This is a very interesting post. We had some very bad dealings with a Marine
Retailer "Drop Shipper" in Chicago last year. (Can someone advise me if I can name him as it would be buyer beware!!).
I chose to use him as his advertisement appeared on the Forum in the advertising space and he had a chat option on his website.
To test the waters we had purchased a low cost item from him before we placed the radar
order. It arrived without any problems.
When we placed the Radar/Plotter order we used his chat facility to confirm availability. He assured me the radar
and plotter were in 'his" stock and would be shipped straight away. I informed him of the difficulties with receiving goods overseas in SE Asia
and that we would need to remain in a marina until the packages arrived and that we were anxious as we were close to the change of Monsoon Seasons and would need to move further North in the not too distant future.
He was sympathetic on the chat and reassured us all was under control.
After we placed and payed for the original order he advised the following day that the Chart package that we wanted was no longer available with the plotter. We changed the order and upgraded it ($200 more) to include a Navionics
Chart that would suit our needs.
After this order was processed he then advised that the chart we required was not in "his" stock , however it was in Navionics
stock and would be shipped to him the following day then on forwarded with the radar. An advised delay of about 2-3 working days.
We weren't happy however the order had been placed, payed for and our credit card debited. We believed that cancelling at that late stage would have cost us further delays.
The long and the short of the saga is that it took almost 3 more months to finally receive the goods after many heated discussions and threats.
The worse were the lies and manipulation he used as an excuse to push the blame onto others. The ultimate insult was when he advised us of a DHL shipping
order number then proceeded to blame DHL for losing the order.
We were in constant contact with DHL who were fantastic. They advised us that this was a common tactic. The shipping
number is generated by the shipper not DHL. DHL record
every movement of the package via bar codes, including the pick up and that had not happened. It finally occurred 4 weeks after the shipping order was raised.
We had through the process changed the shipping address further North to get us out of the unfavourable weather
. When we initially received the shipping order (with the correct address) we chose to cross the South China
Sea to head
toward the planned delivery
address in Labuan. It wasn't until we arrived in Borneo that we realised via DHL tracking that the package had still not been picked up from the shipper.
It was only after numerous late nights and international phone
calls that we were able to resolve the situation.
We learnt later that the same shipper had used the same scam on two other unsuspecting cruising boats we know. It would appear that he operates using customers money
to fulfil orders. He doesn't have sufficient credit nor funds to process orders on high end purchases. Both other boats were purchasing
Radar packages. One of them never arrived. Luckily for the boat they had used Pay Pal and after a protracted time received a refund
The whole process was a nightmare that has put our cruising plans back 12 months as we missed the weather
window to head
and cost us a fortune in unexpected Marina cost.
We documented the saga on our website starting here. There I am quite happy to name and shame.
The Right and Wrongs of Supply and Demand
Garry and Wendy
sv Spirit of Sobraon
Home Page - www.sobraon.com