bad business

Dear everyone, this is not exactly a board-shaping matter, but as many of you out there are in the business of shaping and selling boards professionally, your suggestions would be greatly welcome. What would you recommend to a customer who finds himself in the following situation: Through the net, overseas customer orders an epoxy board from a California company. The board is duly delivered, but proves to be seriously damaged. On delivery, customer informs the company about the damages and supplies photographic evidence of the damages. Company asks the customer for his suggestions to sort this problem out. Customer’s suggestions: A) Company takes the board back and exchanges the board for a non-damaged one. B) Company treats the board as used and prices the board accordingly, in line with the most expensive used boards it has on its webpage. Company offers a discount of roughly ten percent, considerably less than customer’s suggestion B. Customer’s request for a non-damaged board is rejected with the explanation that company has hardly any boards in stock. At the same time, company advertises on the net to have more than 120 boards in stock. Finally, company agrees to take the board back and refund customer, but as for the cost of shipping the board back to California (approx. $300), company advises customer to sort this out with the original shipper. Shipper advises customer that, as shipping contract was between them and the California company, customer is in no position to demand any support from them. Customer informs California company of this matter. No reaction by company. All further emails and telephone messages to company remain unanswered. Customer contacts an overseas business partner of the company. Business partner inspects the board in person and acknowledges damages, suggests to the company by email to take the board back. No response from company. Overseas business partner asks company again for any reaction. No response from company. Customer sends several letters by registered mail to company, demanding clarification. Letters returned unclaimed. Customer contacts the Tri-County Better Business Bureau, asking for their mediation in this matter. The BBB tries to contact the company. No reaction by company. Tri-County BBB infirms the customer that the company will be noted on the BBB website for their unsatisfactory business record and advises customer to contact the district attorney in charge. So what should this poor soul do? Get in touch with the district attorney? The relevant surfing mags? The Marinus van der Lubbe Firebombing Association? Again, I know this is not strictly relevant to the discussions on this list, but then, desperate measures in desperate times. Anything you have to suggest is very welcome. Mahalo, Andreas Riessland

At the moment, I’d say you’re screwed. Call this a done deal. With lessons learned. 'Cos the cost of pursuing this is going to be more than it’s worth. For future reference - do not accept damaged boards in the future. You’re allowed to look it over and if it’s damaged, you don’t have to accept it. This goes for just about all shipping, by the way. Don’t make offers . It’s the shipping company’s problem, not the surfboard company. They should be who you go after. The only thing you need to tell the surfboard company is that the thing got busted in transit and you’ll need another board - they can go after the shipping company, and as they do more business with them, they have power you don’t. The surfboard company, unless you got something in writing that says otherwise, is responsible only up to the cost of the board and any accessory items you ordered, no more than that. Shipping is the shipping company’s costs. Have such things shipped COD. If they are damaged, you are out nothing because you don’t accept it and don’t pay for it. Better business bureaus are a joke. Don’t waste time or postage with them. District Attorney? Nah - this is a small claims court matter, and they don’t get involved in things like that. You want to fly to Cali, stay in a hotel, file a small claims suit, then go through the same expense again when it actually comes to trial? And then fly home with just the cost of the board in your pocket? Because you will not get shipping costs out of the surfboard company. This doesn’t help much, but at this stage of the game the only thing you can really do is write it off and do something else next time.

I’d start by posting the story over on the surfermag BB , including the companies name. More than once I’ve seen a sh*t storm over there result in a company responding to a customer. Legally, you’re in a tough position because you took possession of it. The company must pursue the claim against the shipper and the cost/benefit ratio isn’t there for you to initiate litigation.

This sounds like a matter for the shipping company. Did you purchase insurance through the shipping company? If you did, can you file a claim and at least get some money?

In one day, I was called by 3 dealers not accepting delivery of their boards. Roadway freight had fork lifted all the boards. Tails were snapped off at the glass ons, fins were driven through decks, it was a nightmare. The boards were insured, but the shipper said it could take 6 months to settle. This was the height of summer and my biggest money order to carry me through. The whole factory rode on this shipment, the claims adjuster was very concerned and promised to expedite this case, he died the next day. Roadway did come through, I had check in less than 10 days and someone in Akron, Ohio got to bid on salvage for this pile of foam and fiberglass

You sound like any business person’s nightmare. First of all, you bought something from overseas via air mail. This is a convience to you, not the surfboard company. The fact that your harassing this company is ludicrious, and you should be quite embarrassed for your behavior. Have you not bought something via mail and it comes damaged?? If so, you would know to contact the shipper. Have you made an attempt to look on their website for terms and conditions? Don’t call and be aggressive with a surfboard company, please do your research before shipping an 7 foot large package over seas, which is breakable. Please don’t vent such petty and embarssing complaints on this valid forum for people who support surfboard companies. Go to Hell EURO! Ron Santa Cruz

Hi, and thanks for the quick response. Actually, the damage did not happen during transport. The board arrived with a row of dings that had had paint dabbed over them, with discolorations and random paint spatters underneath the glaze, as well as a neat ding next to the box which the polisher had left in the raw. You can see some of the damages under This would leave the shipping company clean.

