I had a bad shipping experience once as well, that was when having my Vincent shipped via ocean freight from Australia to Canada. I had to hire a person to pack the bike in Sydney. He took several weeks to get around to it. After many, many phone calls from me he eventually did pack the bike. I believe he was waiting for a free motorcycle crate from the local Ducati dealer, who in turn were waiting for delivery of a new Ducati.
He charged me $550 to put the bike in the free crate and drop it off at the shipping Company 5 minutes from his place.
After 9/11 it became mandatory to fill out a form that details content of the box being shipped. I had a hunch he might be weak on paperwork, but he assured me that it was ll done and "it's with the bike mate".
After he finally dropped the bike off the shipping company(Eculine) rep phoned to say that they had my bike sitting in a crate in the middle of their driveway with no paperwork. When they told the packer that he could not leave the bike with them without paperwork, he told them to F off,drove his 5 ton crane truck back out to the main road and in a fit of temper dropped the bike very roughly onto their driveway entrance, then roared off. The shipping company rep knew it was my bike because I had been calling to see if it had been delivered to them yet. The packer had lied several times in the preceding weeks, saying it was there when in reality he hadn't bothered to do the job yet, so I had called Eculine several times about this and they were familiar with the shipment plus had my contact info.
The shipping company Eculinesaved my bacon, they knew and understood what was in the box and put it safely away in a shed somewhere. As the rep said," We have a 1947 Vincent Rapide with no paperwork, so technically it belongs to no one at present. From our conversations I know it belongs to you and will take care of it temporarily. However, if we ship it to you without paperwork it is doubtful you will ever receive it" Of course I had already paid for it in full.
I talked to the packer and told him he had to fill out the paperwork and he refused. At least he had stopped lying!
Finally the next day his temper had cooled off and he filled out the paperwork so that the bike could be loaded on the ship.
Then the shipping company lost the bike for two months! It turned out that bike and it's container were unloaded in Malaysia due to mechanical problems with the container ship. It was two months before the container was picked up again and no one at Eculine, the shipping company, could tell me what had happened to the bike!
Feeling better about this BSA today though, the bike was picked up in Texas on Friday. The tracking number wasn't available until this AM and it shows it already in Seattle to be delivered to Lynden tomorrow!
Once again though, the seller has let me down as the title and bill of sale were promised weeks ago but have not arrived yet. The bike may have to sit in Lynden, Washington for awhile until I can get the paper work sorted for the Customs.
Funnily enough, the paperwork is all given to the US Customs for a three day period as they seem to hold all of the power over the export/import approval. Once they determine it is OK to be released from the US, the Canadian Customs blindly goes along with it all, but they do collect 5%GST.
I should be able to get a look at the bike tomorrow to see whether all of that chrome is pitted with rust from the salty Gulf air! It was really hard to discern from the crappy phone pic.