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Allied HK: Customer Service / International Relo issues

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  1. #1

    Angry Allied HK: Customer Service / International Relo issues

    Question: Is it possible/feasible to give PoA to a former colleague based in Hong Kong for the purpose of taking legal action against an HK moving company?

    Context:
    For our move from Hong Kong to the USA in December, we decided to go with Allied, as their quote was far cheaper than the other ones we got. The initial moving process went quite smoothly and they shipped our goods on December 19, and the shipment arrived in the USA in mid-February.

    Allied booked Schumacher Cargo as their destination agent and that's where the trouble began. Once our goods had cleared US customs on March 2, I received an invoice from Schumacher requesting that I pay around $500 USD for an "additional distance charge", because Allied apparently did not pay for the full distance, even though our destination was clearly mentioned in the contract that I had signed. Only after a week of sending emails to Allied and threatening further action against them for breaching the contract, they finally agreed to pay for this surcharge.

    With that problem resolved, I assumed we would be getting our stuff relatively soon - silly me! After a few weeks of radio silence, Schumacher Cargo informed us that they actually don't have any "agent" available who services our area and they are trying to find a different solution. (Note: we moved to a metropolitan area and not to a remote rock in the middle of nowhere.)

    It's now mid April and we still don't have any ETA or any update on when we can hope to get our stuff. To me this raises the question why Allied booked Schumacher Cargo as their destination agent in the first place without confirming whether they would be capable of actually fulfilling the shipment in any reasonable amount of time!

    Following up with Allied HK had zero effect. Our "moving coordinator" rarely if ever answers any emails and it's been impossible to find out the names of any supervisors or managers from their cryptic company website https://www.allied.com/hk (no management listed, no team, no email addresses). Their only phone number directs you to a mailbox that seems to be always full. I was naive enough to purchase their "insurance", which of course will be pretty much useless, as since making a claim would require me to get in touch with someone from Allied HK... It almost feels like I've been tricked into a scam setup rather than dealing with an internationally-operating company such as Allied.

    TL;DR: Their quotations may look like a lot cheaper than other HK-based moving companies, but their abysmal customer service and the fact that you're basically on your own as soon as you paid them, would make me think twice before ever using them again.

  2. #2

    “[COLOR=#444444][FONT=roboto]we decided to go with Allied, as their quote was far cheaper than the other ones we got.”

    That should have been a red flag right there and then. Now you’re screwed!

    Ellenna likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    6,249

    The fact that it's the USA, I would think it's that side that messed up and that's the side you should act American to and take "legal action" against. You're likely wasting your time with a HK company who has long finished their business with you, especially if you're not even in HK. HK doesn't work with this framework of taking "legal action" against.

    Flat Hunter and bdw like this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    7,434

    I see a couple of frustrations but nothing worth legal action. Oh wait, you are American?

    I mean, OK they were going to charge you $500 for something until you complained and got it waived. Now it's been 5 months since they picked up your goods and you dont have yet, well I think there are many people in this same situation at the moment and doesnt strike me as significantly out of the ordinary. When you first signed up, what what the estimated delivery date they gave you? Did they say due to pandemic and unforeseen circumstances they cannot guarantee the delivery times or some shit like this?


  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Find their US managing director or someone at the "C" level through LinkedIn. They're a far larger outfit in the US than they are in HK.

    They're a large enough organisation where they don't start their day saying "lets see which customer we can fuck over today". In general most of the time, it is a matter of finding the right person who can cut through all the noise and inefficiencies. Your HK rep has no control over what happens once the shipment is picked up.

    Their US contacts are here:

    https://www.allied.com/contact-us

    saltywetman likes this.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bdw:
    I see a couple of frustrations but nothing worth legal action. Oh wait, you are American?
    Not from the US, only moving there for work. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by bdw:
    I mean, OK they were going to charge you $500 for something until you complained and got it waived. Now it's been 5 months since they picked up your goods and you dont have yet, well I think there are many people in this same situation at the moment and doesnt strike me as significantly out of the ordinary. When you first signed up, what what the estimated delivery date they gave you? Did they say due to pandemic and unforeseen circumstances they cannot guarantee the delivery times or some shit like this?
    Their original estimate was 5-7 weeks. The point is that Allied HK messed up when booking the company to handle the US delivery on their behalf (i.e. Schumacher Cargo). Initially, Allied had booked for the wrong destination (which is pretty far away from where we are), and that's why Schumacher had asked us to pay the extra $500 at first. Then, once Allied HK admitted that this was their mistake and agreed to pay the extra fee, Schumacher Cargo informed us that they don't have any capabilities to do a delivery to our location. They are not saying, "oh this is going to take a couple more weeks than expected", they're simply saying "sorry, can't do".

    And technically speaking, I didn't sign a contract with Schumacher, so it's hard to see how we could do anything about it if they simply let our shipment rot in their warehouse for the next 6 months. After all, they aren't exactly known to be a stellar service provider, see https://www.trustpilot.com/review/schumachercargo.com
    Last edited by CuriousExploree; 16-04-2022 at 09:57 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    Their US contacts are here:

    https://www.allied.com/contact-us
    Thanks for the links. I'm waiting to hear back from their corporate office.

  8. #8
    Update: I didn't receive any response whatsoever from the Allied's US corporate office. Also, getting in touch with any of their manager's over LinkedIn didn't work out, as I wasn't able to locate anyone who has a higher position than "moving coordinator". I guess I would also keep it a secret if I worked at Allied...

    Status of our shipment: No ETA, no "we are working on resolving this", nothing.

    Conclusion 1:
    - We paid ~100k to Allied HK for the move
    - Our shipment is valued at ~300k according to the (useless) insurance documents.
    - Total loss: ~ 400k. (Even if the shipment should arrive in another 6 months or so, we will have replaced pretty much everything by then.)

    Conclusion 2:
    Here's an idea for starting a lucrative HK business:
    1. Create a moving company and promise your customers low rates and speedy delivery. Hire some click farm to give you a number of great reviews.
    2. Once you have picked up your customers goods and received payment, head to the nearest dump and get rid of the shipment. Your customers will be long overseas by the time they notice, and any contracts they've signed are completely useless once they've left HK.
    3. Profit! :-)

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    3,066

    Allied Pickfords have been around for decades. As Shri says, they don't go around deliberately trying to rip people off. Also they are members of FIDI which means they have to be at a certain standard and get audited regularly.
    Only hearing one side of the story so hard to make a judgement but I do know that intl hhg moving is in a mess at the moment due to the extreme shortage of containers (most are at standstill out at sea).
    I have been out of the HHG industry for 10 years so a lot of my contacts have gone or moved on but I do know of a senior account manager names Ellen Wong you could contact.
    PM me and I will send you the mail address


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Trance Omega:
    Only hearing one side of the story so hard to make a judgement but I do know that intl hhg moving is in a mess at the moment due to the extreme shortage of containers (most are at standstill out at sea).
    Container shortage wasn't the problem in this case (apart from adding a demurrage charge). The timeline was:
    * Dec 19: pickup
    * Dec 25: shipment departed HK
    * Feb 15: arrival at port in the US
    * March 2: US customs clearance completed.
    * March 3: Paid "demurrage" charge to Schumacher Cargo.
    * mid-March: Schumacher: "Sorry we don't have any agents delivering to your area."
    And that's the final status.

    Thanks for the contact! I will get in touch with her.

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