‘I Was at Wits' End': Inventor's Overseas Delivery Delayed for Months

Brad DiBello had an idea for an invention. He designed a custom fish tank.

“It dual filters the water so the water stays crystal clear,” Brad said.

He even found an overseas company to make it. But the first shipment of his invention never made it home to him. He hoped to have the product for sale on his website in time for Christmas 2018.

“You’re excited. You get to the end of two years of working on something and it is done. It’s getting made,” Brad said.

But a delivery problem altered his plans. The product was manufactured in China. In September 2018, he contracted with DHL Global forwarding to get the first batch of tanks sent from Shanghai to Pompano Beach.

“Fast and simple, which is why I used them for the first time,” Brad explained.

The original transit time was estimated to take 41 days.

“I would reach out to them over and over again. And the only email I would get back from them was a reply that we are working on it and we have somebody on it,” Dibello said.

As the months passed, Brad says the only thing he received were bill for the delivery of items he still didn’t have. He also says that other fees started to add up.

“I have storage expenses, other retail fees, just for this shipment,” Brad said.

After seven months of phone calls and emails, Brad needed help.

“I was at wits end. I was at the end of the rope. I thought how can I get this resolved, I can’t get anyone to respond,” Brad said.

Until he called NBC 6 Responds.

We reached out to DHL Global Forwarding and a spokesperson told us by email, “In regards to what our usual process is if our customers are experiencing issues, we have a dedicated customer service team who takes care of our customers and their concerns, and can always be reached at our customer service number. Our customers are our priority, so we take this inquiry very seriously.” In a separate email they went on to say, “To give you more insight, there were a number of customer documents missing that prevented customs from clearing the cargo for delivery. Proper documentation has now been submitted, and as you know we have scheduled the delivery of the cargo within the next few days.”

“Tell me that there is some paperwork missing keep me in the loop. Don’t just ignore and hand me over to somebody else, 12,13,14 people I have been handed off to,” Brad said.

Brad said he wasn’t asked to submit any new paperwork but a week after we reached out to DHL, his fish tanks were finally delivered.

“I did get an immediate response after you got involved,” Brad said.

We did ask DHL to clarify which documents were missing. A spokesperson told us the following, “And as to your customs question, it was standard forms that needed to be filled out for customs to clear the shipment. Please, understand that beyond the details we have already provided – and the fact that the issue has now been resolved- we are unable to provide any further details on this freight shipment and the requirements that were made by US Customs.”

A DHL representative did reach out to Brad and discount his bill.

He now tells us his once-stalled project is now moving in the right direction.

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