Damaged Taxidermy from South Africa with Delta Airlines

redriver

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The following is a detailed account of damage that was done by Delta Airlines to a recent shipment of my mounted trophies from South Africa:
Taxidermist: Trans African Taxidermy S.A.
Shipper: Tracker International Freight Forwarder S.A.
Contents:
hippo shoulder mount & skull
white springbok shoulder mount
Roan pedestal mount
Blesbok shoulder mount
Caracal lifesize mount & skull
Blue duiker lifesize mount
wildebeest Euro mount
common springbok skull & skin

I had arranged for the crate to be shipped to Baltimore, MD as it is a USDA port of entry where my import
broker would handle the import process. The crate left South Africa and arrived in Atlanta, GA undamaged.
In Atlanta, Delta Airlines Cargo loaded the crate onto a truck to be shipped to Baltimore. When it arrived in Baltimore, Delta Airlines Cargo immediately alerted my importer and USF&W of the damaged crate. It came in from Atlanta on Delta's truck smashed, either intentionally or by negligence.

Basically it looks like someone dropped the crate off of a building then wrapped it in plastic in an attempt to somehow cover it up. The crate was smashed from the side and top. Several pieces of lumber were cracked or missing including the entire corner of the crate. The top of the crate was gone and many of the mounts were lying in the crate unsecured. Again all of this occurred between Atlanta and Baltimore while being handled by Delta Airlines Cargo

list of damages:
hippo skull: front left tusk cavity crushed and lower jaw cracked (a massive force had to cause this damage)
Roan: entire nose piece is smashed and torn thru the hide and into the form
duiker: ripped entirely from the base, base destroyed, totally broken front leg, broken horn, broken hooves
and face /hide scratched in several places
Caracal: ear split and smashed
white springbok: skull plate broken inside of mount, horns are independent of each other
blesbok : skull plate broken inside of mount, horns are independent of each other AND the shoulder
mount form is broken totally thru the mount leaving the neck and should separate inside the cape!

Obviously I am beyond pissed about this situation having well over $10,000 invested in taxidermy and shipping. I immediately contacted the shipper and Trans African taxidermist and over the last 3 weeks they have assured me that they will see me thru this. This is a very clear cut case of negligence and/or vandalism by workers at Delta Cargo from Atlanta.
Here is the problem that I am facing now. I told the shipper that I want the amount that I paid for shipping (almost $3000) to be refunded to my credit card right away and if that meant withholding funds from Delta, so be it. The response from Tracker International is that they would not do this and that I have to wait 90 days for Delta to decide if they will reimburse me and how much. The shipper did file a claim and complaint to Delta on my behalf and is monitoring the situation but he will not withhold funds because Delta cargo is too important to his shipping business.
I understand his point but keeping in mind that I paid my taxidermy and shipping bill exactly when due I find it insulting to tell me to wait another 90 days for a decision from the company at fault, Delta Airlines. A decision, that in light of Delta's recent stances against trophy hunting, may not go my way.

I know in my business if I ship something to a customer and it arrives damaged I cannot tell my customer to wait 90 days to see IF they will be reimbursed. I need to make it right asap and I deal with the party at fault. I would be out of business if I did this to my customers but according to the shipper and Trans African taxidermy I must wait the 90 days, period, end of story.
In my view, Tracker International should refund the shipping fees to my credit card and in 90 days Delta can tell me if they are going to reimburse me for the taxidermy fees that I paid for the damaged animals.

am I out of line to want immediate reimbursement for shipping??
What do you guys think should be done in this situation??


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sierraone

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Sorry about this redriver. I don't know the answer to fix this, but I already would have been to a lawyer's office. Whoever or whatever caused this damage should have already paid you by now if it has been several weeks!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Good grief, this is beyond belief.
 

vinnymbogo

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That is completely unacceptable! I really share in your disappointment and horror.
 

robertq

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news..... If you are lucky, you will collect the minimal coverage for damage from Delta as mandated federally and it will take months.....
This is why we urge all our clients to purchase transportation insurance from us for the simple fact that it covers all risk, door to door coverage, at a minimal cost so that in the event of a casualty, you are dealing with a US insurance company.
 

billc

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I would contact your credit card and dispute the charge at this point. Credit card companies normally will take the clients side and the service you received was for sure not what you paid for. I would say someone did the damage on purpose by the look of that crate.
 

redriver

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I don't agree that insurance is a remedy for gross negligence or vandalism. especially when there is no doubt that the damaged clearly occurred while being handled by Delta.
This is actually the 2nd shipment of trophies out of 6 safaris
that has been damaged during shipping. The last one was in 2001 and I had insurance at the time and got pennies for the damages. No offense
but I do not have much faith in insurance.
Note to self: never leave trophies to be mounted in Africa ever again
 

BRICKBURN

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billc

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I totally agree about all the bs insurance stuff. There should be no reason you need it if people do there job right. I dont care if it is a US company or not they are all a pain in the ass to deal with. The this fee is small and this one and your covered is bs. I myself am sick of needing to pay extra for people to do there job. Also sick of everyone one trying to sell the stuff to cover there ass to. Get on the phone call delta till you get to the person who can help you.

