My Moving To Spain Story

Published on 07/07/2011 in Real Life Stories

Our story is about getting things right at the start of the moving-house process. It involved all ex-pats, unsurprisingly, but fortunately only resulted in the loss of a fairly large (to us in 2005) sum of money.

We lived at the time in France and had bought ourselves a house in Axarquia. We cast around for a removal company actually in France and found an ex-pat running a large furniture van. He came to see us and everything was agreed verbally, no paperwork, to keep costs down. Both parties happy with the agreement (remember, verbal agreements can be legally enforced), he had every right to try to make a living in his chosen country and we were pleased to help rather than pay a much larger sum to use a big removals company.

The day of actual moving did not go well due to his location in the Dordogne, we in the Vendee, with fog delaying his arrival. But we accepted that and saw him off the premises, exhausted, at about 9pm, ourselves following soon after.

Muddy roadOur house in Spain was down a track about 1 km from the main road. He had visited the area on holiday before, knew the location and foresaw no problems. We trusted his judgement.

We had arranged to meet him at a lay-by on the main road, but on meeting he was very unhappy, saying that the track was too muddy to attempt delivery. He said everything would have to go into storage until the track dried out. We accepted that and he reassured us that the well-known removal/storage company B.... would store and deliver the furniture as soon as possible. Fortunately we had already driven our caravan to the house and weren't too unhappy about the prospect.

The track dried up quite rapidly and we contacted the storage company after a couple of days. A 'lady' answered and told us WHEN they would deliver and that it would cost us another 700 euros. To my gasp she answered 'Well, you do want your furniture back don't you?' in an extremely unpleasant manner, with its obvious implied threat. My wife grabbed the 'phone from me and said 'yes, yes we want it as soon as possible'.

We both realised that our entire personal belongings were in the hands of basically an outfit with absolutely no regard for their customers. This was confirmed when our furniture did arrive, in smaller vans, the money being demanded before they would even open the van doors.

I later contacted the remover and he basically denied any obligation to deliver down our track 'whatever its condition'. Fair enough, we had not stipulated any such condition, but we did trust him to deliver ALL our furniture, but I could never say the same about the storage company. To this day we don't know what went missing; we did not complete an inventory.

Two things to learn from this story, have the delivery and possible storage written down as part of the contract, and don't use B....!!

Another point when purchasing a house, make sure that your lawyer visits the property and checks out the boundaries relative to the Escritura! Our neighbour (fortunately he was selling) kindly tried to pinch part of our land by moving the boundary-stones to make his driveway wider!

This ex-pat didn't win.

Written by: Anthony Randall

About the author:

After 35 years in our beloved Cornwall, decided to move to France for more sun. Five years of wonderful summers later, we decided we wanted even more sun, but in the winter, hence our move to Axarquia in 2005.

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itsme said:
13 July 2011 @ 12:26

We and other family members have used Jimbo the Scot and found him very trustworthy and reliable. Lovely guy. Amongst other things he brought over a piano of my great grandmothers from deepest Devon up to the mountains near Huercal Overa!

Rob Madrid said:
11 July 2011 @ 19:22

Sadly this is all too common. had a friend move back to Canada and he was told 6-8 weeks and no charge storage only to be told everything would arrive in 3 weeks and storage was several hundred extra. A friend moving from South Afirica had half his stuff stolen, since he wasn't there when everything was loaded he had no way of proving what went missing

Vicky ayech said:
08 July 2011 @ 15:24

Next time or anyone else use Fred. He took us out to Spain, was brilliant and brought my stuff back when i came back two years later. I didn't have a place to take it to so he storedit until I was ready and then delivered and he'd collected from two places in the Uk originally and prices were very low.

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