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Old 29-07-2015, 01:34 PM   #1
snowcone
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Default Beware importing a car from the US

Plenty of guys ask questions about who to use for this type of service.
Well I want to tell you who not to use as they are shonky as hell.

USAtoAUS

The owner, Lawrence Ryan, also owns Aussie Car Imports which has an Australian ABN, but the registered business address is a house in Landsborough outside of Brisbane that he does not reside in or operate from.

The USAtoAUS website has an Australian phone number, but no address so you can't actually front up to them.
I was able to track down this address via a PI which is a property in Alberton outside of Brisbane and the number is registered to the Queensland manager, Philip Newell.

Lawrence Ryan operates out of 2 addresses in the USA , one at Battleground WA and another at Vancouver WA. The Battleground address is also shown to be the address for Indira and Philip Newell.
Indira Newel is a native American married to Australian Philip Newell who also manages USAtoAUS in Brisbane.

Indira Newell is also a principal of Aussie Ford Parts, another company but not related to Aussie Car Imports

These 3 people are wound tighter than a $2 watch. I was foolish enough to use them to import a car and it arrived damaged and they wouldn't release it unless I paid additional fees. I had also paid insurance to them which they wouldn't acknowledge.

I could give you the whole story here, but the short version is they charged for an insurance policy that was never taken out, charged for additional Quarantine fees that were never substantiated by AQIS, damaged the car in 2 places and only offeredto see freight out some rusty replacement parts off a different model with no repairs or painting. When I refused this lousy offer he cut off all communication so I launched legal action. I took my case to QCAT and then registered the decision with the Brisbane Magistrates Court and have been awarded $2,019 in damages, but they will not communicate in any way at all.

But because Lawrence Ryan is operating as a sole trader, I cannot take action against anyone in the Brisbane premises to recover the money or items of value. Because Lawrence Ryan is operating out of the USA I cannot summons him to appear to an enforcement hearing in Brisbane.
Even though it is a registered business in Australia with an ABN, he has set himself up where he doesn't have to abide by any Australian consumer laws.

Use this company at your own peril.
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Old 29-07-2015, 01:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Well that sucks. Sorry to hear. What were you importing anyway?
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Old 29-07-2015, 02:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Can the relevant US state's better business council/bureau help? Most US State's have one and I have had success with using them when I have issues with items I have bought from the US. This one http://www.bbb.org/alaskaoregonweste...ow-us/contact/ I think. Worth a go and might at least put them on the BBB's watch or black list.
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Old 29-07-2015, 03:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

I spend years working for a forwarder/customs broker with a specialized division for Cars/bikes/etc Ex. USA Unfortunately I heard this type of thing to much.. they would get a quote from us, then go with some 2 bob operation for a bit less $$$ which would bite them in the butt (not saying this is the case with you at all but ive seen it all).

Insurance Policy - As soon as you paid for the insurance, they would have been able to send you a copy of the policy for your records should you need to use it. Obviously if damage occurs to your vehicle make contact with the Freight Company (they will have terms and conditions regarding not being common carriers and take no liability for damage) and then you would contact the insurance company direct to sort out... I assume they didn't give you a copy of the Policy and therefore may never have even taken the cover out

Quarantine - ALL quarantine action will have some sort of paper trail. When the car gets inspected by them, they will issue either a release or a direction for further treatment. All of which clearly state what action is to be taken. This should have been provided to you by the forwarder/freight company. Once released, Quarantine also issue a "Final Record of Service" with ALL the fees the Department charges you. The depot charges for cleaning are separate and can vary but again, they should be able to provide an invoice for service

It sucks you got screwed by what seemed like a dodgy operation. Don't let it scare you off through as there are some great ones out there. the Company I used to work for has now moved away from this type of work but I can recommend a company that does this type of shipping and Is brilliant..
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Old 29-07-2015, 03:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Shame. I see them advertise all the time for mustangs. good to know.
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Old 29-07-2015, 05:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

I was recommended to contact the State Attorneys Office in Washington.
Their website says they will investigate any complaints but will not take action against any company that doesn't want to co-operate so that was a waste of time.
A bit like Queensland's QCAT.
I am in Newcastle but was informed I have to use the Tribunal in the State where the business is based.
They hold the hearing and you have to jump through hoops for months supplying avidavits etc and then they don't enforce their own judgements. You have to then start again and register the result with the Brisbane Magistrates Court and then apply for another enforcement hearing, but the catch is that you have to serve the other party with papers to appear. A bit hard when he is in the USA!
Even if the Judge went ahead with the enforcement hearing in his absence, to get any money i have to pay for the Sheriff to go to his premises and find items of value to confiscate. problem here is that he doesn't own the property where the business is operating from so I can't touch anything there.
The Law is an @rse sometimes.

