Once Upon A Time in… Shipping Business #1
It comes the time in your professional reality, that you get a reminder that even if you're searching for ideal conditions in your profession, someone has a total different opinion or approach to be more precise.
Fact #1: Small local agency in a small, but with good reputation and with some golden era till the end of the 00s, port. Even that we have served several times in many different ports, our main activities concern Preveza port. That's our agency.
Fact #2: Worldwide agency with huge popularity, where Shipowners contacting for finding agents even in the smallest, unknown port. This agency (Greek branch) got the nomination and they further contacted my agency for representing them in Preveza port.
Small fish "eaten" by the big fish... situation? Well, let's see...
So, they request and being provided with my proforma disbursement account for vessel's Preveza call. And we continue the correspondence, the vessel arrived and sailed on time without any inconvenience. Due to the liner status of this call, we normally (90%) request our D/As upon sending the final invoices. And normally we get the D/As in full almost immediately.
BUT, this was not the case with these people. After receiving all the invoices, they replied that our agency fees should be half the amount of our proforma D/As. So, we call them and the first reply by this "fucker" doing the operation:
"Have you ever been paid such an amount before?" When I replied "Yes, I've been paid. But if you had any objection, you could just ask for discount one year ago, not two months after vessel's sailing". So, he insisted "Have you ever been paid such an amount before?". And then is the time, where you understand that this "toy-operator" needs some tuning in order to continue with his argument. When I replied this is at least unethical, I didn't hear anything and so I hang off the phone. And still don't have any news from this agency, except that they 're arranging the itinerary for the same vessel for next year. And they requested our proforma disbursement account.
I don't say "trust " the local agent. Of course, in some ports you will have to deal with some local professionals that will get you some extra headaches. On the other hand, a worldwide agency may have some fuckers in an office that they haven't seen a vessel except some photos on the wall or when they are going on vacations to Aegean Islands and just wanna insult our own business. These people do no good to the business. These people are clones in the most retarded way. Also, I can understand that for these people we have to work for half an amount of our normal tariff and be very happy for that. But If you want some real people in the business taking care of normal/difficult situations, then do not pay for toys or retards.
Please keep the business healthy, we do not look for anything else.