My jeep was supposed to be here by now. I called Thompson Shipping yesterday to inquire about it, and they didn't have any record of me ever having delivered a car to the port.
I waited until 9:30 to call. Give them a chance to un-glue themselves from “I just got out of bed“ mode. I spoke to Jas and told her that my jeep should be here by now, as it was supposed to sail on Nov 23rd on the Stadt Cuxhaven. That ship had been and gone already, and I figured it would take a few days for the paperwork to filter through customs to the shipping agent and it was about that time. She asked for my last name, spelled it wrong three times and said “Im sorry sir, but I don't have you in my system. Could it be under a different name?“ we tried the name of the finance company I bought the jeep from, but it wasn't under that.
After 20 minutes, I decided to go to the Port Authority/Customs lock-up, find the jeep, copy the booking number off the windshield and call her back. The jeep wasn't at the lock-up. Jeffrey the Customs agent escorted me through the lock-up looking for my jeep. When we couldn't find it, he suggested I go down to the docks and see if it was still down there. It wasn't there, either.
At 11:00 I looked up Hyde Shipping online and went to their website and found their company directory. I found the extension of the person who deals with Cayman cargo and called him up. He asked me if it was about a vehicle and then transferred me to“JC“ who's voicemailbox I ended up in. I left him a message with the details (vehicle delivered on Nov 17, 11:30am, received by Alex who entered my details in the computer, I then cleared customs myself and then took the paperwork back to Hyde and gave the title and the key to Wilbert and they said I was done. I asked if I needed anything, and they said no, Thompson's would call me once the cargo got to Cayman)
12:30 came and went and I called Jas back at Thompson's shipping. She said I should call Hyde in Miami and I told her I had been trying to but kept getting transferred around because no one wanted to get off their asses and answer any questions, so she put me on hold and called Hyde shipping herself. She came back on the line a few mins later and said that Hyde had no record of me, or of any 1995 Jeep Wranglers having been delivered on the 17th of November. This was when I got a small lump of worry in my throat.
I called Hyde back at 1:30 to talk to JC again and follow up on the voicemail and was told he just stepped out for lunch and would be back in an hour. I called Jas at Thompson's again and gave her every detail I could think of. Everyone's names who's names I remembered off their nametags, date, time, the signature of the guy who signed the letter of intent, even other people who were in the office who were there at the time. She said she would have Hyde look into it and get back to me.
In the meantime I called up the dealer/finance company where I bought the jeep and asked them to fax me a copy of the title, thinking that maybe they made an error and just typed in the person's name who was on the front of the title, rather than mine.
I decided to call US Customs at 3:00. I took the paperwork there to get stamped/signed etc. I found the exact vehicle export office that I went to on the US Customs website and called them up. I asked if I could get a copy of that paperwork from them just so I had SOME sort of paper trail to follow and she told me that it was in storage now, and that a request would have to be generated and then put through channels and eventually some government flunky would go dig it out and photocopy it for me (provided they didn't lose it in the meantime) so I thanked her for her time and rang off.
I called JC at Hyde back at 3:30. He said he would LOVE to help me, but that their computers were down and there was nothing he could do. I gave him all the details again and he promised that as soon as the computers were back up he would look into it for me. How convenient that their systems went down. At this point I had no idea what happened to my jeep. For all I know, they could have sold it and used the money for lapdances at Pure Platinum.
Finaly at 4:30 my cell phone rang and the caller-id said +7060 which means unknown international call. It was JC calling me back. He found my paperwork and my jeep. The jeep was sitting in the 'cleared to sail' lot waiting to be put on a boat and the paperwork was filed under M for Mark rather than under F. He gave me a dock receipt # to use as a reference and to check the status through the local shipping agent. He also said it might make it onto the ship that's sailing today, but “no promises“.
No Promises is a lot better than “I don't have you in the system“ or “Don't worry, it'll turn up“ so I was very relieved at that point. I had a receipt number and that was more than I had before. I still can't believe it took me seven hours just to find that one piece of information out though!