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Old 08-06-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,702,400 times
Reputation: 2977

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I have two major complaints against a shiping company that I use for my small business. The first is a case of tort where my company was overcharged through a falsified set of weights/dimensions on an invoice. The overcharge was small, on the order of $1000, but easily 3X what should have been charged.

The second case is simply negligance, where the (same) shipper failed to file the proper paperwork with customs and my goods were interned for over two months despite my constant calls for them to do something about it. Because of the nature of my business, I had demonstrable harm done on the order of tens of thousands of dollars and I made them aware of this during the process.

I've put together a complaint which I will be sending to the shipper's customer service division, but I expect to be stonewalled. My question is this: do I have any other options besides hiring legal representation and getting tied up in the expense and trouble of litigation? I really don't feel like donating my time and money to make some lawyer richer, even if I get a judgement in my favor--as I expect would be the result.

Has anyone ever found a happy medium between going away frustrated after venting on some low-level customer service sandbagger and going to court? Care to share any advice you might have?
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 608,248 times
Reputation: 279
Try talking to the owner of the business. As one business man to another you have a much greater chance. Also don't go in making any accusations. Instead, go in as though you were terribly confused. Ask, "I'm afraid I don't understand how these fees/weights/whatever were calculated. Can you help me understand?" And then listen. If it sounds like he's being dishonest, state simply, but firmly, that you do not agree. Then discuss how you might reach a compromise. If you truly feel he's been dishonest, settle and never use them again. If it was a simple mistake, he'll be glad you brought it to his attention.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,091 posts, read 8,214,062 times
Reputation: 3143
Quote:
Then discuss how you might reach a compromise. If you truly feel he's been dishonest, settle and never use them again. If it was a simple mistake, he'll be glad you brought it to his attention.
And if you must try the legal route, try arbitration. Liz
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,702,400 times
Reputation: 2977
The shipping company I used is a major business, so I doubt they'll elevate my concerns to the owner. Well, maybe if I'm really convincing.

I appreciate the input. My intention is not to make accusations, although this shipping company does have a reputation for dishonesty. If, by some unlikely event, my reasonable approach to their customer service yields some sort of compromise which partially relieves the burden their failures have placed on my business, I'll be happy to leave it at that.

However, I get the feeling I'm going to be dealing with some poor schmo who's sole job is to get me to go away as cheaply as possible.

Liz, thanks for the suggestion. I would be glad to abide by an arbitrator's decision in this case. The problem is getting the large company to agree to even enter into arbitration.

Can anyone provide resources for arbitration?
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,091 posts, read 8,214,062 times
Reputation: 3143
Try here: American Arbitration Association (http://www.adr.org/index.asp - broken link) Liz
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:39 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,071,916 times
Reputation: 692
Talk to the owner of the business. I'm sure they don't want to lose customers. See if you can work out a solution. What about small claims court? Did you use a credit card for payment? You can dispute the charges.

greenmachine
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