Bad Hauling Experience ,  (September 2006)

e-mail from Terry Blair  trying to have her colt sent from WI to Georgia, using Horsepower Transportation. This email was sent to a serivce that  had this transport company on their list. I had tried to inform them of the circumstances, register a complaint,   and they were not sure they believed me so Terry wrote. Our colt Don Noir was sold to Terry and we were anxiously waiting for him to arrive.


I understand you have received some emails about the transport of a colt from Wisconsin to Georgia for Terry Blair. I am Terry Blair.  I have read these emails, and they are accurate.    You seem to have made some conclusions that aren't valid. I want to let you know the facts, not hearsay, of what happened in my hiring of Horsepower Transportation to bring my colt to Georgia.

 I contacted Mr. Shillig in July about transporting a colt straight through from Wisconsin to Georgia.  His response via email, was that he could do the job, that he had another young one to travel the same way.  I called and talked to him and we discussed bringing the colt straight through  since he was young.  Neil said over the phone that he wasn't planning to ship until Sept 4., which was a little surprising and we discussed at that time how I had gotten the email that he could do the job in August.  He said the weather was too hot.  I agreed on that point and we agreed to ship the colt Sept. 4 with a delivery date of Sept. 5th.  This is on my contract. Before the trip, we discussed the importance of a straight trip and good communication.   I contacted him the weekend before the 4th and he asked to change the trip due to his driver's father being ill, and I agreed to the change.  The pick up date was to be Wed. Sept.  6, and delivery on  Thurs. Sept. 7.  This is the last contact I had with Neil, except for one email,  until after noon(12:40) on Saturday despite many emails and phone calls to him (since Wednesday, but especially Saturday).  The only way I knew the foal was picked up was from the breeder. I tried reaching Neil by phone and email.  He answered me Thurs. morning via email, and indicated that Wayne had left me a message.  I did not receive a message on either my cell or home phone, or email.  Neil did not say anything to correct my assumption in the email that the delivery date would be that Thursday afternoon.

  The driver called me Thursday afternoon and said the foal would be delivered on Saturday.  I was surprised and told the driver that this was not what we had agreed to nor what my contract stated.  However I knew I was not talking to the person I made arrangements with and decided to contact Neil.  I did not discuss the issue with the driver as I felt the driver was probably doing only what he was told.  Wayne (the driver, and I was never given a last name despite my request to Neil) said he would call me Friday evening to let me know what time I should expect delivery on Sat.  He estimated that it would be Saturday morning  around 9 am.  I wrote and called Neil again, and did not receive any answers.   Wayne did not call me on Friday. I called him.  It wasn't until 10:30 pm on my husband's cell phone that I was able to contact Wayne.  I had tried earlier on my cell phone with no success.   At that point, I wasn't frantic, just a little concerned that I hadn't heard from Wayne and troubled that Neil had not yet explained why the trip was longer than indicated on the contract.  Wayne said at that point that he was in Alabama, and the colt would be delivered between 5:30 and 6:00 am the next morning and that he would call me an hour before delivery (4:30).  I asked Wayne if he was sure that he'd be able to call me (because he had cited cell phone outages, low battery, etc).  I wanted to be sure we could contact each other.  I was not angry at that point, I was concerned.  Wayne was the only person I had contact with, and that is only because he chose to call me one time, and I happened to reach him at a late hour on someone else's cell phone another time (and I had tried MANY times to reach him and Neil since Wed. night.  ) By 6 oclock am I hadn't heard from anyone from Horsepower Transportation. I understood that there might be a delay.  But I had a growing concern with the lack of communication.   And Neil, the owner and the person I contracted with, hadn't responded to me since the foal was picked up, except for one email that only tried to assure me I had been contacted, and never addressed the change of  the contract delivery date.