I was never issued with any insurance papers despite having it on my receipt.
I also requested to see the AQIS report for a second cleaning and inspection and was denied this by Indira (the car was in showroom condition when it left the USA and was never going to need any more cleaning)

The car is a 64 Thunderbird that I sourced in Boise, Idaho. The car was everything the dealer said it was so nothing to do with him.

I finished up paying $7,000 including GST to this crook which is more than the other quotes I got. I thought I was dealing with an Australian business rather than an off-shore one but got screwed big time anyway.

This guy is a few muscle car forums too and likes to spruke about the clinets cars he brings in
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Old 29-07-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

I'm finding this very interesting because I'm planning to import a '59 Cadillac Eldorado but given this info I think I'll cross these numpties off the list of people I'll call.
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Old 29-07-2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Thanks for posting, this is the best way to hurt the scammer less $$$$ as that's all these scum bags care about
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Old 29-07-2015, 07:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

QCAT is a waste of time unfortunately....the crooks just laugh at it. the victim does all the work and gets nothing.
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Old 30-07-2015, 06:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Interesting as these guys have an itemised list for costs for cars on their websites, including things like: Secure Handover, Transport to terminal, Preparation/Quarantine, Packing/Customs/Shipping, Unpacking, Broker, GST and local port fees. The fact that they did this made me think they were reasonably above-board as they didn't hide anything ..

I've been tempted by a lot of stuff on their website before.
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Old 30-07-2015, 09:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

I watched their website for ages and enquired about quite a few cars with them.
Every car I asked about from their website was already sold and they asked what i wanted so they could source it for me.
When I think about it, it looks like they are playing the old "bait and switch" game.

It's quite possible, and this is only a theory, but none of the cars on their website could be genuine ones "on their books" and just ones they have sourced from US classifieds to fill up their website to get punters, like myself, in.

Oz Javelin - yes they itemised the fees and said they prepare the cars for Quarantine before leaving the States and offer you insurance, at additional cost, based on the value of the car.
But they don't give you an insurance policy number or details on how to claim and don't answer your questions when you enquire about doing so.
And when the car arrives they say it cannot be released because AQIS has determined it is too dirty and requires additional cleaning and another inspection so you have to pay them for this before they will tell you where the car is. My car was in showroom condition including the engine bay and underneath as it had been restored so when I asked to see the work order from AQIS this what met with a response "what paperwork?"

In any case, the magistrates at QCAT agreed with everything I said and claimed, but they are a consumer toothless tiger so it doesn't count for much.
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Old 30-07-2015, 12:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by XG_Falcon View Post
I'm finding this very interesting because I'm planning to import a '59 Cadillac Eldorado but given this info I think I'll cross these numpties off the list of people I'll call.
I can recommend EDI International Freight Managment- Talk to Trish De La Cour.. She and EDI will help you out without the drama's of the morons OP used...

Snowcone - Unfortunately AQIS have the right to send this stuff for a clean no matter what the apparent condition when it left the USA... There may have been stuff up in the wheel wells, underneath or somewhere that cant be seem without getting in/under/around the car which is what they do... Still surprised they wouldn't give you the AQIS Charges...

If no Insurance Policy docs where given, I doubt they even set it up..
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Old 30-07-2015, 01:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

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Originally Posted by Big_Daz View Post
I can recommend EDI International Freight Managment- Talk to Trish De La Cour.. She and EDI will help you out without the drama's of the morons OP used...

Snowcone - Unfortunately AQIS have the right to send this stuff for a clean no matter what the apparent condition when it left the USA... There may have been stuff up in the wheel wells, underneath or somewhere that cant be seem without getting in/under/around the car which is what they do... Still surprised they wouldn't give you the AQIS Charges...

