I ordered my DF XL back in June. I’ve been anxiously waiting for the good news from Ymte at Intercity Bike (ICB) that it was ready to ship. That message came on August 8th. As soon as I transferred the money to ICB’s account, my DF XL would be on its way.
I set up the conversion of dollars to Euros and transfer of funds using a service called Transferwise.com. I had read about them on BROL. They really came through for me. Their fee was around $80 and they gave me a much better conversion rate than my bank could do.
On August 11, I received the email from Ymte saying that the money had arrived and that my DF XL would be shipped via TNT right away along with 2 other DFs going to the US – one to Texas, one to Wisconsin and mine to California. Here are the 3 DFs in the truck on August 11, 2016.
So far so good. On August 15, I received an email from ICB giving me tracking information. After that, I heard nothing from anyone for a week. The TNT tracking site said that they were waiting for information from the receiver (me). TNT had never contacted me so I called and emailed trying to find out what information they needed.
Then things started getting weird. It seemed that no one at TNT really knew where my container was or what the hold up was. Finally on Aug 22, they found that it had arrived on August 15, but was never transferred from LAX to the TNT LA warehouse. The mystery was solved. TNT helped me clear Customs. I paid my duties and fees by credit card over the phone and my DF XL was all set for delivery on Aug 26th.
No more than 2 hours after I thought everything was squared away, I got an email from the customer in Wisconsin. He had just received his DF XL, opened the container and noticed that it was the wrong color. Then he noticed that my name was hand written on the container. He was sent my velomobile! It had the correct shipping label. It seems that someone had put the wrong shipping labels on the boxes.
Here’s my DF XL sitting in Wisconsin.
I started worrying that when ICB learned of the mistake, they might try to suggest that we just keep what we received or even worse, leave it up to us to sort out. I’m pleased to say that when Ymte learned of the problem, he stated up front that the mixup was ICB’s fault and that they would rectify the situation. They would pay for the shipping required to get each of us the DF that we ordered.
At this point, I still haven’t received the container heading my way. We don’t know if it contains the Wisconsin DF or even worse, the Texas DF. If the Texas DF shows up, we’ve got a 3-way switch on our hands. Hopefully, it will be the Wisconsin DF. The Texan will at least get the right DF and the fix will be to do the trade between me and the Wisconsin customer. I’m pretty confident this will all work out, but I’m sure this will add more weeks to my wait. I’ll update this post as the saga unfolds.
Next update (8/30/16):
This drama is turning into a comedy. So recall that my DF is sitting in Wisconsin. There is a white one that’s supposed to go to Texas and an orange one that is supposed to go to Wisconsin. The big question is whether the Texas DF or the Wisconsin DF would be delivered to me.
I just got off the phone with Conway Freight who is transporting it from LA to Santa Barbara. It is in Oxnard right now waiting to be delivered tomorrow. It turns out to be the white Texas DF XL. Do you know how we know it is white? Another crate fell on it on its way from LA to Oxnard and destroyed it so they can easily see all the white pieces.
More News (9/2/16):
Here are some pictures of the crunched DF XL.
Today I was contacted by a representative from TNT Freight. He is arranging the shipments of the DFs to their rightful owners. Mine should be picked up in Wisconsin next week and arrive in Santa Barbara the following week. I’m told the crunched DF XL is heading back to IntercityBike.
My DF XL is now heading from Wisconsin to California. It’s due to arrive on Monday. There was a bit of bad news for the owner of the Wisconsin DF. Recall that his was sent to Texas by mistake. It was then shipped to Wisconsin. It arrived today with some damage to the shipping crate and some scratches on the front. The owner accepted it but will file a claim with the trucking company. That’s at least 2 out of the 3 DFs shipped to the US that have been damaged. We’ll see on Monday if it’s 3 out of 3. I’m not too optimistic.
The second damaged DF XL.