Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Bye bye Europe!

By Mark

Word of advice: Never EVER ship anything with Russells Freight. 

Before I go into details about this I would like to say how lucky we feel to have met Carlos and Ellie who have so kindly taken us into their home once again before we are due to fly out to Argentina. Thanks guys for everything, you know that when we return to Australia our home will always be open to you. Coming back we also timed it well to be here for the Notting Hill Carnival where we got to catch up with a friend we know from Darwin, Carlee. The day turned out to be a big one with many people out on the streets partying, drinking, smoking and dancing the day away. The weather was also kind and has been the entire time we have been back in London. Not so interesting to read sorry but my mind is elsewhere as you will find out below...

Never in my life have I dealt with a company so useless and unprofessional. We thought that if we organise and crate the bikes early we could return to London and just relax leading up to flying out to Argentina. The first few days were relaxed until I phoned the shipping company for an update. This is where it all turned bad...
The answer I received was that the bikes would not be going anywhere. After the bikes had been scanned at the airport they came back with a report that they contained oil residue. So where do we go from here, I asked. This is where I found out how bad our agents were. I managed to call around to find out everything that needed to be done as our agents were clueless. Trying to call our agents was always an act in testing our patience, one time being on hold for almost an hour on the phone. Answering our emails seemed to be just as bad.

I knew what I wanted done  but even writing and telling our agent what needed to be done proved fruitless. They would return with stupid pointless questions asking if they wanted us to go ahead with a PURGE certificate. No was the direct answer. (A purge certificate is given after the engine and fuel systems have been flushed of old fluids to make them a non hazard good). This meant the bikes would need to be taken out of their crates to do this. Costing us large sums of money for the engine flush as well as recrating them. These certificates are required when the bikes are being flown, or you can get a hazard goods certificate which should have been organised by our agents leading up to our flight, but they did nothing about it.

So after 24 hours of torture (I think I would prefer traditional methods of torture techniques being done on me than have to speak or communicate with the pathetically stupid woman I had the misfortune of being put in contact with) we were no further and with less then 48 hrs before the bikes were due to fly we were quickly giving up hope, to the point we thought we were never going to see our bikes again...not great.

I managed to get a few phone numbers and one of those was for a company that is the middle man between our agents and the airline. By law and their own rules they are not meant to deal directly with customers but after explaining to them our problems they understood our plight and went to town trying to get hold of our agents. Luckily for us it worked. It had come to a stale mate earlier in the day when our agent stopped contacting us. It also did not help that our particular agent decided to take a 4 day long weekend. After a whole lot of hassle they finally understood that all this time I just wanted them to organise a dangerous goods certificate. Next problem, this was going to come at a cost. Not a small cost at an extra 720 GBP! This was it, if I could have got my hands on these women I would probably not be able to sit and write this blog. 
After a few more interesting emails (I had given up trying to call them at this point) there was no way around it. I had no problem paying for the certificates, what I was most annoyed at was that the crates needed to be opened to check the goods and then be repacked. This could have been avoided if again our agent knew how to do her job. For some inexplicable reason our crates had been marked as charity goods! If they had been correctly marked as motorcycles we would have avoided this!

Friday afternoon and close of business came around way too quickly. We went into the weekend not knowing where we stood. One thing we knew for sure, our bikes were not flying on Sunday as planned. After a stressful weekend Monday morning rolled around and we were still struggling to get any information or any answers to our questions. It had become completely over the top and we were struggling to comprehend how a business is able to run with this type of service we were receiving. We could not contact the manager, I found myself writing to the manager and would in turn get a reply to my email from the before mentioned useless office-girl. How could this be???

We are flying out today Tuesday the 3rd of Sept and at this point still no contact from our agent as to the whereabouts of our bikes and when they will be leaving Heathrow. What we do know is that they are supposedly with the packing company and should fly out on Wednesday the 4th of Sept. Fingers crossed this all does happen as it is a risky move for us to leave before the bikes!

To be continued...

No worries, If only for us!

Carlee from Darwin, me and Anna who Carlee was staying with

So cute

Whos got the moves, Hes got the moves!

Just a few people out celebrating

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