If no Insurance Policy docs where given, I doubt they even set it up..
That was also the decision that QCAT made.
No documents to prove additional cleaning or the insurance were ever taken out, just scamming extra charges and pocketing the bonus
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Old 30-07-2015, 08:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Daz View Post
I can recommend EDI International Freight Managment- Talk to Trish De La Cour.. She and EDI will help you out without the drama's of the morons OP used...

Snowcone - Unfortunately AQIS have the right to send this stuff for a clean no matter what the apparent condition when it left the USA... There may have been stuff up in the wheel wells, underneath or somewhere that cant be seem without getting in/under/around the car which is what they do... Still surprised they wouldn't give you the AQIS Charges...

If no Insurance Policy docs where given, I doubt they even set it up..
Thanks for the info, I'll add them to the list of places to call.
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Old 30-07-2015, 10:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

This sounds like a disaster, there are grubs everywhere in the car industry.

Hope you get this sorted, but it sounds like you are chasing shadows.
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Old 30-07-2015, 10:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Just dropped in here ... so who did you use to bring in your T-Bird?
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Old 31-07-2015, 11:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Its a shame to read this.
Indira has not imported a car for me but she did help me secure some merchandise a few years back and even went to the trouble of getting Marcos Ambrose's signature on my hat. No probs anytime, very pleasant and helpful.
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Old 31-07-2015, 12:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

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And when the car arrives they say it cannot be released because AQIS has determined it is too dirty and requires additional cleaning and another inspection so you have to pay them for this before they will tell you where the car is. My car was in showroom condition including the engine bay and underneath as it had been restored so when I asked to see the work order from AQIS this what met with a response "what paperwork?"
This is standard AQIS/wharfie procedure, not the importer. They need beer money for the weekend. Every car I have imported has been 'cleaned' and 'reinspected', only for me to pick up a dirty car the next day. You are not on your own here. Most people know this and factor it in...

The Better Business Bureau in the US will look into it and put a black mark against their name and list it on their website as a warning to others. Popular in the US, but not that well known here.

Last edited by Speedyblue; 31-07-2015 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 31-07-2015, 12:29 PM   #19
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This is standard AQIS/wharfie procedure, not the importer. They need beer money for the weekend. Every car I have imported has been 'cleaned' and 'reinspected', only for me to pick up a dirty car the next day. You are not on your own here. Most people know this and factor it in...

The Better Business Bureau in the US will look into it and put a black mark against their name and list it on their website as a warning to others. Popular in the US, but not that well known here.
Has nothing at all to do with Wharfies/depot workers. AQIS Officers are looking for a certain level of contamination and if they find it they will send it for treatment.

Ive had just as many cars pass as I have had fail... its the nature of the beast.. These AQIS Treatments are not a detail for your car in any way.. In fact unless its a problem they wont bother with the parts of the car you can see... AQIS gives the Depot/Washbay operators specific area's that are the risk and they ONLY do those areas... For those who charge per hour its better that way....

I have heard it a thousand times "they are trying to hit a quota" "its all against me, the little man" "They want the extra $$ for the xmas party" As someone who has spent ALOT of time at these inspections, on the washbays and dealing with AQIS Officers of varying seniority over many years in the industry on Cars, Bikes, boats, RV's, Earthmoving machinery, etc I can say this with actual experience, not hearsay, etc. More times than not its the bits you cant see that need the treatment...
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Old 31-07-2015, 01:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

It's not just the AQIS issue here.
I originally bit the bullet and paid the extra cash to get the car out.
it's what happened after that.
Damage to the car.
No actual insurance policy despite paying for it.
And buggar all offer of compensation followed up with no communication for the past 9 months
This is the service you get when you pay someone $7K
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Old 31-07-2015, 01:55 PM   #21
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

I am assuming the $7k is inclusive of government charges ie GST etc
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:44 PM   #22
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

All this talk of AQIS. You do realise that is 2 name changes ago. Hasn't been AQIS for a couple of years.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Just been on a cruise Devil and saw plenty an AQIS sign, little wonder people get confused
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Old 02-08-2015, 12:02 PM   #24
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All this talk of AQIS. You do realise that is 2 name changes ago. Hasn't been AQIS for a couple of years.
Well aware of these changes... for the point of this thread I didn't think it was worth bringing up....
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #25
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

[QUOTE=gcg2503;5448178]I am assuming the $7k is inclusive of government charges ie GST etc[/QUOTE

The breakdown for all of the charges were (rounded up)

$500 for overland transport and preparation
$2,980 for packing and shipping
$1,500 for Australian Clearance Costs
$400 for the bogus insurance
$425 for the bogus additional cleaning
$1,930 GST
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

I really do not know how some of these people can sleep at night really there are far too many people like this

the world is getting smaller but the laws are still based on 30 years ago we need to make this a priority to stop this type of fraud
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:51 PM   #27
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

Wow.

