Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I have been hugely delayed with writing the blog as we have been focusing on other things over the last month and it has dropped to the bottom of our priorities. Things have not been good for us as the shipping company we had contracted with – Ocean Trade Lines (OTL) are basically frauds and have taken our money with no intention of shipping us. We had a few weeks of receiving very little info from them which started to raise our suspicions, so we followed this up with a few internet searches and it all became clear, we had been scammed. Yes it is a very elaborate scam as they keep feeding you small pieces of info which make you think that perhaps your shipping is just delayed but there are many people who have waited months with no shipping.
On realising that this was the case we then spent weeks speaking with who ever we could to try to assist, this involved reporting to the Sheriff, speaking with the District Attorney, contacting an attorney, the British Consulate, the Federal Maritime Commission, the list goes on and on. The current situation is we have officially cancelled our contract and are trying to get a refund of 70% of what we paid BUT they are not paying and constantly delaying. From all the organisation we have contacted we have some advice but no one has been able to get OTL to agree to repay our money. It seems ridiculous that these people can keep trading and get away with it. They have been doing this for years and have not only traded as OTL but also Yacht Exports, same people, same location, same scam, different name. There are many things we have called these people over the last month but I won’t share in this forum but I expect you can imagine!
This has all been very hard to deal with and at the same time as sitting in the hurricane zone in Florida, so we did what we could in Miami and made the decision to head north which considering all the options for storing Magnum, sailing back next year or shipping Magnum with an alternative company but we knew we just had to get out of Miami.