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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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I own a company in California that sells equipment. We also

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I own a company in California that sells equipment. We also have a warehouse facility in Mississippi that has a forklift driver on site to load/unload equipment. A sales transaction took place and we sold a piece of equipment to a reseller, who sold it to a customer in Illinois. The piece shipped out of the Mississippi warehouse. Upon receipt in Illinois, this customer decided to return the freight back to the warehouse. Our customer, the reseller, agreed to let his customer return the product. The final customer made shipping arrangements and sent the product back to us, Unbeknownst to me, this freight was sent to our warehouse as collect. Our forklift driver signed the bill of lading, not even knowing that he was signing it as a collect shipment. The warehouse received a bill for $825.85. Our customer refuses to pay the bill, the final customer refuses to pay the bill, yet, even though this shipment was never authorized to be billed to my company, I am on the hook. The freight company has sent me to collections and states in a letter that they have been authorized to retain a law firm. Do I have any options in this?
Hi! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be the attorney assisting you.

Yes, you can sue the reseller who didn't have your authorization for the customer to return the product BEFORE they authorized such.

Moreover, the reseller should have limited the way the customer return the product.

So the reseller was entirely at fault and liable for the costs.

I would contact the reseller and inform them what they are to reimburse you.

If they don't, then considering that it was their fault and negligence that caused the problem you can file suit in your local small claims court for your damages and then transfer the judgment to where they are located to execute upon the judgment.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So, I'm thinking that I need to pay the freight forwarder. What, exactly would a collection mean to my company if I choose not to? We've never been to collections and have been in business for over 20 years. Should I worry about possible litigation from the freight forwarder as stated in the letter from the collections agency? What would that entail?

Being in collections is nothing UNLESS you want to get financing.

Since you have never been in collections before - you may not realize how that could and would affect your credit rating.

Too, if they file suit - you will have to defend yourself. Moreover, if you are corporation - that means you will have to retain an attorney because corporations are fictitious entities and the officers/directors/owners can't represent the corporation because only legally licensed attorneys can do that.

So, if you have to retain legal counsel - that will be more or as much as the cost of the freight charge.

Too, they might file suit where their business is located making it difficult for you - although you could defend if they tried to transfer the judgment to where you are located - that again will cost you legal fees.

I think the better part of valor here is to pay the frieght charge and then go after the reseller who wrongfully consented for the customer to return the product.

Your options are limited in reality if you don't resolve this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help. I guess valor is the least costly route.

Yeah. Sorry for bursting your bubble there. What a mess for you!!

Shoot that reseller!!!
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