The Galaxie owed me $3500 shipping plus Govt Duties and $300-$400 misc charges from memorie shipped from California.

Shipping early 2015.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:06 PM   #28
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Wow.

The Galaxie owed me $3500 shipping plus Govt Duties and $300-$400 misc charges from memorie shipped from California.

Shipping early 2015.
Yeah I got reamed big time.
I believed their spiel about being a small family owned business that works hard to deliver satisfaction.
In truth they are small, but I can't tie the 2 families in together.
The business is owned by Ryan, but the properties they operate out of in Australia and the US appear to be owned by the Newells.
The Newells run the business in Australia with no official tie to it, and Ryan stays in the US where Aussie law can't touch him.

All I needed was one search to find the Newells name on the business and wammo, I would have someone to summons in Aus.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:03 PM   #29
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

My last communication with Gary Redman was 25/8/14 where I explained how the Department of Agriculture (DAFF) operate and that I would let the owner of the business deal with the damaged wheels spats and address the scuff marks that, coincidentally, were not reported to anyone until after the vehicle had left the unpack depot.

Apart from sending his Import Approval, I don’t believe I have had any further communication with Mr. Redman as the matter was referred to Mr. Ryan and I had presumed, been dealt with.

Given that almost 12 months has passed and my emails are read and the phone is answered and messages are returned, one would have thought that Mr. Redman, who seems to have gone to considerable lengths, would have reached out and asked for some assistance on this matter. Instead it would seem Mr. Redman would rather spend time on Internet forums than getting the matter resolved.

I am assuming Mr. Redman “won” the case as Mr. Ryan was unaware it was happening and therefore unrepresented. Provided with the opportunity to represent himself I am sure the outcome would have and will be different.
Mr. Ryan does not frequent Internet forums, he is generally on the road doing inspections, collecting vehicle and packing containers. I will raise the matter with him and ensure that it is followed through.

I will also respond directly to Mr. Redman’s email as this doesn’t need to be aired on a public forum.

I also have to say that I am very disappointed with this community who are very quick to throw accusations and name calling based on one side of a story. The company I work for shipped in excess of $5,100,000 worth of goods in 2014 and one person come on here with an issue, which should be addressed, however I think you would be hard pressed to prove that it is a “dodgy operation”.

I personally have served the motoring community, particularly the Ford community, which is my choice of brand expressed in my current ownership of many Blue Oval vehicles, for over 15 years. I have supplied tens of thousands of used and aftermarket items and new tyres to many Ford owners and wouldn’t be surprised if a large number of members on this board have had successful dealings with me over the years.

So as stated, I will address the situation with Mr. Ryan and Mr. Redman and attempt to resolve the matter.

If anyone else has an issue or concerns, feel free to call or email me: http://usatoaus.com/contact.html

Regards,

Phil Newell
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:54 PM   #30
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Default Re: Beware importing a car from the US

There are always two sides to every story...

The issue with "AQIS" is well known to anyone who has even looked at importing. It has nothing to do with the car being clean or detailed. The issue is seeds, dirt, and bugs, hiding in places you never look. I note that there is no mention of cleaning in the original charges, so presumably the buyer gambled on the car being clean enough.

As for the insurance, well that would seem to be a clear cut issue: Was an insurance policy taken, what did it cover, and where's the documentation?

Similarly for the damage. If the buyer has before and after photo's, showing the damage, it would seem to be clear cut.

That said, it does seem to be a very strange way to structure a business: An Australian business, registered to a sole proprietor, who doesn't set foot in the country?

And I gotta be honest Phil, saying "the matter was referred to Mr. Ryan and I had presumed, been dealt with" Doesn't really cut it in my book.
You can't have it both ways. If you're an important part of this business then passing the buck isn't enough.
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