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Public warning issued against three Australian motor transport companies and their Gold Coast-based Directors – no triple A service here

24 April 2020

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued a formal warning to Australian businesses and consumers against dealing with three transport companies who operate from the Gold Coast and Broadmeadows, Victoria.

Auto Transporters Pty Ltd (AAA), MV Transporters Pty Ltd and VTrans Pty Ltd and their directors, are the subject of a national investigation being led by the OFT.

The three traders are vehicle shipping and transportation companies that operate throughout Australia and have a history of taking consumers’ money and not supplying the service they guaranteed at the time the booking was made.

To date, Australians have lost over $130,000 to these companies and their dodgy practices. This investigation brings together all national consumer complaints made against these traders over the past two years.

This is a complex naming as separate companies have been formed and different business names and websites used. The conduct commenced with Auto Transporters Pty Ltd trading as All Australia Auto Transporters and AAA Transporters operated by Director Snezanna Mladenis. Their current website is www.aaatransporters.com.au and they have also previously used www.aaatransports.com.au and www.autotransporters.com.au.

In November 2018, AA Auto Transporters Pty Ltd commenced business under the names Auto Transporters and AA Auto Transporters Operated by Director Scott Ingram, also using the www.autotransporters.com.au website.  

In May 2019, this company’s name changed to MV Transporters Pty Ltd and continued to trade as MV Transporters and MV Transports using the website www.mvtransporters.com.au.

In June 2019, Mr Ingram registered the company VTrans Pty Ltd trading as VTrans using website www.vtrans.com.au.  

All consumers affected by the deceptive behaviour of Ms Mladenis and Mr Ingham 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.

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.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it was important for any affected consumers to come forward so that the matter could be properly investigated.

“We are working closely with consumer protection agencies in NSW, Victoria, SA and WA, as each of these companies have left consumers in those states without their vehicle for unreasonable periods of time. Taking payments from consumers and not supplying those consumers with the service they have paid for is a serious offence under the ACL,” Mr Bauer said.

Snezanna Mladenis and her husband Paul Mladnis were the subject of a successful prosecution in 2017 for multiple consumer law and motor dealing offences following an investigation by the OFT. Read details of that case here.

“It has become apparent to the OFT that Ms Mladenis has made minimal efforts to change her business practices,” Mr Bauer said.

“She has continued to engage in similar appalling conduct she was prosecuted for just three years ago.”

The OFT encourages anyone who has had dealings with Auto Transporters Pty Ltd, MV Transporters Pty Ltd, VTrans or their trading entities, to come forward.

“It is possible there are several victims who are unaware they have been misled, or that a national investigation has commenced,” Mr 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.”

All consumers or businesses, regardless of their location, who have engaged Auto Transporters Pty Ltd, MV Transporters Pty Ltd, VTrans or their trading entities should contact the Queensland OFT by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or by making a complaint online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.