More Info on the Airbox Express Problem - And Why Aeropost Can Never Be Trusted
Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:07 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
- Airbox Express Has Not Been Sold
- Aerocasillas S.A. (Airbox) Sues Aeropost - Get Your Copy Here
- Well, That's A First - Aeropost Demands Equal Time
- A Comment from Keith Blume, Owner of Airbox Express
- Newsflash! Aeropost Rolls Over Like A Limp Fish!
- James Fendell Should Be Expelled From the American Chamber of Commerce
Editor's Comment: Believe it or not, this is the "toned down" version of this article. I spent the better part of this afternoon working on this, and every time I went back through the text I toned it down a bit. You see, I am literally outraged, and personally offended by this whole thing. There's a right way and a wrong way to do stuff, and this is a perfect example of how not to conduct business. What's more, this entire evolution could be used as an example for students of International Business Ethics - to learn how not to do things. Anyway, some of the language I had originally chosen to use in this article would have peeled the paint and probably damaged your computer monitor forever. Hence, out of respect for Jorge Zelaya and Keith Blume, I toned it down considerably.
Figure This Into Your Business Plan: Hello, scumbags. My good friends at Airbox Express are very nice people who would never allow themselves the luxury of speaking their minds in the same frank manner as I permit myself. Jorge Zelaya is the Pastor where my wife attends church every Sunday, and I have known Keith Blume personally for years. Airbox Express has been a long time advertiser on this website and I am exceptionally proud to have them here. I suspect both Jorge Zelaya and Keith Blume harbor the same deep feelings of resentment and bitter disappointment with regards to your conduct in these matters, however they are both much better at exercising self control and personal restraint than I. They are nice, kind, wonderful people who always try to do the right thing in any situation on both moral and ethical grounds. Apparently you (pricks) thought you could simply roll right over these gentle souls, and that they would hardly even whimper in protest. Well, guess what. You failed miserably when fomenting your takeover plan by neglecting to notice the big, mean, nasty, fire-spitting Rottweiler on a chain back behind the garage. That would be me. Hello. This Rottweiler also happens to know a thing or two about SEO which you are about to experience in spades. Welcome to the nightmare of your own making. Can you tell I'm pissed? Good. You ain't seen nothing yet.
Long Standing Relationship: Airbox Express has been operating in Panama for more than 17 years. For that entire time they used a freight forwarding service in Miami called "Aeropost." This company, Aeropost, operates similar types of mail services in other countries in Latin America. For many years Aeropost has been pressuring Airbox Express in several ways. Aeropost wanted Airbox Express to sign a contract that was much more favorable to them, and not such a great deal for Airbox Express. At one point they tried to buy Airbox Express but their offer was unacceptable to the management and owners of Airbox Express, negations broke down, and the deal never went through. These kinds of tactics and negotiations have been going on for years.
Then, More Recently: Starting in May of 2009, Aeropost again started to pressure Airbox Express to try to force them to sign a contract. Airbox Express said they would enter into contract negotiations but as a prerequisite Airbox Express required that Aeropost would have to first sign an agreement of confidentiality to protect the database of clients that belongs to Airbox Express (to which Aeropost had access), as well as an agreement saying Aeropost would not engage in business practices that would compete with Airbox Express in Panama. Aeropost refused to sign those agreements, and again negotiations broke down.
Sabotage: Starting in May 2009, immediately after the termination of these discussions and negotations between Airbox Express and Aeropost, all of a sudden the quality of service being provided by Aeropost in Miami dropped precipitously. Letters and packages were lost, procedures that normally take only a day or two started to take weeks, and there were all kinds of delays. Now here you should understand something clearly - all of these delays were being caused by Aeropost in Miami on purpose with the expressed aim of sabotaging Airbox Express' business. All of the customers here in Panama would have no way of knowing why these problems were happening, all they would know is that their package or letter got lost or delayed, or whatever. I am currently working under the premise (the scumbags at) Aeropost decided in May 2009 they would eventually make a move to usurp all of Airbox Express' customers, so by providing exceptionally poor service for five months before hand, all of Airbox Express' customers would be, by then, frustrated by the poor service. Of course, this relationship between Airbox Express and Aeropost is normally transparent to the end user - you just order your stuff and it shows up in the mail, right? Who cares what company is handling the freight in Miami. The average user would have no way of knowing that the poor service being provided by Airbox Express was in fact due to the outright attempts at sabotage being conducted by Aeropost in Miami.
