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DHL lost my $4000 shipment!

Discussion in 'Payment & Shipping' started by Theory817, Jun 6, 2007.

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  1. Theory817

    Theory817

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
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    I need some help. I ordered $4000 worth of MP3 players from China (I do this frequently), and after arriving at US Customs, DHL lost the entire shipment. There were four boxes, and all are now gone, so I believe they were stolen by an employee. For the last three weeks they strung me along with all types of stories (LIES) about being held up in customs, and how they were guaranteeing me that the shipment was not lost, they just couldn't find it, and all sorts of garbage. Yesterday, they officially told me that they have lost the shipment, and I wasn't getting it back. "Sorry", basically. The manufacturer did not insure the package. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do? I am going to try filing a lawsuit against them for everything I can possibly sue for. The lost shipment, loss of profit, stress and mental anguish (I will literally lose my business if I don't get this money back), everything. If anyone has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.
  2. BillyA

    BillyA Retired Moderator

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    Advice them that you have a shippment confirmation from your supplier and proof that they had custody of the goods. Tell them that they need to refund your costs at least or you will sue. Sometimes a little threat is all you need.

    If you do have to sue, any court would side with you and make them pay even more.

    I'm pretty sure you'll get your money back.
  3. Weedog

    Weedog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
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    609
    I had a major dispute with AT@T earlier in the year, I established email contact with them and keep asking to talk to someone higher and higher, By emailing them I had everything in hard copy, I eventually threatened them and they very quickly resolved the issue, So do whatever you can to get hard copies of all correspondence even tape your telephone calls and tell them you are doing so, As soon as they realize you are serious I am sure they will find your parcels, Good luck
  4. Anthony

    Anthony

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    This is quite disturbing news. I presume your packages were insured? What did the tracking detail say?
  5. Supremetronics

    Supremetronics

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    he states in his first post the manufacturer did not insure the items
  6. BillyA

    BillyA Retired Moderator

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    The insurance mostly pertains to damage. They are still responsible for goods that they lose.
  7. Theory817

    Theory817

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    Billy, are you SURE they are responsible for the goods that they lose? They told me that they are only liable for $100 if the goods were not insured. They also told me "this is clearly stated in our shipping agreement". I told them "I didn't sign or agree to ANYTHING!". I have a couple of voicemails recorded from them that basically say they're looking for the goods, and I have the documents from customs to prove that they did actually have custody of the packages. I will most likely be taking them to court over this. Any other advise is GREATLY appreciated!
  8. BillyA

    BillyA Retired Moderator

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    That is correct - you didn't sign anything. I can't believe a big company would give you the run around on something like this (they have insurance for it).

    No I don't work for them, so I'm not totally sure, but I can't imagine that a court wouldn't side with you.

    Think of it this way - if they weren't responsible for the goods they lose, then they'd be in business to just pick up and steal people packages - and not be held responsible for them!
  9. BillyA

    BillyA Retired Moderator

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    Okay, after checking DHL's website, I found this:

    6. DHL’s Liability
    DHL’s liability is strictly limited to direct loss only and to the per kg. /lb. limits in this
    Section 6. If Shipper regards these limits as insufficient it must make a special declaration of value and request Shipment Value Protection as described in section 8 (Shipment Value Protection) or make its own insurance arrangements. All other types of loss or damage are excluded (including but not limited to lost profits, income, interest, future business), whether such loss or damage is special or indirect, and even if the risk of such loss or damage was brought to DHL’s attention before or after acceptance of the Shipment since special risks can be insured by Shipper. If a Shipment combines carriage by air, road or other mode of transport, it shall be presumed that any loss or damage occurred during the
    air period of such carriage unless proven otherwise. DHL’s liability in respect of any one Shipment transported, without prejudice to Sections 7-11, is limited to its actual cash value and shall not exceed the greater of;
    $US 100; or
    For certain international Shipments in which the Warsaw Convention
    applies, approximately $US 20.00/kg. or $US 9.07/lb., depending on the
    applicable law; or
    $US 10.00/kg. or $US 4.54/lb. for Shipments transported by road (not
    applicable to the US).


    I think we're looking at it the wrong way. You never received the goods - period. You need to contact your supplier and have them deal with this.
  10. pierke

    pierke

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
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    Billy, doesn't that depend on the shipping method agreed with the seller to determine where the seller's responsibility ends and the buyers responsibility begins (i mean EXW, FOB, CFR, CIF, ... and so) ?
    I'm guessing FOB is used for sending the mp3 players , which means that the seller pays for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment, plus loading costs and the buyer pays freight, insurance, unloading costs and transportation from the port of destination to the factory.
    So, i'm not sure you can hold the seller responsible for this ?
  11. BillyA

    BillyA Retired Moderator

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    True. Again it depends on the shipping terms.