I would also give your credit card company a call it will not hurt to try to use them to help you.
 

kathy

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Wow I would be super pissed also. I hate slack ass people, $ 10,000 is just the start. Forrest
 

bluey

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mate that would make your blood boil .......
can only imagine how pissed right off , you must be....
hope you get atleast your freight and taxidermy charges back ......
 

ActionBob

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Seems to me like one should pay the shipping but expect the full cost of the repairs, by a top taxidermist, to be paid for.
 

TEX84

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This is really unfortunate.

What is that crate made out of? It doesn't look like plywood.
 

Bert the Turtle

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My first inclination is that this is entirely Deltas fault and they should make it right. They won't. If you hire a lawyer you might recover more money. Whether it is enough to cover the lawyers fee is debatable. I personally wouldn't expect the taxidermist or shippers to cover deltas mistake.

Upon looking at the shipping crate I think that whoever packed it bears some responsibility for this. The crates I've gotten from Africa could have been dropped out of the plane as it flew over Baltimore and looked better. That crate doesn't look from picture to be proper.

If it turns out to have been intentional the person who did it could be held responsible. My guess is that a baggage handler probably has meager financial wherewithal. Even if you get s judgement it will be blood from a stone

All in all I would be pissed as hell. If get what I can from delta and press the people who packed it hard. Bad publicity would hit their core business. Delta may not even consider it bad publicity.
 

enysse

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My gun case was destroyed by Delta last year and it took a long time for them to reimburse, but they finally did. I'm ok now but was pissed off, it took many phone calls to fix the situation. MANY PHONE CALLS AND LOTS OF TIME.

I will say it again, I have had problems shipping stuff back from Africa, so much so that I had the last shipment, dipped and packed and sent back to the USA. Like Bill says no one wants to take responsibility for piss poor service. And I agree they should have secured the trophies better. Damn, I have said that over and over again....who care if it costs a little more to ship, it's better than having stuff destroyed.

Again I'm sorry this happen to you, this must be hard to take.
 

Rob404

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I would contact your credit card and dispute the charge at this point. Credit card companies normally will take the clients side and the service you received was for sure not what you paid for. I would say someone did the damage on purpose by the look of that crate.
+1
 

redriver

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This all started on October 9th and I thought about calling my credit card company right away but I didn't want to create more of a s**t storm.
The shipper asked me to be patient while it plays out but it wasn't until he refused to refund my shipping costs the other day and told me to wait 90 days that this really went into overdrive.
I was curious what other guys thought about the crate and I will say it is the cheapest crate I have ever received from Africa. framed with 2x2s and enclosed with 1/4" cardboard. The shipper refuses to acknowledge
the poor quality and claims he has done things this way for years. Another weird thing is that Trans African Taxidermy, which is related to the shipper, has offered to replace my damaged mounts or
do future taxidermy at their expense yet they are siding with the shipper's refusal to refund the fees that I paid him for crating & shipping. I don't expect much from Delta considering how they feel about
safari hunters and the fact that I am 1 guy against a giant airline but at the very least I should not have to pay $3000 for that pile of crap to be delivered to me.
 

Bhfs300

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Seems to me like one should pay the shipping but expect the full cost of the repairs, by a top taxidermist, to be paid for.

Maybe have the crate sent to Dennis at Artistry of Wildlife and see what he can do to get these trophies back to what they should have looked like. Then send the bill to Delta.
 

CAustin

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I'm with Bert folks. That crate us crap. At first I thought it was cardboard. It is that cheap pressed sawdust board which can't take any kind of pressure. Frankly, I think if anything fell on it it was going to break!

That being said redriver you need to find somebody good to help you fix all this!
 

Rob404

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Delta will blame the Shipper, The shipper will stiff you even though it's most likely his fault and all you'll get is what he has the trophies insured for, if he insured them for the cost of the trophies you should be good to go, if not your stuck, Cancel the Credit card and get your 3G back at least you won't be out that
 

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