Forced To Seek Another Provider: Because of the exceptionally poor and unacceptable service being provided by Aeropost eventually Airbox Express was forced to seek out and hire another service provider to handle their mail in Miami. On Saturday, 3 October 2009, Airbox Express sent an email to their customers announcing their change to a different company in Miami called "Trans Express". To put it in a nutshell, Trans Express will now be performing the same services Aeropost used to provide for Airbox Express, until they were fired. For Airbox Express customers the change is pretty simple, actually. Because of this change Airbox Express customers simply have to use the new addresses, and nothing else is required;
- For Regular Mail and Envelopes:
- Name of Customer - (Joe and Mary Customer)
- Your PTY Account Number - (PTY 12345)
- Street Address - P.O. Box 25207
- Miami, FL 33102-5207
- For Packages and Courier Shipments:
- Name of Customer - (Joe and Mary Customer)
- Your PTY Account Number - (PTY 12345)
- 7801 NW 37th Street
- Doral, FL 33166-6503
- Tel: 305-735-8551
I Called Aeropost Yesterday: I spoke to one of their primary personnel, Fred Goldner. As I ran through the scenario and asked my questions, Fred lied to me. He said they were unaware of any problems between Airbox Express and Aeropost. He said that when they learned of the email sent by Airbox Express on Saturday 3 October 2009 to their customer base, they were caught completely unaware and totally by surprise. I now know that most of what Fred Goldner was telling me was flat-out bullshit. I asked him if he thought that what they were doing was the right way to do things, he started to give me a sales pitch - "we hope to be able to provide service to our customers in Panama," glossing over the fact that each and every one of their "new customers" there were actively stealing from Airbox Express. This asshole even had the balls to say they might be interested in advertising on my website. Listen up, buckaroo - not in a million years. I want absolutely nothing to do with anyone who operates with corrupt framework of legal, moral, and ethical behavior that apparently guides your company and it's owners. In short, pound sand. I told good old Fred that I would be investigating this entire evolution, and if I learned that the preliminary information I already had was accurate, that I would be writing this article. Here it is. Oh, and Fred, with regards to your request to not use your name in this article - screw you.
Meet James Fendell This guy said as recently as last week that they would never stoop so low as to try to raid the customer database of Airbox Express, because that would be "unethical." Well, I now have to assume James Fendell thinks it's morally and ethically acceptable to simply lie directly to his business partners, and then go straight down the low road. I understand the takeover model being followed by James Fendell and Aeropost here in Panama is exactly the same thing they did to other former business partners in Trinidad and St/ Vincent. And, there is currently legal action pending against the company for similar types of conflicts in both Nicaragua and Honduras. In short, these pricks knew exactly what they intended to do because they have done it before in other countries. Nice guys - expansion by crawling over the dead bodies of your former customers. Again I ask - who in their right mind would ever trust these guys with anything, ever?
The Right Way: Aeropost could have allowed for and agreed to a slow winding down of their relationship with Airbox Express. They could have established a six-month window to allow Airbox Express to establish a relationship with a new service provider, to notify their customers, to update their website, to clear out all of the mail that was currently in the system, and to allow for a correct and orderly separation. After that was completed, then they could have reentered the Panamanian market and started trying to compete on a level playing field. If they had gone about their business in that kind of a fashion, then I don't think anyone would have a problem with them. But rather, Aeropost decided to go down the low road of stealing customers, seizing mail, hijacking databases and websites, and spreading false information about their former partner in a sleaze ball attempt to crush their way into this market. What a bunch of lowlife bastards. Again, I'm personally outraged. You have most definitely not heard the last from me on this issue. As a matter of fact, I'm just getting warmed up... Next - Press Conference.
Unsustainable Price Undercutting: Besides all of the other lowlife scumball tactics these guys from Aeropost are trying to pull, as part of their ill conceived penetration strategy they are offering low-ball prices that can not be sustained over the long haul. Obviously, they have also done this in the past to sucker in new or stolen customers. Once you're hooked and the former provider has been killed off, then the prices jump right back up to where they were before. Notice where they have the word "unilaterally" underlined? Bullshit. Aeropost caused the problem themselves by conducting their campaign of sabotage for months. They anticipated exactly how this entire thing was going to unfold. They think they are slick. I would submit they have made several tactical mistakes, for which they will end up paying in the long run.
What Do You Think? Please take the time to post a comment to this article, particularly if you are a current Airbox Express customer. What do you think of this entire thing? How do you feel knowing that Aeropost is now holding your mail hostage in Miami? Would you ever trust these guys with anything? Let us know...
Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.