Thank you for the information Russ.
Your initial post: I shipped product with carrier in a crate to a trade show. The trade show coordinator, a subcontractor of the show, receives the crates and warehouses them and delivers to the booth. I can't make this up, but the trade show coordinator site has a photo of crate, and next to it $89 material and handling fee. I assumed this was there cost to place on fork lift and bring to the booth.
I received a bill for the $2477, including the $89 fee for the crates. It was priced per the weight of the crates. Even the customer service rep did not see on their own site the area where the crates are actually weighted and priced per lb. She asked for help, and when you click on the crate, it goes to page 2, show estimator page.
Further, the trade show coordinator was contract and I received bill of lading to have their trucking company pick up my merchandise at previous show. I was specific as to the items, i.e., cabinets, 40 x 48 x 36, on wheels. Salesperson called them crates, I said no, they are cabinets. She said didnt matter. Trucking company came and refused to take the cabinets because they were not crated. Cabinets and merchandise left unsupervised for 36 hours until I found other arrangements to pick up the merchandise and secure. ($10,000 of display cabinets). I arranged crating and other company to transport goods to upcoming show. Thats when GES, trade show coordinator, received merchandise. This is the same company that billed me the add'l $2477. I didnt sign a contract for this, but they have my crates. Is there any legal recourse for damages in addition to reimbursement of costs for there errors?
Response: You do have legal recourse. However, since you need your crates for your show on 9/3, you would need to pay them under protest. Then make a formal demand for them to pay for damages done in addition to reimbursement of costs for their errors. Since you do not have any contract with them, they really do not have any right to be charging you these fees except for the amount that showed next to the crates when they were being loaded. Unfortunately, it is likely, that you have to file lawsuit to make them to pay. So, you have to calculate the cost of suing (Court costs, Attorney’s fees, Court hearings) versus the cost of not suing and see which action or nonaction would be the better course of action for you, economic wise.
Let me know if you need further clarification.