Some military members say the company newly contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense to move their cars for free when they relocate overseas is operating in the slow lane.
Troops endure very long wait times, and even worse, some say when they go to pick up their car, the vehicle isn't available.
The corner lot of International Auto Logistics (IAL) on Woodside in Santee is packed with the cars of military members. Some cars have been dropped off for transport overseas, while others are there to be picked up.
“I came this morning to the vehicle processing center to pick up my vehicle and found out from the manager that my vehicle's not here and they are not expected to receive another shipment for a week, said a Marine, who didn't want to give his full name or show his face.
Sailor Yuki Chang said she was told on July 3 it would take 25 days for her car to arrive in San Diego from Hawaii.
She was expecting her car to be here Monday, so she flew down from Oakland to pick it up.
Four days later, her car is still not here, but she is waiting.
Chang said she tried to call the office before flying down, but got no answer.
The Marine had the same experience.
“It just goes to voicemail, says the voicemail's full and then hangs up on you,” he told NBC 7.
In May, the DoD awarded IAL with the multi-million dollar contract to transport troops’ personal cars overseas.
IAL points to the company's website where service members can track their car online to see where it is on the journey’s process. The website also warns the arrival location may change.
Adding to the frustration the military members and families who talked with NBC 7 said the wait time to talk to an employee of IAL in Santee about a pick-up was more than four hours -- even with an appointment.
About 20 people waiting inside Thursday. The Marine said another service member inside was on page two of the waiting list: “He's been in there waiting for his car for three hours, and fortunately he was able to find his car.”
NBC 7 was told by a company representative that as long as service members are in the door by 3 p.m., they will be seen on the same day, no matter how long it takes.
IAL spokesperson Amanda Nunez sent this statement in response to NBC 7’s request for comment:
"In a community like San Diego, that has such a large military community, it's important to us that the families we work with here know how committed we are to doing the absolute best job we can. We began working with military personnel in May. We have been growing, adding customer support personnel and expanding the volume of customers we serve."