I had to ship a 20 foot container with some personal belongings and my automobile to Havana, Cuba. The car took up 15 feet of a 20 foot container.
I was advised by my employers to ship to a given address and to use that address on the shipping instructions as well to indicate all my car information, make, model, VIN, engine size etc.
Kuehne and Nagel prepared an original shipping document that included my automobile on it. We discussed the address my employer gave me and they differed slightly. I stated that Cuba liked its paperwork. Which address was the best - the one that included the car, or the other, which did not include the car? Kuehne and Nagel just changed the shipping document, took off the car and said this was the one to be used.
No one at Kuehne and Nagel bothered to contact anyone on the Cuban side (even though they had e-mail addresses, fax and phone numbers). I expected that they would know best and be able to advise me in the best manner.
I paid all the bills and left and a few weeks later was in Cuba waiting the release of my shipment. One day the Embassy called and said it was there but could not be released because the documents did not say my car was in the container. My shipping insurance and the car information was known because I was applying for importation and license.
I immediately called Kuehne and Nagel in Halifax and was given a cold shoulder. After several phone calls they agreed to inform me of the local office where I could get a manifest correction paper completed. I was not supposed to pay for this fee, but had to and was not reimbursed. I was not reimbursed for anything such as a rental car, other document charges and or inconveniences.
All I really did want was to have the paperwork charges paid and to help with the cost of a rental car as I did need to get back and forth to work. I rented accomodations knowing my container was in port and should be released within a few days. All would have went well IF my car was on shipping documents for the Cuban Port Authorities to see.
I was not given any assistance from Kuehne and Nagel other than giving address of local shipping agent. I asked for some compensation, but was denied. I did take to the Better Business Bureau and small claims court, but to no real satisfaction for me. Being in Cuba was also a diasdvantage for me, but probably an advantage for Kuehne and Nagel, in this case.
I did eventually go to a very good lawyer to have my case looked over. He advised me that I did have a good claim, but was past certain deadlines for small claims court appeals. I could have opened the case up, but at great expense. Again, living in Cuba was a disadvantage.
I should have taken a lawyer to small claims court the first time, but again my being out of area was a disadvantage. What I did learn in court on my own is that Kuehne and Nagel mysteriously did not have a copy of the first shipping document that they had written up and then did not use. They also had stated this first document never existed. Very strange as they kept every other document in my file.
I have not received any satisfaction and this still irritates me. Why does it irritate me? The answer is very simple. I did pay Kuehne and Nagel to be my shipping agents as well as ADVISORS in this matter. Their omisssion cost me time, money for issuing new documents, time without my own car and late port fees. Originally I was only wanting some assistance with these matters, but now feel that this business transaction was in such poor taste, and really need to share this with others, so as they will not go through the same.
All the above information is well documented in company, Embassy , BBB and court files.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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