I began calling Wayne, I tried all the numbers at Horsepower Transportation that were on the website and on the contract.  I called all morning trying to reach anyone from Horsepower, with no success.   By now he had been on the trailer 2 days going on 3.  I wasn't getting any response, I had no idea where the foal was, and all promises of delivery had been broken and no explanation given.  I wasn't the only one waiting for this foal.  The breeders were understandably  concerned for his safe arrival as well.  When I couldn't reach Wayne, Wendy Costello (breeder of Don Noir) called Wayne at my request.  She had been able to reach him when I hadn't.  When she wasn't able to reach him, her husband tried. He had initial  success, but mysteriously, his phone calls started not being answered as well.  By late Sat. morning, Wendy reached Wayne.  he told her he was broken down in Alabama.  She asked if he had called me.  He said he was getting ready to call everyone.  I never received a call.  In fact, when she asked where he was, he responded that "it was insignificant" and hung up on her.  I immediately wrote Neil and informed him of what I knew.  Finally Neil wrote me an email about 12:40. At that point I was relieved to have contact.  Neil answered very professionally.  My problems began when I asked for specifics.  At first I suggested that I come and retrieve the foal since he estimated them being 70 miles east of Birmingham.  Then Neil said it was farther.  I was still willing to pick up the foal, but Neil assured me the part was being put on.  During all this time, Wayne could not be reached by myself, my family members, or the Costellos.  We could only get information through Neil.  When I realized that I wouldn't be able to pick up the foal, I asked Neil for an itinerary and time of arrival.  I asked him at 2:27, again at 2:55, again at 3:30.  In the latter email I requested the information by 4:30.  At 4:57 I hadn't heard a response, so I told Neil that I had been advised to call the State Patrol to see if we could locate the trailer.  All I wanted was to know WHERE the foal was and WHEN it would arrive.  I told Neil I need the specifics of where the foal was by 6:00.  At 6:25, Neil told me that Wayne had the repair done, but was now hearing noises, and was stopping to avoid a breakdown.  He said that Wayne was on his way to where the horses where to be stabled and would be "stuck there until Monday".  He told me he didn't have directions, but Wayne did and would call me.

   Wayne would not answer my phone calls. I wasn't receiving any phone calls from Wayne and hadn't all day(and hadn't since Thursday afternoon).   At my request a lawyer tried calling Wayne,  and he answered the phone, only to hang up after she asked,"Is this Wayne?"  At 8:19 I emailed Neil because I had not heard from Wayne.  I asked if he had heard from Wayne because I hadn't  and informed him I had filed a police report. By now my foal, which I originally expected on Thursday, was still not delivered, and I did not have a specific address of where he was and no contact with the person who was hauling him.  I wasn't being given any reason not to form suspicions.  Finally the same lawyer contacted Neil and gave him until 9:00 to give us the address, directions, and phone number of where the foal was, and that we would be picking him up.  At 9:04 she got a phone call from Wayne with directions and an exclamation that he "just wanted his 600$".   We left at 10:30 and arrived at the stables in Double Springs, AL early Sunday morning (it took about 4 hours to drive there).  We called Wayne and received no answer.  We slept in our trailer until morning.  We called again several times between 6 and 8:30 that morning and did not receive a response.    We couldn't even leave a message. No one showed up.  We had to be back for other commitments, so we loaded the foal and left.  I called again on the road with no response.  I left a note for Neil and a check of 600 dollars with a disclaimer on it. The only reason I wrote it for 600 and not 800 is because that is the last thing Wayne said to the lawyer.  Originally I wasn't going to leave a check, but I wanted to finish this transaction the right way.    I emailed Neil on Sunday and told him I had the foal, and that the foal looked fine (I did have him vet checked and was advised to keep him isolated for 10 days to make sure he didn't have any respiratory problems).   I told him we had picked up the foal and had tried to reach Wayne without any luck.  I have emailed and called Neil since arriving home and still have not received a response. I canceled the check on Monday.  I asked him to call and talk about payment arrangements, but I have yet to hear from him. You can hear this story any way you chose, but I will never use, nor advise anyone to use Horsepower Transportation.  These are the facts.  The contract was broken, no explanation was given, and when I was most worried, I either received no contact or no details of where-abouts of my foal.  I can't imagine that this is a professional way to do business in any sense.  In addition, in a way,  this is a reflection on your service.  I chose your website to find a reliable transportation company.  I appreciate the service you offer as it is a real need.   I hope you will at least read this through and realize I gave Neil and Wayne many opportunities to change the outcome of this experience.  I have read the emails sent to you and your response.  Now you have the facts... But the real fact is this wouldn't be an issue if he and his driver could have been more explanatory of the facts, and easier to, not easier to reach, if his driver could have been reached at all!    I didn't expect to have my hand held, but I did expect to know why the delivery date was changed , where my foal was, and when I could expect it. I also didn't expect to have phone calls dropped or ignored.  It doesn't help to have contact information if you can't be reached at it.

By the way, on Friday I checked out Horsepower Transportation with the Better Business Bureau.  Their rating is unsatisfactory.  Now there will be another complaint added to the list.    Don't you know I wish I had checked that in the first place.  Terry Blair

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