BBB Helps Local Woman with her Shipping Complaint

September 18, 2012

Recently a woman and her young daughter came to the BBB office for help with a complaint. Right away it was clear she was very upset and emotional about the situation. The problem concerned a shipment of food, clothes and other items she had sent to her family back home in the Philippines. As she explained the situation and shared her documents, we quickly understood the reasons for her frustration. This was a complicated situation involving several companies and to make matters worse, the customer’s family was in desperate need of the shipment as the Philippines have experienced devastating floods.


The consumer took her shipment to a local Asian market, a common practice and something she’s done on many occasions. This time the owner of the Asian market used a different shipping company. The shipments sent out in March never made it to their destinations, affecting 16 customers.


When BBB started investigating the matter, we discovered the Asian market used shipping forms they had on hand to fill out and give to customers. The problem is the forms did not belong to the company that was responsible for the shipment, leaving customers with the incorrect company name and contact information. After several phone calls BBB was finally able to pinpoint the delivery company. Unfortunately, the company was experiencing financial difficulties and has since gone out of business, leaving the packages in question stuck in a warehouse overseas in Manila.


The customer had been communicating with a fourth company. When BBB spoke to this company they indicated they knew the owner of the company responsible for the packages. They were considering paying the balance owed to have the shipments delivered in hopes customers would consider them for future shipping needs.


BBB had several conversations and exchanged multiple emails with the companies involved in this transaction on and off for several days. To be honest, this was not your standard BBB complaint, and based on the situation, we were unsure if we would be able to reach a positive outcome. Much to our surprise, a few days later two emails were received from the warehouse in Manila. One notified us the shipments had been released and the other was a notification advising the shipment was actually received by the consumer’s family. The next morning, as soon as the BBB opened the customer called. She was overwhelmed with emotion and extremely grateful for our assistance. Again she spoke of the conditions her family was living in due to the recent floods and expressed how thankful they were to receive the packages she made for them.


When you work at the BBB you never know what the day will bring. Our Operations Team handles thousands of complaints every year. Each time we assist a consumer and reach a positive outcome we consider it a success regardless of the situation. But when I think about the fact that the BBB actually helped a consumer in a hopeless situation get much needed supplies to her family overseas……it’s a great reminder that every day we have an opportunity to make a difference.