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Warning to all about shipping company fees

Warning to all about shipping company fees

Old Mar 11th 2016, 1:36 am
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Default Warning to all about shipping company fees

For those of you who haven't yet booked your shipping company please read:

In brief – we paid Pickfords a four-figure sum (£) to move our worldly goods, on the basis that their service extended "from origin address to destination address including assistance with customs clearance" and with the promise that them being the same company in NZ rather than using agents would make for a better service.

On arrival it was quite a different story. They charged us 'MPI Inspection fees' for a 40ft full container load AND a car. Despite the fact that the 40ft container contained the car. These fees were in the region of $450+GST each. I complained at the time that these extra charges were not what we had agreed to and had been paid for in advance. I asked for details of MPIs actual invoices for inspecting our car and stuff. They wouldn’t share them.
They also claimed that a 'partial vacuum' of the boot and bonnet of our car at a place 2 km away cost $500. And refused to show us the invoice.
We had no choice but to pay the $2000+ invoice because Allied Pickfords NZ were holding our belongings to ransom.
I later found out that MPI’s actual charges were around half the figures given by Pickfords. Not from them, since they flatly refused to give any details, but from MPI themselves.

Challenging them over these charges, but perhaps also because of the shoddy way we had been treated (that’s another story!) ever since signing their contract got us an offer of a small amount of compensation from the UK end, for which we had to repeatedly chase for actual payment, which took about a dozen emails over 2 months. It no longer feels like compensation. I feel like I earned that money! This shouldn’t have had to happen, and others who are less bloody minded or detail orientated than me won’t have had this offer.

I advise you, whichever company you are using, to get in writing, in advance, details of any charges which may be applied at the NZ end so you can include these in the vast sum you are paying for your move and not be seen off on arrival like we were.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

I'm in the Philippines, but I know from various threads on BE that NZ always inspect vehicles being imported and charge for it. I agree that Pickfords should have told you about this. However you say their quote included the words "assistance with customs clearance" and this would have raised a flag with me to ask them to quantify what this means as it infers it did NOT include any possible customs fees. Good post for others to ensure they get complete details as to what the shipping costs include.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

we spoke to AA NZ before bringing our car over, just to make sure it would pass the standards required, and they told us that we would need to pay for this as well as registering the car and we would need to pay the cost to transport the car from the docks to the local NZVT centre. Also that if the car is sold within a certain amount of years we would need to pay a descending amount until the set term had passed.

I can't think the moving companies could agree to pay for this as so many factors need to be considered until you get a final bill.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

We've decided we probably won't use Pickfords as the first representative hadn't a clue about shipping anything remotely non standard, even my horse riding boots were met with a confused face and the rep said he needed a large drink and a lie down before he could even start to look at moving us. The second rep couldn't answer any questions about moving leather horse saddles, shepherd thumb crooks or woven willow baskets. They really didn't make a good impression at all.

Two months later they rang me and pestered relentlessly on the phone until I agreed they could pass my phone number to their 'associate companies' for money exchange etc. I told them there was no point as we still didn't have visas but they did so anyway and I've been getting spammed by their associates ever since, sometimes 2-3 phone calls a day. I consider this pretty unprofessional behaviour.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

I used Pickfords and it was clear to me that there might be additional customs fees I would have to pay. It came to around $400 in the end, which was pretty good because unlike most people here I didn't bother cleaning anything. They just steam cleaned by bike and a rug, which they probably would have anyway.

I was very pleased with their service. They even delivered it on Christmas eve, although that was probably more for their benefit than mine!
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

Originally Posted by tangelo View Post
.... I advise you, whichever company you are using, to get in writing, in advance, details of any charges which may be applied at the NZ end so you can include these in the vast sum you are paying for your move and not be seen off on arrival like we were.
I am sorry to say that it unrealistic as it does not reflect how international shipping works. Whereever you are shipping your things to (different countries) there are various unpredictable customs and inspection fees assessed on the owner/importer of the goods, and it is impractical to collect those fees ahead of them being assessed. The amounts could be a few $hundreds, or several $thousands, depending on what you are shipping and what customs finds during their inspection.

It sounds to me like Pickfords might have failed to warn you of the possible customs and inspection fees, ..... or it may have been in the shipping contract small print.
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Old Mar 14th 2016, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

"The amounts could be a few $hundreds, or several $thousands, depending on what you are shipping and what customs finds during their inspection"

We were prepared to pay the fees imposed by customs and MPI and were quite well informed on the potential amount of these, as well as the costs associated with getting our car compliant and registered (which is nothing to do with the shipping company as this happens after the car has been released from their greedy clutches.) What I don't agree with is Pickfords adding arbitrary numbers to the large fee we've already paid them, because they can, when they've already accounted for moving and handling this end in their small print.
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Old Mar 14th 2016, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

Are you referring to a third party 'service fee' over and above customs and MAF fees?

There should have been no further service fees over and above what you paid to Pickfords for a door to door service.

Did you pay for a door to door or was a 3rd party involved. The Moving Company or White Van Lines for instance?
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Old Mar 15th 2016, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

The car (as any vehicle) has to clear customs seperately to your belongings, hence a seperate set of fees. It can't be driven so the 2Km may have been on the back of a truck. Sure the MAF fees get uplifted as you pay them, there are likely other costs involved (like Pickfords paying the charges for you, people paying charges costs money).

Their comms may have been completely lacking (I've never used them), but most of this you could have gleaned from the customs and NZTA websites.

I think there are complaint threads about all the international shippers somewhere on here, many regarding unexpected charges on arrival.
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Old Mar 17th 2016, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Warning to all about shipping company fees

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Are you referring to a third party 'service fee' over and above customs and MAF fees?

There should have been no further service fees over and above what you paid to Pickfords for a door to door service.

Did you pay for a door to door or was a 3rd party involved. The Moving Company or White Van Lines for instance?
Pickfords all the way, no 3rd party, although they're called Allied Pickfords when it gets to this end. Thank you for reading my thread fully.
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