Surprise! Please pay $236.

August 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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After unpacking the boxes we had quite a pile of paper

After unpacking the boxes we had quite a pile of paper. Somebody might have used it to bury Pico. (This photo was taken when the pile was only about 30% of its maximum size!)

Much of our stuff from Austin was delivered to temporary housing this weekend, which is really nice. There were a bunch of things in there that we needed, and we’re really glad to have them finally. As we unpacked the seven or so boxes, we discovered for the first time what a really good job the packers had done. (You may recall that I had had some doubts about them mentioned in this post.) They spared no expense with the wrapping paper to cushion objects, and it really made me feel confident about the rest of our stuff that’s still in storage.

That said, we’re having a little mini-dispute with Graebel at the moment about a delivery charge for some of our belongings. (Graebel is the relocating service contracted by Amazon to move us.) Before we left Austin, we were told by a Graebel employee that our moving package included (a) packing of our stuff, (b) transport of most of our stuff to storage while we’re in the temporary housing, (c) cost of storage while we’re in temporary housing, and (d) transport of some stuff to the temporary housing. So before the movers came we divided the house into storage-destined items and temporary-housing-destined items. It’s worth noting here that he didn’t just mention (d) — we asked him explicitly if delivery to the temporary housing was covered and he assured us that it was.

Well, this past Friday Blake got a call from Graebel: our stuff would be delivered the next day and it would cost about $236! Apparently the package included only delivery to the storage facility, and our items for the temporary housing were being charged to us despite our original assurance that it was included. I called our contact at Graebel, and he confirmed that no, it wasn’t covered by the package and yes, it would cost $236.

So he suggested I send an email to a few people at Graebel and see if they’ll cover it. He doesn’t sound too confident, but I can see that this is a dispute that may go on for a while: we have no intention of paying for something that we were told was free. In fact, it would have been a trivial matter to trim down our pile of temporary-housing-destined belongings and then bring a few more suitcases on the plane. Alaska Airlines would allow us to bring additional bags for only $20 apiece, so we definitely had other options.

I guess we’ll see what happens. Happily, they’re going to bill us for the delivery and didn’t make us pay when they dropped off our stuff. This is helpful because it’s way easier to get companies to decide they don’t want your money after all than to get them to give you money back. Stay tuned.

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