    Theory:

    Personally, I would first see what the supplier can do for you. If nothing, then I would sue DHL in small claims court.
  12. Mac1205

    Mac1205

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    Apr 11, 2007
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    This is awful to hear of such happenings , however these things do happen. You may not have signed anything but by your supplier using DHL they would automatically accept their terms and conditions. What does this mean?

    You have to aim for the jugular, do not drop the issue and ask to speak to management tell them your plan of action (legal) if they do not resolve the issue soon.
  13. Theory817

    Theory817

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
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    Small claims court isn't going to cut it. I want money for lost profits, mental anguish, the whole deal. I'm losing my business because of this! As of now, I've submitted a complaint to the BBB, and at my lawyers advice, will be contacting an international lawyer tomorrow to see if I even have a case.

    Does anyone have any info on www.dhlcomplaints.com? I read on another small forum that they were able to help someone recover money from DHL, but the site is closed down now.

    I'm waiting to hear back from the supplier, who is contacting DHL in China. I've asked them to refund my money, just for the heck of it. They should email me back by tomorrow. Whatever the case, this is ANYONES fault but mine. Someone is going to pay me back for what has been taken from me.
  14. BillyA

    BillyA Retired Moderator

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    Don't drop this. Be persistant and you will get your funds back.

    Good Luck.
  15. bhsizemo11

    bhsizemo11

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    311
    You can't file suit for lost profits - read their terms of service and tariff agreement. This is exactly why you make sure your supplier is putting a shipment protection value (insurance is a misused term for shipping couriers by the way) on expensive boxes like this - always have "fully insured" or something similar on your invoice. The shipping couriers (DHL/FedEx/UPS) by default are only responsible up to $100/box if no declared value is placed on the box. It doesn't matter if the driver admits to stealing the item and DHL acknowledges it – or if DHL acknowledges they lost the item at the local hub. That’s why they offer shipment protection value for bad employees or if their truck is destroyed with packages; otherwise, you’d have everyone with a lost package saying the items were worth $20,000 when no shipment protection value was paid. This is especially the case for domestic shipments, when no commercial invoice is required. Sorry to say that the law is on their side based upon their stated terms and conditions on their site and agreed to by every account holder (that print on each air bill too).

    Your gripe is with your supplier that doesn't place a declared value on the box if your agreement was that they guaranteed delivery or they will issue a total refund/replacement; they're trying to save money that way as a profit center and more than likely still charging those fees to you. If anyone gets reimbursed, it will be the shipper as DHL has no agreement with you (or any obligation, as harsh as that sounds). I’d be surprised if they do get reimbursed considering they could pick any # out of the sky and have a huge payday if DHL were to pay.

    Does your supplier have a copy of the commercial invoice showing quantity and value (tracking #s print on the invoice too) and SED filing since the goods were over $2500 for export? Or were they undervaluing the items for customs avoidance? If not, I’d say they have very little chance of this going anywhere unless they are a huge account for DHL without paying a shipment protection value fee.

    Did you know that FedEx Ground only pays out claims of $100 ($500 for FedEx Express) for damaged LCD/plasma displays even if you pay the declared value for an item worth $5000. It’s in their terms and conditions and tariff agreement and they will cut you a check for $100 and refund the declared value protection amount you paid. Now if it’s lost…that’s a different story (just don’t submit an invoice to claims stating it’s an LCD/Plasma display  ). There are many other exceptions, but this is a clear one. And this one will surprise you; even if you pay a declared value on an item, you’re not covered if a natural disaster causes lost (act of God), war, airplane crash, or a terrorist activity. Many more exclusions can be found on page 7 at http://www.dhl-usa.com/resources/dhl ground tariff_v20_07032006.pdf. As always, the devil is in the details.
  16. D M

    D M

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    Surely he can get a refund on shipping costs? It's not much, but better than nothing.
  17. bhsizemo11

    bhsizemo11

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    Dec 3, 2005
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    Yes - the supplier can file a claim to recoup their shipping fees, payable either to the shipper or recipient.
  18. DSC

    DSC

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    Much the same as what others have said i'm afraid, they have got themselves very well covered. If you don't buy the insurance they you are not covered, period. A lesson to everyone that uses a courier but I would focus your attention on earning money to cover your loss as you will not get anywhere through the courts.
  19. Pete

    Pete

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  20. Theory817

    Theory817

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    Oct 17, 2006
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    The supplier did include a commercial invoice showing the value of $4000, but apparently the supplier put a declared value of $2000 (I did not ask them to do this) for customs. The commercial invoice was included in the package. I am moving forward by contacting everyone I can possibly contact. State attorney generals for FL, MD and OH, the BBB, managers and executives at DHL, all with the same basic message: "DHL wronged me, and they will not get rid of me without giving me my money."

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