WOW! Crappy attempt at repairs. What company would be dumb enough to try to pass that off to a customer?

was anybody else hoping to see the company who made its logo in those pics? Im curious. Even in the last picture look at the sanding on the tail theres an area that looks like its sanded with 120 grit. Id be pissed too.

As Emily Litella used to say, ‘Oh, that’s different’. You definitely got an unacceptable board. Which was shipped to you anyhow, maybe on the theory that ‘he’s in _____,what can he do about it? Nothing- ha ha ha’. And now your approach makes more sense. But there is still the question of how to get Company X to make it right without it costing you two way freight at least. So - as mentioned, raise a stink on every BBS, listserv and newsgroup that’s applicable, with pictures or links to pictures as you’ve done, featuring Company X’s logo prominently. At the worst you get a parthian victory, at best they’ll ship you a new and acceptable board free to shut you up. You’re in another country, with precious little legal recourse … but then again, if you’re saying nasty things about them from another country there’s precious little they can do to shut you up except making it right or denying what you say…and you have pictures to back you up. And the time to prove their denials are false. Their lost business, when a potential customer figures 'ok, they screwed this guy overseas, what will they do to me? ’ may well make it worth their while to ship you another board. hope that’s of use doc…

Doc is right id also take a few more pics of thier board that features the logo so they cannot pawn it off by saying “thats not our board” And for the better business buerau, those guys are a joke I had an experience with them one time. Heres the long story short of how it went: three stores in New York area bought boards we sent them direct to the rep so he could distribute, somehow one shop never got the boards they paid for so essentially they went after us, they called the BBB on us. BBB contacted us wanting us to Register for 199.00 and they wouldnt pursue thier complaint, its borderline extortion. ANyway they got thier boards 3 weeks late and the BBB called me 37 times over a month trying to get me to register.

Yep, Jim, I’m familiar with that sort of situation from the other end. You kinda wonder if there’s a forklift driver who goes to work sober in this country or if the freight companies use surfboard shipments as driver training for the owner’s retarded nephew. Tire marks on boxes, forklift forks stuffed clear through boards and out the other side of the boxes…amazing. But sometimes it evens out. It used to be that it was economical to ship boards by air freight, 20-30 years ago. And a local shop had an entire order go missing somehow before it got to Logan in Boston. The airline settled, paid up and all… Well, the next year the same guy is up at the Logan freight terminal hangar picking up another order. Three in the morning to miss traffic and besides the bars had closed and there wasn’t much else to do. And as he’s got the boards loaded in his van and is walking over to the little office-in-a-trailer parked in a corner of the hangar and he happens to look up on top of the office and there’s these long dusty boxes stacked up there. He looks a bit closer and he sees _______ Surf Shop, Cape Cod, Mass…they’re his missing boards. He goes into the office and says to The Fat Guy with the Cigar ( there’s always a fat guy with a cigar in those places. ) “Hey, those are my surfboards up on top of your trailer here”. Takes The Fat Guy with the Cigar outside, shows him the invoice for the new order and the ship-to address on the dusty boxes and The Fat Guy with the Cigar says ‘Gwoarrrr, awright’ around the Cigar. Load 'em up and they’re off… Sometimes it evens out…once in thirty years, that is…

No…why don’t you go to hell, ron from santacruz. You are a complete jerk. To begin with, his contacting the shipping company would be useless, because it’s the shippers contract with the company, not on the recieving end. His steps towards resolving the complaint seem pretty responsible, with the surfboard company dropping the ball. It doesn’t have anything to do with supporting surfboard companies. Bad business is bad business no matter what sport. And your slam about his being euro is just proof of what a retard you are.

Dear everyone, thanks again for your suggestions and your support. It was very helpful indeed. And “Ron”: Jumping to conclusions and getting abusive without knowing f’all - sad, that is. Or do you know more than you let on? How, for example, did you know the parcel was 7 feet long, to accomodate both pieces of the longboard? Well, enough said. Thanks again for encouraging me to get noisy around the surfing community. I certainly will. Greetings, Andreas Riessland

I think your right ronny knows alittle too much and took it way personal indeed.fess up ronny fron SC------------was ronny a naughty boy??

hmmm… Andreas says that he bought a certain EPOXY board from Caifornia. Ron says he’s from Santa Cruz. Isn’t there an epoxy popout operation up in SC?

i think ron fron santa cruz did some lousy -quick touch ups and figured the board would never be seen again anyway so screw it -or screw customer overseas with down and dirty.hahaha ron got caught!!!

I think ron is short f,f,f,f,f,f,for moron !

hmm… boardworks has a distributer in Santa Cruz- it looks like one of theirs. I don’t think surftech sell thru’ their site

hmmm. the forum is gone from the boardworks site hmmm