Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Shipment Story


Perth, Dec 2009- we boxed our personal things, ready to be shipped back to Kota Kinabalu. I remember those few days of packing very well. I remember how difficult it was to choose what to bring and what to give away. I remember the kids tearful arguments on things they think important that we had to leave behind. Most of all I remember worrying whether the things would arrive safely or not.

After surveying a few moving companies, we decided on Inter Trans Holding (ITH) mainly because they offer the so called "cheapest rate". We paid AUD$5000.00 for 20 ft of container. Besides, since they are our fellow countrymen, we thought, why not help their business grow.

I now realized that those are really bad reasons to choose a shipping company. We should have looked at their reputation most of all, which unfortunately we didn't think of doing. The day they came to pick up our things, they were one hour later than they promised. I rushed back from the children's assembly at school, didn't even get to finish watching my children's show, because somebody had to be at home and hubby had to go to the university. Empty promises- hubby came back home earlier than they came to pick up the things.

We helped load our things into the moving truck (I'd say other companies wouldn't expect their clients to do that). And I said good bye to all the things I love, praying that they would arrive safely in 2 to 3 weeks, as promised. They said the ship was leaving the port on 17th Dec, so 3 weeks would have to be some time in the middle of January. Trusting their words, I waited for the most important things to arrive on time- my references and data for my thesis. Not having them on time means a major delay in the submission of my writings.

Alas, alas. Empty promises indeed. 2-3 weeks turned to a month. Still they didn't arrive. I was getting quite stressed for not having my most needed thesis materials. My children were unhappy waiting for their toys and clothes, for most of the clothes were sent in the shipment. When January ended and still no shipment arrived, I was getting really upset. But I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubts. Yes, my thesis writeup was affected. My children's moods were affected. But we still waited patiently, trusting their explanation that the shipment was delayed because of the many holidays at the end of 2009 to the beginning of 2010.

At long last, the shipment arrived. Exactly 2 months and 10 days after they were shipped. And the boxes arrived in a sorry state. All of them dusty, some torns, and what puzzled me the most was the large numbers on them. I wondered why they had to have different numberings than our labels? Could it be that contrary to the promise of ITH to ship them in a container, they had been shipped loosely in batches so that ITH didn't have to pay the actual price?

The first thing I checked was of course my thesis materials. Thank God, they are safe. The first thing the children excitedly checked were their roller blades. Two pairs of brand new roller blades as their Christmas presents. And they were missing! A bike wheel was also missing. Then I realized that my knife set, BBQ brush and scrapper sets, Christmas decos and some little household things were also missing! Two boxes went missing. How could it be when the company promised that they shipped in a container? What possible explanations do they have?

When hubby told them, they promised to find those boxes or compensate us for the loss. But when hubby itemized the things and told them the costs, they asked for receipts of those things, as if we are trying to falsify the loss so that we can make money. I feel so humiliated. Of course roller blades are not cheap. And it is very sad that the children hadn't even used them, thinking that they could play with them once they are in KK. One Malay word came to mind- kempunan-. The children never got to use them at all. But now that ITH is treating us as if we are liars, I refuse to have anything to do with the company at all. Following my culture, I can only say I consider all those missing things as 'buang sial' (to get rid of bad luck) and let the people who are responsible get the bad luck. It is especially because those loss had caused great sadness to little children.

ITH is a GREAT DISSAPOINTMENT. Or should I say ITH SUCKS?

UPDATE 1:
We paid AUD$5000.00 (about RM15k) CASH to ensure safety and smooth delivery and efficient service. We were promised 2-3 weeks, which was what we expected. Other service providers used by friends before do it exactly in 2-3 weeks (Grace Removals - 2 weeks, Peter Poon-15 days), with everything delivered safely. I am getting sick of ITH putting the blame on custom procedures. My husband has worked in the government sector for years. He has experience in dealing with moving and he knows for sure what happened to our shipment was due to INEFFICIENCY.

