Complaints handling

At ABLD we work closely with our clients to assist them in dealing with complaints. There are few things more challenging for a fruit exporter than having to deal with quality complaints about fruit that was shipped several weeks ago and is now on the other side of the world. ABLD stands ready to vigorously defend your rights.


The produce industry: “A Complaints Industry”?

Quote from a European fruit importer, made in October 2013:

“In reality, the fruit industry often resembles a complaints industry, especially in the midst of the season when there is ample volume and much competition. It sometimes seems that buyers are just looking for excuses to not pay because they got a better offer. If our retail customer refuses to pay, for whatever reason, we will try to deduct this from what we owe the exporter. We’re not going to be the one left standing without a chair when the music stops.”

Maybe this importer was a bit extreme in his views, if not in his honesty, but with tight margins, for most exporters a few complaints and refusals to pay for fruit can mean the difference between profit and loss for a whole season, or worse…

What we can do for you

Let us deal with the headaches and stress of complaints, while you continue to focus on building your business and relationships:

  • ABLD ensures that the facts are established in a proper way: By getting surveys done, in time and ensuring that proper procedures are followed. To do so, we team up with independent surveyors or inspectors.
  • ABLD will carefully review each complaint to verify whether the importer acted fairly and properly and negotiate on your behalf: Not all quality complaints are legitimate, some lack merit, some are not made in an appropriate way or within a reasonable time frame, which may mean you’re entitled to full payment, regardless of what the state of the fruit was. We can negotiate on your behalf, or provide you with the arguments to do it yourself.
  • If a complaint is not settled to your satisfaction, and there is a case to argue, we stand ready to take decisive action in court on your behalf. We can for example request provisional attachment or initiating summary proceedings requesting injunctive relief and court orders that can be enforced in a matter of weeks if not days.

Why us

  • We are good lawyers, we know what needs to be done to defend your interests and we have ample experience in dealing with complaints relating to fruit and vegetables.
  • We are pragmatic lawyers: we know there is often more at stake than just the particular issue you are forced to deal with. We’ll advise and act accordingly.
  • We know about the produce industry: With us you don’t need to explain what needs to be done and why. We already know, and therefore we can think creatively and work proactively with you.

Are you dealing with a complaint right now? Or do you want to ensure you’re prepared to deal with anything that might be coming your way? We’d be happy to help you out?