Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HAB or CRAPpy business in Guyana

So, frustrated with the main freight-forwarders to Guyana- Laparkan who couldn't seem to keep track of more than three items at a time I went with a friend's suggestion and tried another company who keep advertising their freight-forwarding service. Their rates were slightly higher but comparable on enquiry by telephone.
Being a small business-owner I have more sympathy for the Mom and Pop businesses and appreciate the personal touch. Not so in Guyana! Small businesses tend to operate like fly-by-night affairs - generally exulting that they've suckered you in and don't expect to get repeat business.
So HAB have a system that they email you to say your stuff is at their office--in spite of previous instructions to consign the stuff. Knowing the American propensity for wastage-- I asked whether they could remove the Outer packaging to lessen the weight and waste-- after all they are smaller and should offer a more personal service! No go - not possible-- so was suitably shocked to discover that the final charges were over TWICE that of Laprakan. I mean there's no justification. On ringing to enquire, I was given a convoluted explanation of ignoring the actual gross weight and instead dividing  the total volume by 1.6 which basically arrived at the chargeable weight of almost three times the actual weight!  It's this coyness about what charges are that makes you feel there is a Rip-off system in place, especially as Laparkan are only interested in the actual weight or the actual volume, and readily said over the telephone said the Gross weight would be the higher figure!
The poor staff were unable to give a decent explanation as it seems to be the brainchild of someone in Miami with and overinflated estimation of their abilities and value!
Caveat emptor!  (Although no longer applied in consumer law, the principle of caveat emptor is generally held to apply to transactions between businesses unless it can be shown that the seller had a clear information advantage over the buyer that could not have been removed by carrying out reasonable due diligence)

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