UPDATE ii:
(an email I sent in reply to ITH Perth rep. who sent an email to everyone in the mailing list that my husband shared this story earlier. They deleted my husband from the list but forgot to delete me, so I accidently got to know that they call his 'sharing' tohmahan 'slander')
Dear ITH,
I am surprised that you didn't send the email to Josh, my husband. He wouldn't have known that now he is grandly labelled the 'pentohmah' if I hadn't received this message.
I am dissapointed at you. In the first place you didn't show us any documentation. Now you do, after you feel threatened by my blog, which was just an expression of dissapointment. Well if you read through my blog, you'd know that I blog about my experience, not because I want to SLANDER anyone as you alleged. And it is me that blog, not my husband, so it is wrong of you to accuse my husband of slandering in MY BLOG. Come on guys, MY BLOG, MY RIGHTS! I don't lie...I write from the heart. I think my husband linked my blog to his messages because he feels what I feel, or maybe because he WANTS TO SHOW OFF HOW GOOD HIS WIFE IS????
But I do have problems with the way you guys work. Take this as a constructive critiscsm if you want to improve:
1. You are not transparent. You are reluctant to show the documents from the beginning.
2. You give too many excuses. E.g- when asked about the delay, you said 'due to the holidays lah', 'custom procedures lah'...
3. You try to shirk responsibility- when we complained about the missing boxes, and itemised the missing items, instead of feeling sorry for us, you ask for receipts. Have you no common sense at all? Who on earth would keep receipts for things we intend to keep for ourselves? If you say for guarantee purposes, you know we are moving back to Malaysia. You do not respect the customers' trust and rights.
4. I also wonder why there are 3 different pallet numbers written on some boxes. Even if you show those documentations in the attachment, I can actually easily imagine that you belatedly MADE THEM UP = FAKE. Well that's my imagination, incited by your horrible work procedures.
Finally, I do not expect any compensation for the loss anymore. It is the sentimental values of the things that saddened me, not the monetary values. Whatever it is your sub-standard service had made my children cry (they lost their Christmas presents, darlings) and I am very very dissapointed.
I sincerely hope that you will improve in the future. Remember, you are operating internationally now. Why not do your little part to make Malaysia proud of you?
Regards,
Veronica Atin, wife of Josh, mom of Sandra, Arielle and Isaac, friend of many and writer of the blog that scared you witless.

Related Article....
Packing and Moving on

23 comments:

smallkucing on March 11, 2010 at 11:26 PM said...

That is TERRIBLE! How can they do this!? They must be nuts to expect you to produce receipts for all items missing. Or is it they purposely do that so that they dont have to compensate. Or maybe they are plain "robbers"? Purposely open the boxes and took whats sellable and chuck the rest to another box? Can make a complaint to relevant authorities?

vpa73 on March 12, 2010 at 8:32 AM said...

smallkucing- I just don't know what exactly happened because they keep saying they loaded all the boxes. It is not easy dealing with people who have very different moral grounds I have to say. Good idea on that complaint...Thanks for giving the suggestion. I might if it is worth it...

Emma on March 12, 2010 at 12:19 PM said...

I feel so angry knowing what happen to you! It's a brilliant idea to spread around ur words to others...and thank you for doing that! Yes, they must be nuts to be asking for receipts!! I like the idea of "buang sial"...what goes around will come around to the culprits!

All the best with your thesis! :-)

TataJane on March 12, 2010 at 4:22 PM said...

huh! teruknya Inter Trans Holding! Thats really sucks! haih, things happen kan..kesian the kids..:(

jew on March 12, 2010 at 10:50 PM said...

Inter Trans Holding (ITH) indeed sucks!!!!let's send them to HELL...i'll pray for their continuous business failure in the future. May ITH eternally doomed! (sorry but yes i meant it)

vpa73 on March 13, 2010 at 8:49 AM said...

Emma, thanks. I feel that I have to write this to be a lesson for others, and hopefully for ITH to improve if they want to keep in business...
Tatajane and Jew- yup, I feel hurt especially for the kids. Imagine having been counting the days to get your christmas presents that you have specifically chosen because you have wanted them for a long time, only to be told that they are lost forever.

Inter Trans Holding on March 13, 2010 at 9:10 AM said...

Dear all... We would like to appologize from the bottom of our heart for the inconvience story...FYI... The story created by Mr Josh are not true.... he complain to us after 2 weeks receiving his shipment.... And again we using Full Loaded Container for his shipment from Flemantle to Port Klang and to Kota Kinabalu ( We have Bill of Lading as a proof)....as Mr Josh mentioned earlier there are missing boxes ( box 93,98&104).... As these boxes is not missing, as I myself checking twice before loading into container to Kota Kinabalu ( we have proof from warehouse checklist)....
I do not understand why Mr Josh love to send these messages to everybody .... as a top government servant... He should negotiate with us for his problem and we also willing to replace his losses...
Therefore we would like to inform everybody that we are not robot ... We are human being and we have feeling too.... As for ITH, those messages will make us strong and to be better company to provide best services to all valueable.
clients....tq
ITH.

