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Shipping company refusing to release personal items. Quebec.

Customer Question
Shipping company refusing to...

Shipping company refusing to release personal items

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Quebec

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, not yet as I do not know the best course of action

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I believe this to be a breach of consumer rights; I am an individual

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Canada Law
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Answered in 44 minutes by:
1/4/2018
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,891
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I am sorry to hear this but I don't understand the facts. Please set them out.

Thanks

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hi Debra.A small shipment of personal goods were shipped via an intermediate shipping agents (IMS). They were supposed to assist with the customs clearance and transfer of my items from the port to a warehouse.1) IMS instructed me to attend their office to collect documents I was required to take to customs to clear the items
2) I cleared customs and received the required document on 14th Dec
3) They arranged for someone to collect the document from me on 15th and then cancelled that pick-up
4) They emailed me at the weekend to say that someone would collect it on Monday
5) I replied to explain I would be out of the country until 21st for work matters
6) They emailed me to say that the return of the document was urgent and storage fees would commence
7) I contested any fees as I had not been advised of any urgency, fees or process when I attended their office (neither was any written advise ever provided)
8) I advised I would send the document via tracked post
9) Canada Post delivered the document to the correct address and it was signed for on 22nd by a named individual
10) 26th December they contacted me to say they had not received anything
11) I responded to ask them what I would need to do in the case of a lost document
12) Jan 3rd they provided me with the correct information to retrieve a copy
13) Jan 4th they refused to pick-up my items from the shipping warehouse until I paid a storage fee of CAD700 that the shipping company is charging themThere is a mounting daily fee that the shipping company is charging for holding these goods in their warehouse. I have disputed responsibility of storage fees based on misleading and incomplete guidance and service from them. I believe this to be an unjust responsibility of fee and improper service (they are sending me multiple emails telling me that I should pay because the fees are increasing).I have email chains in which they have admitted that a) I was not informed of fees until it was too late and b) they did not provide me with information quickly in order to quickly resolve the lost document issue.
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I am not sure I quite understand the facts.

They are charging you for storage essentially because a document was lost. But the problem with the lost document is as a result of their error?

How much are the goods worth?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
That's correct except the loss of the document is no one's fault as Canada Post lost it. However, I was never informed of any process or storage fees and now the storage fees have mounted as they have not provided me the required information throughout the process.Items worth: CAD1000
Storage fees: CAD700I don't have the money to pay the the fees and they are telling me that each day the fees are increasing.I don't know whether I should try to pay and make a claim at the small claims or seek legal assistance to retrieve my items.I have no proof that they did not receive the document as they claim and I relied on their guidance throughout the process as this was the service I had originally paid for.
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

As the fees are mounting it would make sense to consider paying them and then suing. If you want to do this then provide them a cheque and on the subject line write "without prejudice" and "under protest". And the provide a covering letter with the cheque that also says you are paying under duress and on a without prejudice basis, under protest.

Then after you get the goods send them a demand letter, setting out the facts and asking for a full refund by a deadline that you set.

You can then sue them in Small Claims Court and can self-represent. If it gets that far and you find you need some help as you go through the process you can always post on this site again and I can guide you through the process.

Does that help as a starting point?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks Debra. So I actually write on the cheque itself "without prejudice and under duress" and in a cover letter? I'm not entirely sure where I should write it on the cheque?From the lack of information, misguidance and comparative fees, do you think there is a case for the small claims in your professional opinion?
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Yes I do or I would not have suggested it.

On the bottom left of the cheque should be a line that is there for you to describe the cheque. You can write it there.

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hi Deborah.Apologies for the delay. I did as you suggested and paid the invoice I had received on Thursday via bankers cheque on Friday (the cheque included the subject heading and cover letter as you recommended). On Friday afternoon the company confirmed receipt of the payment and confirmed delivery of the items.This morning I received an email to say that the bankers cheque would be returned to me (I assumed because they were dropping the fees) which I confirmed, however I received a subsequent email from the Director to say that they will no longer service me and are returning all fees paid and that I must revert to my moving company at origin. My things are still at port and subject to the storage fees.I'm not sure what to do as a next step here. I am waiting for my moving company at origin to come back to me with next steps and a copy of the contract, but I don't have funds for further fees and it is not the company at origin that has caused these fees in the first place. Do you have any guidance?
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Can you get someone else to pick up your things?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I can try to arrange to collect them, yes. But I will need to employ another transportation company to do so. So I should pay necessary fees to retrieve my items and try to claim those back from the moving company?If they have provided me an invoice which is paid "under duress” and they drop me as a customer based on this, is there legal recourse?
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Yes. That is exactly what I was going to say. Get the stuff so you have them and you are mitigating your damages.

Then sue whomever has caused you the problem.

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?

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