’s parking lot and found the 2017 Toyota in the rear of the building, shared with other tenants.
Using a second set of keys, Kumar was successful in getting it back. Now, he’s trying to find another company to take it the rest of the way to Vancouver.
Kumar’s complaint with Ludzeneks isn’t unique. According to the Better Business Bureau, Ludzeneks also owned a company called Imove Canada. In 2016, the BBB says the company was charged with three violations of Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act.
The BBB reports that the company was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay restitution of $6,972 for false, misleading and unfair practices.
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Automoves is not accredited by the BBB.
Police were called to the company’s offices twice while Global News was present, on one occasion at the request of another Automoves customer, Ghasem Gil.
He contracted Automoves to transport three trucks he purchased through a government auction in St. John’s. They were supposed to be arrive in Toronto in about a week, but haven’t, Gil said.
“Where are the trucks, where are the trucks!” Gil told Ludzeneks when the company owner called on his mobile phone during an interview with Global News.
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Kumar met with Ludzeneks and asked to be compensated for additional costs he had to pay to retrieve his vehicle, including the flight to Toronto from Vancouver. The bills came to more than $1,800.
Ludzeneks denies his company intended to do anything wrong.
“I’m not going to let you feed on this crap. Okay? You want to write that we scammed him out of something, be my guest,” said Ludzeneks.
Kumar says he regrets not doing more research before making his decision to hire Automoves, including negatives online reviews.
“They are so unprofessional.”
— With files by Megan King