REPORT: My bad experience with Highveld Taxidermists/Oxi Logistics

jeff

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I checked with Zingela Forwarders that I will be using for my South African safari this summer and they said their insurance coverage is all the way to my door, not just to Customs.
 

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I also got a quote from Logwin that included clearing of customs and shipped door to door with insurance. That way if something should happen, there is only one person/company to point the finger at. Hopefully it won't come to that.
 

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You guys got reputable shippers who know how international insurance works. The difference between your guys and my situation, is that I paid for insurance that was never purchased by the shipper. Ask to see or get a copy of the insurance certificate. Don't make the mistake I did by trusting these people and thinking that they were honest.
 

PARA45

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Here is the reply from Cruiser Safaris concerning my problem. I'ts a shame that such a great experience can get screwed up so easily. I was planning on going back to SA in 2016 to hunt with Cruiser Safaris, but after this experience, I'll never spent a penny of my hard earned money with Cruiser, and if they continue to use Highveld, I will never recommend them to anyone. It's a shame that it all had to end this way. I got screwed by Highveld/Oxi Logistics & ESTES trucking.

"Dear Oscar,
Pieter and I are aware of your situation but have not got involved through email as we felt that this was an issue that could only be handled by Highveld and Oxi. We have been in communications with Thomas and the path that he was following seemed to be the appropriate course of action.
We have given our input to him concerning a Cruiser client but I just don't know what else we can do. As is the norm in the safari industry the outfitter must have one company that they use as it would be a nightmare to have several companies for the client to choose from for their taxidermy. I want to let you know that we have both spent considerable time in research on choosing a company and we determined that Highveld Taxidermy would be the best for our clients.
In regard to you problem I talked to Thomas directly and he said that you chose your own customs broker. Normally the transportation company assigns one that they know will be able to complete your shipment to our high standards. Because of this factor Oxi did not get involved in any way for the shipment after it reached the US. This was handled by your customs broker. Thus Oxi can not provide insurance for your shipment beyond it reaching the US. My personal feeling is that your complaint should be directed to your customs broker and the trucking company that she assigned.
It appears that Highveld & Oxi delivered your trophies safely to the destination that they were contracted for.
Sincerely,
Bob
Cruiser Safaris"
 

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I'm not really surprised by the email. Everyone wants to lay off responsibility. I agree with Cruiser Safari, part of the major problem is the switch when it arrived in the USA. And the trucking company should have asked you for insurance. There is some neglect there....it should have been asked?
 

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...I was planning on going back to SA in 2016 to hunt with Cruiser Safaris, but after this experience, I'll never spent a penny of my hard earned money with Cruiser, and if they continue to use Highveld, I will never recommend them to anyone...

PARA45,

I think your statement is unfair to the Outfitter; Cruiser Safaris...he's core business is not Taxidermy works or Transportation of trophies..You had an excellent safari with him...i think it's is out fo his hands if a 3rd party caused you a financial lost and should then be taking up with them...You going to "bad mouth" him and cause him clientele...Book your Safari with him again, just use your preffered Taxidermy...
 

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I think you got screwed over by the SA boys, Para. You paid for insurance, your forwarder did not spend you money as directed, after he collected your money for the insurance.......you got screwed and I'm sorry to hear that. Cruiser took the easy way out IMO. I will make sure the 30-40 local guys who go on annual safaris know about Cruiser and Highveld/Oxi. Let the buyer beware.
 

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Where does the Outfitters job really end?
Legally, at the end of the contracted service.
As a service provider who's entire business depends on relationships, I would suggest that it does not end at the farm gate!

Hunters trust Outfitters to make suggestions and recommendations on associated service providers.
With this trust placed in the Outfitter, hunters curtail their usual vigilance in making choices and selections of those services and thus, the Outfitter is left with some of the mud on their shoes when the hunters step in it.
This reliance is exaggerated by the fact this process is taking place in a foreign country.

The Outfitter attempting to demonstrate they have done some due diligence on the behalf of the hunter:
"I want to let you know that we have both spent considerable time in research on choosing a company and we determined that Highveld Taxidermy would be the best for our clients."

By expending this effort is the Outfitter not demonstrating they are involved and acting on the hunters behalf?