TataJane on March 13, 2010 at 9:45 AM said...

Hi ITH,

"The story created by Mr Josh are not true"

yea, so its a lie?Ok. Noted.

Do you expect we will end up saying that on your explanation? I mean, c'mon, you suppose to have more experience on issue like this.

"I myself checking twice before loading into container to Kota Kinabalu ( we have proof from warehouse checklist)."

'I' refers to who? Checklist can always be made..

Oh pelezzzee!

kuyungz on March 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM said...

Hi Veron...

Sorry to hear bout ur incident... I understand your feeling that we pay such PRICE in order to get better SERVICE but different outcome..... kesian tu budak...

Nway, to ITH...
As end customer, when things are missing. we will complaint as MISSING. And your job is to INVESTIGATE instead of giving such excuses to customer. Common!!! Put yourself as CUSTOMER. If you get such kind of services, will you consider for the second time? I DONT THINK SO. If the customer feel satisfied with the negotiation, I dun think these kind of comments will showing here.... Its time to ACT instead of TALKING!! .....

smallkucing on March 13, 2010 at 2:24 PM said...

Hi ITH

qoute "As these boxes is not missing, as I myself checking twice before loading into container to Kota Kinabalu".

The thing is boxes ARE missing when it arrive. Where are the boxes?

Qoute "I do not understand why Mr Josh love to send these messages to everybody ...."

Would you rather the author the blog to write to Consumer Rights Association or the complaintsection of Major News Paper in Msia?

jew on March 13, 2010 at 3:39 PM said...

ITH - You are lack of efficiency and professionalism!bad performance for compromising quality of service improvement by reluctant to investigate the case! There must be something wrong somewhere and ITH supposedly react to satisfy customers. Have you heard about 8 Discipline of Corrective Action? Good company worldwide use that to investigate and taking action whenever things gone wrong!unlike ITH, more excuses given rather than action.

Prompting empty promises on delivery is another thing... with these kind of attitude unfortunately, ITH are not reliable and qualified enough to be a good service provider.

p/s: Receipts required for lost things for compensation purpose? that's just stupid. Don't you have a standard compensation procedure? who the hell will keep every single receipt forever?It doesn't make any sense to me..

vpa73 on March 13, 2010 at 7:09 PM said...

Dear ITH, I wrote the blog as an expression of my feelings, NOT on behalf of my husband. But as he and I are both the parties experiencing the impact, well, maybe he DOES FEEL what I feel huh?

Where are the boxes then? Can you explain what happened to the shipment that they went missing? And why are they renumbered, with pellet numbers written on some of them? Could you explain why some of the boxes that did arrive were tarred and torn, and things taken from them? If they were safely locked in a container, I beleive that wouldn't have happened.

Could you explain why have you never shown us the documentation of the shipping like other shipping companies do?

I am most PISSED OFF when you ask for the receipts when my husband itemized the lost things. That IMPLIES that we fake the loss to make money.

I think I am kind enough to only blog about the experience to express my dissapointments, not report you to Consumer Right Association or take legal action.

I don't care if you washed your hands off and not do anything about the loss anymore. What could I expect from a service provider like you anyway? But DO NOT EVER accuse us of lying and slandering because that might pissed me off even worse and promt me to take legal action.

Well, even if you think we are STUPID, maybe we are not really THAT STUPID.

Nightfiller on March 13, 2010 at 8:35 PM said...

To all the readers, ITH and Hasrul,
The root of the problem is why ITH cheat on us in the first place? All the missing items and late delivery won't happen if ITH honoured their promise. We clearly asked for a 20 foot container, and the main reason is for safety and quick delivery of our goods. ITH's offer is AUD$5000.00 (five thousand dollar) and we gladly accepted it without asking for a single cent of discount. All we have in our mind is safety and quick delivery and we put our trust and good faith to the guy by the name of 'Hasrul". In the end, our trust was betrayed by Hasrul and ITH. We know for sure that our goods were send through container from Port Klang to Kota Kinabalu. I personally unlocked the container (I can testify that it was not tempered with) and according to the delivery agent no one is allowed to open it except the owner.

