Help! Problems w/ action??

Apr 14, 2004
Houston / NYC / Tokyo
As some of you might know, I recently relocated to Japan with my wife and 2 dogs. When our household items arrived via sea shipment, my moving company's local rep emailed us stating there is serious damage noticed on our items. Apparently, they "dropped" the container...long story short, 60-70% of my furniture are damaged beyond repairable condition. Surprisingly, most breakable pieces (china, glassware) are intact, along with pieces with sentimental value.

My wife and I were shocked at first, and went thru the whole insurance claim process. At this point, the insurance company has agreed on the value we claim...

However, we were charged the full delivery cost while only a portion of my items arrived. We were disputing the charge as we want a partial refund based on the value of the items we “lost”over the total shipment value.

This is what I wrote them

I just do not think your company can justify charging us the full cost while delivering only a portion of our belongings. Imagine if ALL of our belongings are loss/damaged, does it make sense for us to pay the full price even when the insurance company is covering the loss? I understand nobody wants this to happen; however, the outcome is the majority of our furniture never reaches our new home.

Due to this mishap, my wife and I have to spend additional time and go thru the trouble shopping for new furniture & household items. In addition, since most of the furniture was not delivered, we have to pay extra to spend more days at the serviced apartment (which cost us an addition of USD $2K). That could be avoided if this did not happen.

Once again, we firmly request a partial refund. We will pay for the full amount of any government-related fee/tax that either the US or Japan customs imposed on our shipment. However, we want a partial refund based on the value of loss items over the total value of the shipment applied to the balance of USD $9700 net of all fee/taxes.

If we do not hear from you by 4/11/08, we will contact my credit card company to dispute the charge and let them handle this directly with your company. In addition, further legal action will be taken based on our attorney's advice.

And this is their response…

I have been in communication with XXX of our Tokyo office regarding your situation. First let me say I apologize for the difficulties that you have faced from the damage that occurred to the container and subsequently to your possessions. I believe the damage claims to your furniture are being addressed but you have some concern over the actual moving costs related to damaged items.

I understand your frustrations over the need to shop and replace the goods that were damaged beyond repair. That being said XXX has stated the goods however damaged they were, had still been packed, wrapped, shipped and handled throughout the moving process. The resources necessary to complete that move process were the same regardless of the condition upon delivery. We do take this damage of your goods very seriously and the need for a XXX transit protection policy becomes even more apparent in a situation like this one. We are fortunate that policy is in place so your claim for damage can be dealt with and we can work to resolve those issues.

Any reduction in moving costs will not be considered as the goods were indeed packed and moved all the way to Japan as requested. The reason for Transit Protection is to repair or otherwise take care of items that are damaged in the moving process. That is what we are working on doing in the settlement of your damage claim.

As XXX has stated I too, am very sorry for the difficulties that you have encountered.

What would be the appropriate action if you’re in my position?

We are thinking of disputing the charge and have my credit card company to handle that and file a complaint with BBB (which they’re a member). Any other suggestion? I am a reasonable person and I just want them to make up for loss time/effort….

Thanks in advance.
Nov 9, 2007
i would definitley seek legal advice,

by either taking action against the company(if the $ is worth it)


add the shipping charges to your insurance claim and file a complaint against the bbb

good luck with it