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Xtreme 104.3 FM’s $15,000 toy drive cancelled due to missing shipment

Xtreme 104.3 FM’s $15,000 toy drive cancelled due to missing shipment

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This Christmas, the management and staff at Xtreme 104.3 FM had planned to indulge in the spirit of goodwill by organizing a toy drive that would have seen some 6,000 children being given presents.

However, with the EC$15,000 shipment of toys missing and no offer of refund in sight, the radio station has been forced to cancel the event.{{more}}

Speaking with SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, December 21, co-owner of the Fountain-based radio station Davon Cato expressed his disappointment that something positive has been turned into such a negative situation.

The radio station boss said that in early November, he approached a former employee, who had been working there for three months prior to the incident, and asked him to purchase a shipment of toys from China, as he (the former employee) had experience ordering from overseas suppliers.

Cato said that the former employee was given $15,000 initially to make the purchase from a Chinese supplier; then subsequently was given an additional $2,500 to cover air freight to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to him, the initial expectation was that the toys would arrive at the end of November.

“So, I told the sponsors that the stuff should be here around the fourth [December], giving myself time in case there is any delay,” said Cato.

However, the former employee came back to management on December 5, requesting an additional sum of US$5,241, claiming that the supplier in China had miscalculated the air freight.

Cato questioned: “How could a shipper miscalculate a cost – way off like that – that they are supposed to have in their possession?”

He further explained that he refused to pay the additional sum, instead giving the former employee instructions to have the toys shipped to Miami, where he (Cato) would arrange for the shipment to be brought in via Amerijet.

A few days later, when Cato inquired about the toy shipment again, the former employee gave him an expected date of arrival and also told him that he had paid for them to be sent down from Miami, using Amerijet.

“I kept calling him; he kept saying everything supposed to be in order… and he has a back-up plan in case it (the shipment) misses Amerijet. So, I said okay.”

He continued: “Next thing the man telling me the next day… that he ain’t using Amerijet, he’s using Coreas… and until now, nothing has come.”

Cato decided to call the local agent to check on the shipment himself.

However, to his dismay, according to Cato, the agent informed him that there was no record of any expected shipment for him nor the radio station due to arrive.

“They checked Miami and everything!”

Cato also shared email correspondence between himself and the former employee with SEARCHLIGHT, in which said former employee admitted to making an error with the order.

The email read: “I have always concluded that when one messes up to the proportion to which I have that one should always do the principled thing and not place that burden on superiors.”

Also attached to the email was an updated shipping invoice from the supplier in China, and the former employee’s resignation letter.

From that point, the Xtreme 104.3 FM boss said that the former employee started to “go missing”.

“Nobody can find him, and he wouldn’t answer his phone,” complained Cato.

He also pointed out that an incident like this casts doubt on the radio station itself, as they had partnered with several corporate sponsors to organize the toy drive.

“It’s rough… The station is a new station… This is the first year we were going to do it [toy drive]!”

Cato further disclosed that he, along with radio station co-owner Mark Richardson, are in the process of seeking legal advice on how they can recoup the cost of the shipment, along with the air freight.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted the former employee, who declined to comment on the matter. (JSV)

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