Thursday, June 2, 2011

Held Hostage

Exactly 2 weeks ago, my eight month old daughter Sahar met her father for the first time in the Dunedin Airport. To my surprise and elation it was love at first sight, I was nervous considering she has been making strange quite a bit the weeks leading up to our move.

When I got pregnant I knew it, I had never been so sick in my life  - well I didn't know it, I thought I had the flu and the pregnancy test was obviously just mocking me.

I ended up being hospitalized 3 times severely dehydrated, no matter what I did, or what medication I was on I couldn't manage to keep anything down - If I ate, or drank no matter how little I was sick - even if I didn't eat or drink I was sick. After racking up a few thousand dollars in medical bills in New Zealand I decided it was time to go home to Canada, and thankfully I did because I spent the remainder of my pregnancy incredibly ill.

Sahar was born and I had never felt better - her father was going to join us in Canada, or this was the initial plan, how ever it wasn't finical fees-able with me not working. Him coming over meant not only did we have to pay for him to apply for a visa but that he'd have to give up what has proven to be a stable job in a recently unstable economy.

The first 6 months of her life I had moved into a quaint little one bedroom, I never thought a house littered with a colourful abundance of baby things would be so pleasing to the eye, I had set up her toys and bed just the way I liked them. She started to show favoritism to certain items and toys and we fell into a good schedule.

My dad had come to stay with me for a bit, it was cute to watch them together, I could tell she loved him. On occasion I'd go visit my sister, it was nice having family near by considering I had spent most of the past few years in New Zealand, and the ones before that in Toronto roughly 6 hours away.

However having said that, Sahar still hadn't met her father, it had been almost a year since I left New Zealand and decided it was time for us to go back.

Financially I wasn't sure how we'd go back, but we needed to - my husband had already missed out on so much. My sisters Fiancée was kind enough to offer to lend us the money, after a lot of thought and talking to my husband we knew that things would be extremely tight but we could manage to pay him back a little every month, and he didn't seem to worried when we discussed that actual amount of time it would take us to repay out debt.

Things for the most part, seemed cheaper in Canada. I thought I'd explore the idea of having my furniture shipped to New Zealand. I also like the idea of not getting rid of everything my daughter had come to know and enjoy, that I'd keep her surroundings somewhat familiar.

I decided if it was too expensive I could just send over the bare essentials either by unaccompanied baggage or something along that lines.

I found a site that wanted a very detailed and itemized list of what I owned my details and where I was going - I filled it in, and it was sent off to different company's that then replied to my inquiry with quotes.

At this point Sahar was seven months old, I had just received her birth certificate  could go ahead with her passport. I had also noticed ticket prices had dropped by a whopping $500 and figured I better grab one fast, and at that moment my moving date was set.

I had corresponded with a few companies, most quoted me between 3-6 Cubic Meters, and everything was done base on the mass not the weight. I figured a cubic meter is 1 meter wide, by 1 meter tall, by 1 meter long. So when I measured my living room at 3 meters long by 2 meters wide by 2 and a half meters tall i figured 3 cubic meters would do it, since everything I owned could easily fit in that one room.

I responded to all the quotes, I had planned to go with a company, but they were taking forever to get back to me. Euro Transport located in Montreal, Quebec Canada had sent me a curtosy follow up based on a quote they had sent me for 6 Cubic Meters at $2700 - It said that was all inclusive minus the cost of insurance if I choose to insure, so packing, moving shipping, a door to door service. I thanked them for the quote and their time but mentioned based on the list I had sent people I was getting quotes for 3 cubic meters, and told them everything would fit in my 3 by 2 by 2 and a half living area. They quickly responded with a 3 cubic meter quote beating the competitors. 

They were quick, courteous and had competitive pricing, what could go wrong - so for $1600 I could move my couch, chair, 2 seater table and chairs, some kitchen odds and ends, my bed, Sahar's dresser, crib, chair all her toys and enough clothes that I wouldn't need to shop till she was two. I was so excited. 

When it came time to pack my bags, I wanted to pack everything - I kept telling myself you dont need her hospital bracelets your stuff will arrive in New Zealand in 50 days give or take, sonograms they will get ruined, why take bigger clothing she can't grow that much in 2 months. 

