Their service is rude and unresponsive.
Do not use their door delivery service. I had to use my own truck and trailer to pick up an item I paid $700 door delivery for from the location. They are horrible.
Review by Dongzhao Ruskey9 months ago
I have spent the last week or so debating whether to file this review, not wishing to revisit once again the maddening problems and suspect business practices my family was confronted with (and confounded by) when we hired ECU Worldwide. In the end, I decided to share my story in detail, if only as a warning cry to others to avoid the kind of customer frustration, unethical business practices and severe property damage that we could not. I write in particular about ECU Netherlands, based in Rotterdam.
Last year, I had shipped some of our belongings from the States to Italy using other refight forwarders, and had no problems whatsoever. Then came ECU. Where to begin?
Let’s start with invoicing. After over 6 attempts via email and voice mail to find out the status and final pricing of our shipments from America, I was shocked to find that the original prices ECU had quoted to us — in writing — had suddenly been jacked up to quite ridiculous amounts, sometimes nearly 80% over the promised amount. This all-too-obvious strategy was applied continually by the Import Manager of ECU Netherlands, a lady named Karima who simply insisted that ECU's previous written offers were not “final” until she had “approved” them herself — i.e., until she had taken the opportunity to do the final jacking-up to unacceptable levels. She applied these hikes first to the items shipped from LA, then she applied them to our items shipped from New York, and finally for the trucking of the consolidated shipments from Netherlands to our home in Italy. A triple whammy.
Did Karima not think we would notice the fudging? Did she not understand that what she was doing is an unethical business practice? I let the company know this in later emails. But it was only after I politely threatened to pursue a more “formal" recourse through Holland’s version of a Better Business Bureau that ECU finally come to its senses and jacked the prices back DOWN. But only somewhat.
Upon inspecting ECU’s final invoice for their overland shipment services, I discovered that Karima had proceeded to double-charge us for the trucking costs from the ttalian customs warehouse to our house several hundred miles away. When I pointed this out and asked her to take off the additional item, she refused and noted that it was “either this way” or no way at all, snd that she had already extended to us enough “discounts”. (Discounts? As if NOT jacking up your original written quote is considered a discount?). But by this time, what could I do? Our goods had arrived from America and ECU was holding them, in effect, “hostage” in their warehouse in Rotterdam. We needed them in our house in Italy. I caved in and paid the illicit charge.
But what was truly most maddening about the services of ECU was the appalling condition in which our cherished household furniture and antiques arrived. After being professionally packed in LA and New York three months earlier (by other companies), the truckload of goods finally arrived in our eastern Italian town, albeit three weeks late. Once they were hauled upstairs to our second-floor apartment by some extra hired local hands (ECU refused to deliver them door to door as the other company had done), I proceeded to carefully open up the first furniture crate, expecting no problems ....and nearly wept. My grandmother’s rosewood antique table —handcarved and much beloved — — was virtually ruined. Two of its four elegantly carved legs were horribly split off from their moorings and and splintered at the ends, its dragon-claw feel deeply scratched and broken. I have since been told that the only way this could have happened given the professional crating was from severely careless mishandling, possibly due to dropping the crate from a substantial height.
More packages, more pain: There was the cracked glass of our beautifully packed display cabinet and, just below, the six-inch gash of broken and splintered wood scarring its front. Not to mention the countless scratches and scrapes. All chronicled, as with all the damages done in these shipments, painfully and thoroughly, in over two dozen depressing photographs.
I then proceeded to unwrap our home’s wooden antique love seat and discovered that its carved backpiece had, unbelievable, been ripped entirely off… and then SCOTCH TAPED back on again.
Finally I unpacked our corner wooden bookshelf to find it nearly completely collapsed, its supporting wooden pegs broken and its backpiece also destroyed. A whole side was scratched deeply with parts broken off and chipped. A similar fate had befallen our second large bookshelf, with attachment hardware broken, the shelves caved in and some wood ripped off. How could this happen?? At least the the cardboard of the book boxes had managed to escape damage.
All of this was beyond painful to experience, and way beyond forgiveness. My family has suffered over $1500 in repair bills alone trying to rescue this furniture and save my parent’s inheritance from the inept hands of this shipping company. We feel betrayed.
Sad to say, we would sue ECU Netherlands and ECU Worldwide if we could. But we probably can’t. Why? Because ECU Worldwide refused to sign any service contracts for these shipments, and insurance companies need these, of course, to process claims. Through such strategies of negligence, freight forwarders (and other companies of course) shippers can avoid legal responsibility for any mishandling or bad conduct.
Faced with with the urgent need to get our furniture into our home after already extensive delays, I then proceeded to make a mistake — a big mistake. I went ahead and used the “services” of ECU anyway, without a contract in place. My fault. I had tried to save a few hundred bucks by using a “bargain" company instead of a slightly more expensive but surely more professional competitor. Well, you get what you pay for. But certainly not what you deserve.
Readers, if there is any value to in reading this review beyond the obvious advice to avoid using this freight forwarding company, let it be this: Never ship through any company without a seal-tight contract in place. And NEVER use a company who refuses to send or sign one.
To end this tale of woe: After weeks of stress and frustration and anger at the accumulated follies and misdeeds of this company, I reached out to the head of ECU Netherlands, a Mr. Ricardo Rens, to ask for his help in resolving all our issues, I provided him with documentation of the misquotes by the Import Manager. I left him three email messages and two short phone messages. In the end, however, all the reaching out was just more wasted time. Because after multiple requests I never once received the courtesy of a reply from Mr. Rens. His assistant, a man called “Op," would only say that “Mr. Rens is out of the office for a while. I’ll have to take a message.”
Surely a company’s reputation and ethical stature in the industry is determined by the quality of its management at the top. I found that quality of management, at ECU Netherlands, to be shamefully lacking. While there may be plenty of employees in ECU who are genuinely honest and professionally capable (I found a couple myself), the very fact that my family suffered the extensive, unaddressed and unremedied problems that we did attests to one illuminating fact: ECU’s business practices should be investigated and monitored by people far more consequential and official than we, a few abused and unhappy customers. I hope they will be. For everyone’s sake.
PS. To the office of Mr. Rens: Thanks for taking this message, which I assume Mr Rens will read eventually. No need for him to answer. I will be out of my office for a good long while.
Review by Rennel Brodrück10 months ago
I used this company in the past with good results but the woman I dealt with unfortunately left.
She was great, I guess sometimes a company’s success depends on people like her. This time a man handled my shipment. It was without the worst shipping experience I’ve ever had (and I do at least 20 shipments like this one per year) Mr, (let’s call him Con) overcharge me by 300% compared to what I used to pay previously for the exact same shipment. I felt as if I was being held ransom by him, I needed the shipment and he sent me charges after charges. In total I ended up paying 1280£ for a shipment that had previously cost me 412£! The mistake was to use him (and Eculine) as clearing agents. I strongly suggest you never ever use Eculines UK branch as your clearing agent. People like Mr Con will take you to the cleaners! And he couldnt even provide me with a breakdown, let alone recites!! A complete disgrace, hopefully someone @ Eculine will read this review and act on reports like these once and for all, emails sent to senior management fell on blind eyes, no reply, hence this review.
Review by Domineake Nkwuo11 months ago
Have used these guys for Importing from China. Very clear information and personal service. Goods arrived on time and delivered quickly. would recommend.
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