Once our goods were uploaded to the lorry that was hired by Hasrul, I paid AUD$5k in cash to Hasrul and he promised to give us a 'Bill of Landing' and shipping documentation. However, until now we didn't receive a single document or receipt of payment from ITH. We concluded that our goods were sent in batches of loose shipping from Fremantle Perth to Port Klang. Our conclusion was based on the following:

1. All our boxes have been renumberd with bigger number and the numbers do not run with the total of our boxes.
2. A 'pellet number' was clearly written on some of the boxes.
3. Our goods were kept in the warehouse at Port Klang for weeks to collect dust. Luckily we didn't measure dust thickness of every boxes!

4. ITH is very secretive on the shipping documentation from Perth to Port Klang.
5. ITH got confused with boxes when uploading them from the warehouse in Port Klang into cointainer to Kota kinabalu. (I know this because they called to check on box numbers once.

I hope with this explanation all the readers will have a better understanding of our predicament and the way ITH conducts their business. ITH shouldn't try to mix this issue with personal issue. We write this to warn future clients to be extra careful when choosing their forwarding agents. If ITH is expecting the worst we can make a complaint to the forwarding agents association or any other related agencies. But we have no intention of doing that. We just want ITH to learn their lessons and honour clients' trust.

p.s. Hasrul is so scared....and he quickly deleted me from his FB!!

TataJane on March 14, 2010 at 1:23 PM said...

Haha...what kind of professional business person Hasrul is? Deleting client from FB will solve everything..haha..Funny ITH!

ITH and HAsrul, no further explanation? Hmmm...

Nightfiller on March 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM said...

Dear readers, sorry to clogged your inbox with another email on ITH. Hopefully, this will be the last one.

Why in the first place ITH didn't enclose the documents before, if those really existed? Why only after 3 months then the document appeared? With the wonder of current technology....any documents can be created in a minute! And how do they explain the different pallet numbers on the boxes and missing items? Can ITH please clarify the purpose of pallet numbers? Why didn't they assign their representatives in every port to check and ensure that all boxes are safe, especially when they claim that they had to use a warehouse to store our things?

However, I still can't accept that ITH had to unload and reload our boxes when we asked for a container from Perth to Kota Kinabalu. There is no such regulation that the container has to be changed to another container before it is enrouted to Kota Kinabalu (I'll check this with the authorities). This clearly shows that our boxes have been shipped loosely from Perth to Port Klang. I just wonder why in the bill from Fremantle the shipping date is 21/12/2009 when they claim that the things couldn't be shipped earlier due to the Christmas holidays. Could it be that they first decided to do it that way, then cancelled, unloaded the boxes again to be shipped loosely? Something smells fishy...

Our boxes were taken on 10/12/2009 and ITH had ample time to ship them earlier since we have confirmed our booking more than 2 months in advanced. ITH did not have to wait for other people's goods since ours could be shipped independently...That leads to only one conclusion. ITH pretended to ship our goods in a container but actually they didn't...

As for why we lodged a missing complaint after 2 weeks, well, due to the large volume of our goods, we had to take some times to check and verify that all our goods were there…It was only after we checked everything that we called to let ITH know about our missing items. In addition, I was posted in Putrajaya and have to travel to/fro between KL and KK to handle the arrival of our boxes. We couldn't simply blame ITH for missing things without double-checking, could we?

Those items may not be expensive or for ITH means nothing but for us they were very precious especially because they are our children's.

If they are sincere, instead of calling me "pentohmah", they should have tried to explain everything in truthful manner to us before they feel threatened. The issue is, they are INEFFICIENT and UNTRUSTWORTHY. Why didn't they make sure that our things would be handled safely AND BE TRANSPARENT? Why did they have to ask for receipts before compensating for the lost goods? Well, it is up to individual's judgement as to whether the company is reliable or not. But to us, the experience dealing with them has been really bitter and greatly disappointing. One that we do not wish to repeat.


To ITH, if you want to operate internationally, think and act internationally then. Do not be an embarrasment to Malaysia...

