Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Broken Memories

As most of you know, I’ve recently moved across the ocean to be with Tim. In addition to shelling out nearly £600 for my visa (close to $1000), plus extra for the expediting, we also spent a fairly decent chunk of money shipping most of my personal belongings across the ocean.

Since I wasn’t moving an entire house or taking any furniture, I contacted a shipping company who would take my boxes and seal them on a pallet and put them inside on of their containers to ship it across the ocean. We paid over $600 for this service (I think it worked out to around £400 on the credit card)….and I’m very disappointed.

The whole thing went seemingly painless – I did all my packing and used well over 300 sq ft of bubble wrap on my breakables. Most of my boxes were the same size, having come from my mom’s office the last time they ordered envelopes. Nothing weighed more than 50lbs (even my book boxes), and everything was clearly labeled. Two of the boxes were labled exactly to the specifications of the shipping company for fragile items – “FRAGILE” on all sides, and “TOP LOAD” in large letters on the top and two longest sides.

I had things covered well. Tiny things got wrapped in bubble wrap and went inside larger things, plates were wrapped the whole way around and stacked on their end, anything hollow (like a pitcher) got filled with clothing or plushies, and each box of breakables was lined with both bubble wrap and blankets/clothing.

Would you like to see the state of some of my boxes? Just scroll down to the gallery.

Yeah. Now, before I get into this further, let me talk about delivery.

I received a phone call on my mobile on Thursday while I was at the GPs from the delivery company. The man I spoke with on the phone told me that he had sitting in front of him my instructions for delivery (which mentioned things like our narrow driveway and that you couldn’t see the house number from the road, so look for number 9 and we’re attached). The man assured me the delivery driver would bring along a dolly (I’m not sure what it’s called, but the thing used to move pallets around in a warehouse) to get the pallet up our driveway (which is pretty long). Yeah….no dice. The delivery driver plopped everything at the bottom of our driveway (our very wet and slighyly muddy drive) and said he didn’t have room for the dolly so did we have a wheelbarrow? We did, so Tim dragged it down to the end of the drive. I thought for sure the delivery man was then going to ferry my boxes up to the house (as this was the service I paid for!)…nope. My husband had to move all the boxes 100ft between the driveway and our walkway. It’s a good thing he had been home from work that day or I’d have had an interesting time trying to move everything before the rain/snow started!

Boxes inside, I decided to rip into the two most important boxes – the fragile/top load ones. Oh, and did I mention that the top load boxes did not go on top? And one of them had a box of books on top of it? Honestly, what was the point in writing in large letters “TOP LOAD/FRAGILE” if it was going to be ignored? On first glance, I thought things were fine, as two of my nanny’s plates appeared to be fine, and all my regular dishes looked okay. Off I went to the GP (again. still having arm issues), and then out to Tesco for our weekly shopping.

When we returned, I started unpacking, and boy, was I in for a lot of heartbreak. All but THREE of the antique dishes (my nanny’s dishes I specifically asked my aunt if I could have before I moved because I liked them and wanted something of Nanny’s) are broken. Also broken is the base to a very large brandy glass (it#s supposed to be a candle holder), BOTH Princess House* cappuccino mugs (that my mom and I specifically bought off eBay so we’d both have sets!), the infuser to my glass teapot (shattered beyond repair or even recognition. Only knew it was what it was because that was missing!), a salad plate from the everyday dishes set, and several other items.

At this point, I’m really upset, so I fired off an email to the shipping company, forgetting that Monday was a federal holiday in the US. Fortunately, someone was in the office and wrote back to me requesting photos of the damaged boxes. All he could tell me so far was “I have learnt that all your boxes were placed at the top of the container when it left Charleston.” and “Seriously this does not normally happen when its packed correctly which seems you did exactly right.” I haven’t heard back yet, but since I paid for insurance on my items, I’m expecting to be able to claim some money back. Not the same as having your belongings, but a nice gesture as an apology.

*Princess House is an expensive glass sold in the US. AFAIK, it’s not available in the UK.

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2 Comments so far

  1. cmleach February 17th, 2010 1:55

    Oh my goodness! I can certainly see why you’re aggravated. I would be too. 🙁

  2. falnfenix February 17th, 2010 15:14

    i’d be out for blood at this point.

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