Cargojet grounded again
An air importer that sparked a flurry of complaints this month over poor service has been put on notice of a formal complaint after another missed flight.
Canadian-based Cargojet, which specialises in deliveries of perishable goods to Bermuda, drew the wrath of florists in the run-up to Valentine’s Day after repeat last-minute cancellations of flights almost left shelves bare of flowers ahead of a top day of business.
The problematic service, blamed on mechanical faults, has also led to restaurants ending up short of fresh seafood, according to the head of the restaurant division of the Chamber of Commerce.
Gary Saltus, of Flowers by GiMi in Hamilton, said he was out for thousands of dollars in orders after yesterday’s flight added insult to injury because Cargojet failed to notify Bermuda customers that its New Jersey flight had again broken down.
“I have a large amount of orders for tomorrow and my fridge is empty,” Mr Saltus told The Royal Gazette.
“They will have known from 8.30am it wasn’t coming, but we got no e-mails, no phone calls, nothing.”
Mr Saltus said the online flight tracker was the only way to find out if the flights were arriving.
In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, florists lost three days’ business.
Mr Saltus said there had been other cancellations since.
He added: “I’ve got orders for a big event at a hotel this weekend. Do I even know this plane is coming tomorrow? No. Are they going to get it fixed? I have no idea.”
He said cards to accompany flower orders for birthdays had to be changed to “belated” because customers would miss the day.
But he said the missed flights also meant missed deliveries of seafood and even perishable medical goods.
His wife, Gita Blakeney, co-owner of the business, said the situation had become “untenable”.
“There has been no major shift in remedying the situation with planes,” she said.
“We are now officially making a complaint to Cargojet. We’re also seeking legal advice.
“It’s not just lost business. There is also reputational risk.
“A company like ours, which has been in business for 13 years, has a meticulously built reputation with our clients. They are important to me – they matter.”
Karl Massam, a restaurant owner and head of the Chamber’s restaurants division, said the issues with Cargojet had posed a problem for “the last couple of weeks”.
“Obviously, usually our supplier would call and say they are not able to get the order in today. It’s happened before because of weather.
“Lately though it’s happened quite a few times, which is a massive concern, but something completely out of our control.
“It’s another thing to add to the long list of things we have to deal with in the restaurant business.”