Kalau dah tak tahu buat bisnes tu mengaku salah ja la…tak payah lah ingin menegakkan benang basah….jangan lah berlagak macam segelintir politicians yang sanggup berbohong dan berbuat apa sahaja. Kalau ITH mengakui kelemahannya dan bersedia menerima kritikan, saya percaya pelanggan akan lebih hormat dan mungkin akan lebih yakin berurusan dgn ITH.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I used to deal with ITH for household shipping just like Veron. Honestly, as described in the blog, ITH gave no receipt what so ever once receiving the money (cash). I received all things, but not in a very good shape though (dusty, bag broken, boxes in bad shape). Lost nothing, luckily all things ok, not broken.Thus i care not too much then. Service is not professional at all, unlike other services that you would received from any company operating in Australia (from pick up AU and delivery in MY, not satisfied with workers professionalism, plus seems they have lack of staff). Promo price sounds cheap, but it will get expensive once they started to measure things. Anyway, i try my best not to complaint last time as i'm hoping they will improved over time (Malaysian support Malaysian spirit). As a conclusion, only use ITH services if you're willing to take the risk with your belongings (unless they change the whole operating procedures and their 'tak apa' attitude after this). Cheers.

vpa73 on March 15, 2010 at 8:54 PM said...

Hi Anonymous,
thanks for sharing. Maybe Josh and my experience is meant to be a lesson to all esp ITH to improve their service. ITH staff, for your sake, please improve...go on profesionalism courses if you have to...otherwise you won't last long in the world of business, especially when your competitions are people with high levels of profesionalism, work ethics, and experience. Learn from your experience. Look at your faults before reacting defensively to customers' complaints...

Nightfiller on March 16, 2010 at 7:01 PM said...

COMMENTS FROM AZHAR...

Hi Josh,

For whatever reason I can't go into your wife's blog. Can you please cut & paste my comments into the comments section, please ?

thanks in advance.

--
Dear ITH Shipping,

Sometimes when it rains, it pours.

I'm not sure with your business model, but Im pretty sure you are another branch of ITH Shipping, so irrespective of ITH Perth, ITH Adelaide, ITH New Zealand, ITH Vanuatu, ITH Papua New Guinea etc, you are representing the same company, ITH. So instead of asking Josh to send an apology email clarifying this indicent is only related to ITH Perth, it is a better proposition for you to send an email to ITH Perth and ask them to treat the customers in a more appropriate way.

The way you asked Josh to clarify that this has nothing to do with ITH Adelaide is rather weird, from business sense. (unless you are operating on a franchise mode, but on a second thought, you cant say Big Mac in Malaysia is better than Big Mac in Australia, can you ? They are franchise business so services should be the same).

Shit happens, life is full of imperfections. Having had similar situation happened to me in the past, I fully understand the situation and sometimes this situation are beyond your control ie Customs processes, procedures etc. However this has not been dealt with accordingly, from the communication standpoint, and the way I see it as an observer. Or is it the issue of mismatch expectations, between what they pitch in their marketing campaign and what they delivered ? or probably Josh set the expectations too high ? But you can you blame him after he spent his hard-earned $5,000 ?

Thus far, we (through mawar group) havent heard any proper response from ITH Shipping explaining the whole situation, chronology of events or any related incident related to this. All I can see, is a character assasination exercise.

The issue wasn't so much of missing items etc, but the rendered end-to end services, from late pick-up, having had to pick things up themselves, late delivery etc. The missing item is just the topping and icing to the sour cake !

Im not trying to kill a dead horse here. You and I know that its definitely difficult to put a brake on a canoe. Damage has been done, and ITH's damage control exercise (if you have one, and not sure if you can call the current explanation as damage control exercise) hasnt come to a fruitful outcome.

When you are in a service-based organisation, it doesnt matter if you deliver one hell of a good job, because thats why you are paid for. But if you dont deal with one small incident like this, its definitely ruining your business as the ripple effect cant be understated.

I havent write this long for a while now, but as a person who deal with effectivess and efficiency in my daily job, this is something worth commenting.

--azhar hussin

聊天室 on March 16, 2010 at 9:17 PM said...

每個人生命中都可能遇到貴人,這些貴人不一定真的尊貴,他可能是陌生人,也可能是你的敵人。........................................

yuduhel on March 18, 2010 at 12:08 PM said...

HI ITH
From what you've quote

''We are human being and we have feeling too....''

Yes indeed you're human and not robot,and that's why you as a human need to confess that you've make a mistake...

From my experience people who make a mistake and give excuses are one hell of a scum..

so maybe it's fine for not confessing that you've made a mistake but still...remember this...

Once you have made a mistake, you will always have to live with it and all the consequences

Anonymous said...

glad i found this entry. Was about to use ITH to ship some stuff including bicycles worth aud6k... Now with the bad review im gonna use different company. Thanks heaps.

Anonymous said...

I think I will get very big problem here..I lambat jumpa blog ni and what hapen dah 3 bln brg I tak sampai..serius 3 bulan..Please what should I do?

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