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Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products

 
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
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Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


I recently placed a rather large order for pond products (almost $7,000.00) from "***" in Woodstock Georgia.
The majority of the order was for "***" pond products.

The shipment arrived via "Fed-EX" freight. I personally unloaded the shipment off the tractor trailer. I inspected the shipment as carefully as possible (considering everything was wrapped up and could not be easily reviewed).

The liner packaging in particular was carefully inspected. Everything looked fine. I unloaded the order and placed it on our material yard. We were planning on using the materials on three upcoming projects. I unwrapped the boxes and checked everything and it all appeared to be in good shape.

Two weeks later, I unwrapped the 100' long wide liner package and unrolled it so I could cut it into pieces for each pond. When I unrolled the last bit of liner, I observed that the last five feet (the inner most section of the roll) was severely lacerated; apparently from a careless dock worker that could not read the large red label on the packaging that stated not to move the liner roll with pallet forks but a carpet pole instead.

Upon the unveiling of the issue, I immediately contacted the distributor (***) and notified them of the issue and also included a picture of the damage. They responded a couple days later with a response from the manufacturer (***) who said it was my problem since I did not note the damage at the time of delivery and since it had been two weeks after the delivery, it was too late to address the problem.

I had a hard time accepting that answer. I did not think it was reasonable for me to think to get a flashlight and look up in the cardboard roll in the middle of the liner roll to look for potential damage in the middle of the road as the truck driver awaited me to unload the shipment.

I complained to them and they countered with the offering of a free patch kit to repair the liner as best I could. *** commented that I should be grateful that they even offered me that. The liner alone cost me $1,500.00 plus shipping.

I would like some feedback on what other contractors think about this situation.

[Names removed; we do not do that here.] -- Mod

Last edited by Tinstaafl; 12-17-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


So you in reality have about 5' of damaged product, or $75 worth of damaged product? I think I got it right. Have you asked them to just send you a 5' piece to correct this?

I find its all in the approach and use of the English language in resolving things amicably or creating an issue.

I'm sure going another rung up the ladder may get this resolved considering it is 1% of your order but a very important part and since you are ramping up for next years projects you really don't have time to look for other suppliers right now.

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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Re: Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


The last 5' of the liner roll were lacerated terribly (beyond repair). The first job we had to do involved two 15'x15' ponds and a connecting stream. We were to use two 25'x25' sections of the 100' roll of the liner to do the ponds and a separate roll of liner for the stream bed. I decided to use the first two sections of the liner that were on the outside of the roll that looked to be undamaged until we could figure out what to do with the other half of the roll. We used the first two sections of the roll thinking that they were in good shape. Once we got them to the job, my foreman noticed one small laceration in each piece. I took the time to patch them onsite. We examined the rest of the liner and it looked ok. I thought that was the end of that. We built the large water feature with protective fabric under and over the liner to protect it and carefully placed each rock to prevent damage to the liner and everything looked beautiful and the customer loved it. Several days later we noticed water leaching out of the ground from under the lower pond. long story short, after one month of monitoring and testing, we finally dug down and found a small pin hole leak that was so small that it could only be seen with water shooting out of it. Without seeing the water coming out, the pin hole could not be seen with the bare eye. We later discovered the tip of the pallet forks somehow punctured the liner in such a way that it created weak spots in the liner that were the size of an eraser on a pencil.

We ended up only having 25' of undamaged liner of the original 100' long roll and spent over $1,500.00 in labor trying to find the pin hole in the large water feature around all the landscaping and rocks.

I figure the profit they made off that $7,000.00 order well exceeded my costs to repair the damage. I figured that since the damage was not my fault they could at least give up some profit to make things right. It just frustrates me that we as contractors are always taking the hit when a distributor or manufacturer makes a mistake. I am also disappointed that the distributor (***) is also not standing up for me. Am I being unreasonable to expect them to give up some of their profit to compensate the mistake of their vendor (Fed-Ex)?

Last edited by Tinstaafl; 12-17-2012 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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Re: Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


Quote:
Originally Posted by Outdr Contractr View Post
Am I being unreasonable to expect them to give up some of their profit to compensate the mistake of their vendor (Fed-Ex)?
Stop naming names, we don't do that here. Fed-Ex is not a vendor; it's a carrier. If they damaged the shipment, your quarrel is with them, and they have insurance to cover it.

While suppliers will often take a hit under such circumstances just for the sake of PR, ultimately you have no right to demand that of them.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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Re: Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


Usually when you sign a freight ticket, the fine print says you have inspected & accepted the load.

Now I have had success in filing a claim, well documented, several weeks after accepting delivery.

As Chris said, you are more likely to get a resolution via a conversation with upper management rather than trying to file a late claim.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


You must not do much business with these guys, my suppliers bend over backwards for my business even when it's my fault. They know that it doesn't make since to lose years of future business over a few hundred buck. It's not because I'm a great guy it's because I spend money.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: Problem With A Large Order Of Pond Products


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
Usually when you sign a freight ticket, the fine print says you have inspected & accepted the load.

Now I have had success in filing a claim, well documented, several weeks after accepting delivery.

As Chris said, you are more likely to get a resolution via a conversation with upper management rather than trying to file a late claim.
In the future, the poster needs to inspect the product before signing. If there is a problem tell them to send it back to the company.

Personally, I would be leery about replacing something two weeks after the customer signed for it. Outdr Contractr may be telling the truth, but if I were a company I would be suspecious of such conduct.

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