If they are not responsible they should stop recommending services and refuse the commission cheque from the taxidermist.

In future merely provide a phone book for the hunter to come to their own decision. At least you know what you are in for when you start making the phone calls.
 

enysse

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Brickburn you are a wise hunter :). I agree with you a 100%.
 

Patrick R

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Where does the Outfitters job really end?
Legally, at the end of the contracted service.
As a service provider who's entire business depends on relationships, I would suggest that it does not end at the farm gate!

Hunters trust Outfitters to make suggestions and recommendations on associated service providers.
With this trust placed in the Outfitter, hunters curtail their usual vigilance in making choices and selections of those services and thus, the Outfitter is left with some of the mud on their shoes when the hunters step in it.
This reliance is exaggerated by the fact this process is taking place in a foreign country.

The Outfitter attempting to demonstrate they have done some due diligence on the behalf of the hunter:
"I want to let you know that we have both spent considerable time in research on choosing a company and we determined that Highveld Taxidermy would be the best for our clients."

By expending this effort is the Outfitter not demonstrating they are involved and acting on the hunters behalf?

If they are not responsible they should stop recommending services and refuse the commission cheque from the taxidermist.

In future merely provide a phone book for the hunter to come to their own decision. At least you know what you are in for when you start making the phone calls.

BRICKBURN,

I agreed 100%, but what i wanted to indicate is that PARRA45 wrote he had a excellent hunt with the Outfitter and don't make him responsible in this case..."...great my trip had been and the wonderful trophies I was able to get with Cruiser Safaris. They are a top notch outfitter with outstanding trophies, and this report is not in any way directed to them..." Now, all of a sudden he doesn't get his claim sorted out from the taxidermy / Importers, the Outfitter is at fault...

The mail from the Outfitter / Taxidermy to PARA45 is that he used his own customs broker...

This specific Taxidermy was suggested via Cruser Safaris, yes, and so Dieter has many, many reputable Outfitters using him. Highveldt Taxidermy has their own and "trustworthy" exporters again...why not used them, PARA45 "trusted" the Outfitter, why not the Taxidermy...

The Outfitter in my opinion should be the contact person from that the safari commence until the client recieved his trophies, that is the value added service we suppose to offer...I think if a 3rd/4th party wasn't envolved, not of this would have happen and long been sorted out...
 
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harden

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I hate to see this happen with anyone's memories. Terrible experience. It happens all to often. We do repairs on these all the time.
U S Hunters use a U S taxidermist, I'm kinda bias U S hunters should support U S business and if you use us......

You pay no crating charges.

You pay no insurance charges, our blanket studio insurance covers all your trophies even as we drive them ourselves to your door.

If your trophies are freighted or personally delivered our studio insurance continues to covers your trophies for total replacement cost of the skins and horns and the full mounting costs. Just as our studio covers then under our roof, fire, theft. weather , or any disaster for the full replacement cost of the skins horns and mounting costs.

We connect you with insurance carrier that will cover your trophies for the FULL COST of the HUNT and FULL Cost of the TAXIDERMY as a rider under our homeowners insurance once they are in your home.

We unload them from the trailers in your driveway ourselves, Jamie and Myself. 99 % of the time.

We walk them into your home office or cabin. Anywhere.
 

PARA45

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Bushwack,

Highveld/Oxi Logistics never suggested or even commented on using their brokers here in the US. As the time got closer to receive my trophies, and no mention of whom to use, I took the initiative to find my own broker here in the states. Even if I would have used their brokers here in the states, there was no insurance coverage anyway.

I don't think my statement is unfair to Cruiser Safaris. The fact that I will never hunt with them or recommen them is my choice, and I'm not saying they are a bad outfitter. Cruiser is siding with their taxicermist and that is their choice, so it is my choice also not to hunt with them or recommen them if they continue to use Highveld/Oxi. I'm going to say this again. I was a freight forwarder, and I know how international insurance works. The fact is, that I paid for insurance, and there was never any insurance purchased by the shipper (Oxi Logistics) since I have not seen the insurance certificate. Now, let's assume for a moment that Oxi did purchase insurance. Why, since I was at that time his client, did not get informed that my insurance coverage was only to the port of entry and not to the final distination? If Oxi would have done their job properly and informed me of the insurance coverage I was buying, I would have purchased additional insurance. I know, I know, bad on my part for ASSuming that I was dealing with a professional and honest business.
 