The packers came, they had 90% of my things packed and ready to go in an hour - they proceeded to take several long, lengthy breaks and didn't end up leaving my place till 5 hours later, it was so drawn out it made me worry, I was a bit more worried when I noticed a lot of items in drawers and cupbords weren't packed and were going to be left behind, but I shrugged it off, I was going to see my husband in a few days, Sahar was going to meet her father.

The time came for me to leave, It was so hard to leave my family - I love being back in New Zealand but wish they were close by so I could go visit them, so I could take Sahar to see them, I was so close with my Zaddie (Grandfather) growing up it broke my heart that Sahar wouldn't get the chance, god knows when we'd be able to afford to visit of bring family over to visit - But I was also close with my dad, and Sahar needed to have the chance to be close with hers.

The trip went really well - really long - but well.

He took her from me at the airport, and refused to give her back till the car seat was in the car and we were leaving the airport. She really enjoys him its sweet.

Everything seemed to be going off without a hitch, everything was paid for, we were settling in, I had already decided where every piece of my furniture would go, I had set up Sahar's room in my mind and couldn't wait to get our things. I didn't mind that we were sitting on a floor, had no tv, no table, no furniture - things would come eventually, and we were together thats what mattered.

I woke up a few days after arriving in New Zealand to a email for Euro Transport asking for another $5000 canadian dollars - I had just finished paying them $2300 it was more then I had expected to pay, but I figured it was done and I was getting my things, Sahar's things.

I was wrong.

Apparently a cubic meter is not 1 meter tall by 1 meter long by 1 meter wide - they said I had 12 cubic meters of stuff. My stomach sank, how was this possible, I gave them a complete list of what I owned, a complete list! I even mentioned how big the room was that all my stuff would fit into, the packers came, they packed - could no one have had said, hey by the way theres no way in hell you will get this all into 3 cubic meters.

I was confused, and worried - every dollar my husband makes is allocated, every dollar - buying a ticket to New Zealand - spending $2300 to move all my stuff here - every dollar is gone from every paycheck, whether its rent, food, repaying debt. Now they want another $5000 USD - My stuff isn't even worth that, not to mention the New Zealand dollar is lower then the Canadian and USD.

I called Euro Transport, I was kind of confused how this could happen - I spoke with a man names Amed - I was kind and curtious I told him I wasn't sure how it came out to 12 cubic meters, before I could finish my first sentence he jumped down my throate
"Madam do you know how to measure?? Obviously not! Do you know what a cubic meter is, I don't think you do, its simple, super simple, you obviously don't know what your talking about, its a standard washing machine, 3 cubic meters (laughs)  no you have much much more then that!"

I told him I no longer would like to deal with him, to refer me to his manager, he continued to be rude and jump down my throat, I was too upset and confused I was not going to play his little game. I was told the manager was not there.

Three days in a row I tried to get a hold of a manager thats never around, left 3 messages, no responce, no call, no email - I felt helpless.

My dad is in Canada, but over 3 hours away, he works 2 jobs, not as simple as just going there, he called for me and didn't get anywhere.

If I measured wrong, thats my fault, but why did they never correct me? If I would have known I would have given things away, sold them so we could afford to buy new, brought Sahar's keep sakes,the outfit I brougth her home from the hospital in, brought her Pram (Stroller) and bedding, how did this happen?

I asked if I pulled all the furniture out, all of it apart from my daughters crib and toy bins which came apart and packed flat, just shipped them, the boxes of her clothes, toys, my TV and her Pram if they could send it. I dont care about my table and chairs, I will continue to sit on the floor for get the couch, my bed means nothing to me - I just want my daughters things, set up her room like I pictured in my mind, have her toys, her keep sakes, the rest I  could careless.

I mean again if I would have known I would have never packed my furniture, I would have given it to family, sold it, just brought what we needed, just brought Sahars things.

He just got back to me the other day they said taking out all the furniture would bring it down to 4 cubic meters and that it would cost $3200 - I still can't afford that. I also don't understand how 6 Cubic meters only cost $2700 (USD) but 2 cubic meters less was $3200. 

Again they want more money ..

I feel like they are holding my stuff hostage, my memory's, things that are sentimental and can't be replaced, they have them, I should have brought them, but they have them.

I can't borrow more money, I can't afford to pay people back, I don't want money from people , I don't even want my stuff, garbage it, but I want my daughters things and I'm not sure at the moment how I will do that.

EuroTransport Intl.

Euro Transport


Tell your friends, and have them tell their friends - don't give them your business, for all you know they may just end up hold your child's possessions hostage

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