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Global Ocean Freight / Breach of Contract

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Do not use GLOBAL OCEAN FREIGHT INC for shipping. They are deceitful, liars, unresponsive, irresponsible, incompetent, inhumane, distrustful…..

Shipping Summary:
We signed a shipping contract with Global Ocean Freight for $ 7440.00
We were promised “Door to Door Service” (From our home in the USA to South Africa).
Global was 5 days late in delivering the empty container to our home in the USA.
Global was 51 days late in delivering the container to our home in Africa.
The container was delivered to the wrong port (Durban instead of Cape Town).
Global would not take responsibility for this shipping mistake to the wrong harbor.
From this point we had to both pay extra fees and organize the shipment ourselves!
This shipping mistake cost us $5100 extra dollars because Global would not pay it.

In order to complete our shipment, and this is aside from our above extra financial costs - to correct Global’s shipping blunder, I myself (Without Global’s help) had to spend 7 additional weeks (approximately 80 total man hours) dealing with all the following different agencies:

A. The shipper “Sea Shipping” (Warren Majewski).
B. The ship line ““PIL” – Pacific International Liners (Sheila at the Durban port), (Ankia Geldenhuys at the Cape Town Port), (Alexandra Goransson in Phoenix, AZ)

C. The Receiving agent “AGS Frasers” (Lynn Bezuidenhout, Cape Town), (Wahed Shaik, Durban)

All of the above dealings should have been handled by Global, but it was NOT!
To further “rub salt into the wound” – when we tried to contact Global we were passed on and on and on to one person after another with no help from any of them (Dana, Joan, Stephanie, Jane, Keren, Jane….). Aside from this BIG “run around”, which Global gave us and continues to give us, in order for us to complete this shipment ourselves we were forced to deal with all these other agencies as well, which amounted to a full time job for me for all these past several weeks.

In Short:
Global put us through the biggest nightmare we have ever experienced in our life:
Global held our livelihood in their shipping container, which they were responsible for, but they truly “Dropped the ball”, and forced us to retrieve the container for ourselves.

To date Global has NOT reimbursed us for our extra costs, nor our time!


Long Story:
Our initial introduction to Global was pleasant. We were planning our move from the USA back to South Africa. Our questions were answered promptly and I could always reach Dana (our first contact) when I needed to check on something. We had one issue before our container arrived. Global was supposed to refund a $600 deposit within 2 weeks. 9 weeks later when it was clear that Global had no intention of refunding the money, I forced Global to use this deposit towards the full amount that was owed.

I took all this in stride and continued with the booking of a 40 foot container. 16 hrs before the empty container was supposed to arrive at our front door in the USA, (I booked for door to door service), I received a call from Global to inform me that my container would not be arriving the next day. This was a big blow to us. We have organized friends, neighbors and family to help us with the loading of the container. Everybody’s schedules were interrupted. The family that shared the container with us had their plane tickets booked 7 days after the original delivery date. After allot of fighting and arguing I got the container to be delivered 1 day before their international flight. The stress levels already mounting at this point, we did the only thing we could, we placed our trust in the moving company that promised to help us every step of the way.
The container left our house in America on Oct 18th 2008.

Once we arrived in South Africa, we checked on the progress of the container by tracking the shipment online. The tracking information indicated that our container would arrive in Cape Town on December 20th 2008, this was 4 weeks later than the estimated “4 to 6” weeks originally quoted. A week before this date, I called the forwarding agent in Cape Town to confirm the arrival of the container. It was here that our biggest nightmare ever started. The Agent told me that they had no knowledge of our container but that they would try to track it down and get back to us. A few days later I was told that the container was off-loaded at the Durban port and not the Cape Town port as scheduled. The container arrived in Durban on December 9th 2008. From here on the nightmare grew. I started e-mailing and calling Global to find out when we can expect our container. We did pay for “door to door” service and we were promised that there would be NO HIDDEN COSTS.

Every time I spoke with the staff at Global, I was told that I had nothing to worry about and that I would receive my goods as promised. I gathered more and more information on my own and discovered that the container was incurring storage and demurrage charges. When I confronted Global about this, they told me that they will take care of everything and that I will have my container soon. The more I investigated the reason for the delay, the more I grew concerned about Global’s commitment to us. After numerous phone calls and e-mails, I learned that the shipping line is not releasing the container because they were not paid by Global. Global withheld payment because they were in a dispute with the shipping line. In the meantime, our container was stuck in Durban and the storage and demurrage charges grew with $600 per day.
The shipping line in Durban told me that if the container is not claimed within 40 days, my goods would be auctioned to cover the outstanding balance owed by Global and to pay for storage and demurrage charges. I had no choice but to pay the R51 000. (U$D 5100) This is not including all the phone calls, e-mails and the un-measurable amount of stress that we have suffered.

When Global realized that I grew impatient with them, they started to play games with me. The staff member that I was dealing with suddenly went on a 4 week vacation and my file got passed from one person to the next. First I started with Dana who sold me on Global and promised me the world, then I got Joan who got fired midway through my nightmare, then I was passed to Stephanie who kept telling me that there were nothing wrong and that I should have the container very soon. When Stephanie got tired of me she told me that she is only the accountant and that Keren would take over my file. Keren had no knowledge of what I have been going through and lasted a week before I got passed on to Jane, the general manager (who I still think does not exists) Jane only made promises to talk to me but never did. After 2 weeks of fruitless attempts to talk to Jane, I got passed back to Stephanie who believes that a refund of $600 is a fair re-imbursement.

Our family have been subjected to an enormous amount of stress, anxiety and disappointment. The staff at Global has no compassion or empathy for their customers. At times I pleaded with them to stop lying and to start helping me but it was all in vain. During this time, I “Googled” Global Ocean Freight and found that many others have experienced the exact same treatment as I have. It was then that I wished that I had done proper research on Global. I believe that Global can make right on the mistakes that they are responsible for and that it is criminal for them to walk away from their customers who have, in good faith, entered into an agreement with them.

Neil Erasmus
Marius Meiring (14301)

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