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This was from sestoppelman's hunting report that was just posted about a service they experienced.

…...On return our flight left Polokwane 2 hours early due to a flight change and we didn't get the word to Afton, but they showed up at Jo anyway and helped facilitate the whole process for us. …..

You mean a service provider did not have to be told what your needs were?
They did not have to be told that airlines change schedules?
All on their own?
Perhaps there are a few folks in the Taxidermy and Shipping industry that should be sent over to these guys for some training!

That is a nice change. Someone who knows there job and gets it done right.

A++ for Afton on that one.
 

jeff

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On most of my trips the taxidemist for ship and dip wanted to know who I was using for a customs broker so they could let the shipper know. They never recommended one. Power of attorney paper work was up to me to get done.
 

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It is highway robbery plain and simple.
 

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Sadly, there is little recourse for a hunter when something like this happens. What are you going to do - send everything back? Take a flight across the ocean and try to resolve things in person? Not gonna' happen. Outfitters and the D&P services know this, so as soon as they get your money, their willingness to help is gone. It is the rare business that goes above and beyond to help rectify issues such as this. Kudos to them.

Having your trophies mounted in the US is no guarantee that you will not run into difficulty. My trophies from the RSA had several skulls and a set of waterbuck horns damaged by my D&P. They told me that it was "a natural drying process". PH was in town this last winter and was amazed that they would take such a position, given the condition of the horns. As one would expect, I have not received a refund (or even an apology) for the damage. What made it even worse was the fact that they took almost a year to ship our stuff (lost permits). Worst part is that not only does one pay for the D&P, but then they have to pay someone here to fix it. In my case, I had to pay my taxidermist to repair the damaged horns.
 

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Tell me about it VanderLaan. Even with companies in the US, is not easy either. ESTES trucking company is the one who damaged my trophies, and I filed a claim with them. Well, after they review their "tariff" and whatever else they could to cover their a$$es, they came out that my the amount of my claim was $42.20. You are reading it correctly, $42.20, for a busted Kudu, a busted Impala, busted Zulu shield, and a Wildebeest marred nose !!!!! I've been weighing the options to take them to small claims court and see what I can get from the, or just let it go. The key with all of this and what I've learned from my ordeal is to have insurance, and to have in your hands copies of the insurance certificate and not trust the shippers at all, especially if the shipper & taxidermist are the same! I got screwed big time, and I'm not getting a dime for my damages, and if I want my mounts repaired I’ll have to pay out of my pocket. Thanks for the internet, I have a way of exposing my problem with these companies, and try to help others not to make the same mistakes I did.
 

PARA45

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Here is a follow up to this nightmare. My broker (SSI, Inc) has been heavily engaged with ESTES, and they accomplished the impossible. ESTES has admitted and taken responsibility for the damages done to my trophies, and have decided to pay up for the damages. Granted, I'm not getting the full amount of what it will cost to repair the mounts, but I'm getting something. The way I see it, is the difference between a reputable honest company vs one that is not. I don't know if the threat of going to court or placing negative comments about their company on the internet had anything to do with it, but I want to say that it did.

Thank you ESTES! Maybe Oxi should learn from your honest practices.
 
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PARA45

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Somehow during all this ordeal, I failed to mentioned that without the help and constant engagement of SSI, Inc, I don't think I would have seen a Penny from ESTES. They are a top business, and never gave up on doing what they think was right to fix my damaged trophies. Thank you Rosella!!!!!!
 
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I was planning on going back to SA in 2016 to hunt with Cruiser Safaris, but after this experience, I'll never spent a penny of my hard earned money with Cruiser, and if they continue to use Highveld, I will never recommend them to anyone. "

Completely agree. Even if it wasn't directly their fault, since they made the recommendation, they should make an honest effort to help you get this fixed, or at least assist in getting the copy of the documents that you wanted. There are plenty of good, honorable outfitters in RSA that will be happy to get squared away on your next trip.

Sounds like you should probably avoid Blue Skies Hunting Adventures if their posts are any indication of dedication to their hunters who might have issues .......................
 

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