It is not often that I hear of someone else's problems and my mood is elevated to an annoyingly cheerful disposition, but a report on NPR (National Public Radio) this morning about Ports losing business because of the downturn in the economy had me feeling pretty chipper. I recently had some personal items shipped from the UK, about 3 boxes full. Nothing expensive, just some old clothes I couldn't bare to part with and some old LPs, photos, books and other personal stuff. I chose door to port, as I live near Seattle and I thought, mistakenly as it turns out, it would be a cheaper option. When it came to collect my belongings, I had to pay an "extra" fee to cover customs etc, but the etc turned out to be a WHOLE lot more than I bargained for. Of the itemized fees, I had to pay $50 for their use of a fork lift truck!! They even charged me for "storage" but failed to let me know the stuff was sitting there to be picked up DESPITE me calling them every day to find out where it was.
What the F***K I hear you say, or was that what I said?
Never mind the details, you get my drift. The issue here is that there was nothing I could do about it. Zero. Zip. Nada. I tried, but the shipping company I sent it with said, "It is daylight robbery, but nothing to do with us". The Agency on this end said, "Look, do you want this shit or not"? So folks, in future, pay door to door, it is cheaper by far, and you get to stiff the thieving bastards at the US ports.