One of the reasons we went to Florida last week was to facilitate the transport of my son's Pontiac GTO from our garage in Naples to his garage in Frisco, Texas. After doing his usual due diligence, Brian came up with a seemingly reputable car transport outfit, and made arrangements with them to pick up the car during the time we would be there. Sounds simple, doesn't it? We gave them a month advance notice, and a weeks worth of days from which to choose to pick the car up.
But oh no, nothing is simple when you're dealing with Omar.
Omar is the owner of the company that Brian's transport broker awarded the job to. You see, apparently there's an online broker with whom you contract, and they sub-contract out to an actual car-hauling company who bids on the job. Lucky us, Omar won the bid for Brian's car. (Not.)
The first problem occurred when Omar called us on the phone two days before we were leaving Michigan and said he'd be by to pick up the car the next day.
"No," my husband said. "We arranged with the broker that you would pick up the car on Tuesday. We won't even be in Florida until tomorrow night."
"Oh, but I have to get the car tomorrow," Omar said. "Can't you get someone else to help?"
"No," my husband said again. "We arranged specifically for Tuesday because there is NO ONE else to help you."
"But I have to pick it up tomorrow!" Omar insisted.
"No," my husband said again, calmly but firmly. "You will pick it up on Tuesday. This is your mistake, and you have to fix it."
Well, he didn't fix it. He just said he wasn't coming on Tuesday.
After some frantic phone calling back and forth, the broker promised he would have someone else pick up the car within the seven day time period we would be in Florida. But when six of those seven days had gone by and we had heard nothing, we had just about accepted we'd be leaving the GTO behind for the summer.
Then, late on the evening of the sixth day (my goodness, this is beginning to sound rather Biblical, isn't it?) we get a phone call from Brian.
"The transport people just called and said they're sitting outside your house and can't get hold of you."
Hmm. We peered out the front door.
"No transport people here," we said. Just then, Jim's phone began to ring.
"Hello," he answered. "What? No, you are NOT outside my house. I'm standing outside my house and you are not there. What? In front of the gate? On the road outside the community? Alright, I'll bring the car up there. Hang on."
He hung up and grabbed the car keys from the counter top, quickly shoving his shoes on. "It's that Omar," he muttered. "The $&*(#% parked on the road in front of Island Walk - says he can't get the truck through the gate."
We had surmised that would be a problem, but Omar was supposed to call us ahead of time so we could tell him a safe meeting place. So much for that plan. I stood in the driveway and watched as Jim roared off in Brian's one-of-a-kind Australian import.
I expected him to be gone maybe 20 or 30 minutes - after all, how long does it take to load a car on a transport trailer? When 90 minutes had gone by, I began to panic. Just when I was about to go in search of him, he threw open the door.
"Where have you been?" I cried.
"You'll never believe where he was," Jim said, heading for the refrigerator where he immediately downed an 8 ounce bottle of water. "He was parked in the middle of the road at the intersection of Vanderbilt Beach and Logan. We've been up there all this time while he went over the car with a fine tooth comb, marking all these spots that he called "scratches."
"What!" I exclaimed. This car has been garaged for nearly all it's life. There are NO scratches on it.
"Oh yes, and then he has the nerve to complain that the car is "dirty," as he gets inside without even wiping his hands and puts them all over the steering wheel."
"Well, when will Brian get the car?" I ask innocently.
"HA!" Jim guffaws. "He said that car will be going to Miami where it will be offloaded and sit in a lot until the end of next week when somebody else will pick it up and take it to Dallas."
"WHAT!" I screamed. ( If you hadn't already guessed, we are very protective of our cars in this family.)
"Yep." Jim said, shaking his head and reaching into the refrigerator to replace the water bottle with a beer.
Well, friends, that little adventure occurred almost 10 days ago. As of tonight, my son's car is still out there somewhere...according to Omar, it will be delivered "maybe in a few days."
Lest you think all this is cheap, it's not. We're talking about paying over $800 for the privilege of being jacked around by Omar and his crew. Not to mention the wear and tear on one's nervous system.
So let this be a cautionary tale for you. If you must transport a car from one place to another, do not under any circumstances, contact Omar.
Because, oh my, you'll be in for trouble if you do.