Because of the “knock-on-wood” principal, I have been reluctant to write about the “six box saga” until now. The saga was resolved last week (mostly), so now, I am free to talk about it. It began early in April when, during our estate sale, Celia and I separated some things that we wanted to ship to Spain. We had been contacted by a company that promised they could provide door-to-door shipping at a fixed price per pound, plus they would handle all of the customs paperwork. Worry free, right?
Worry free, NOT!! After approximately thirty phone calls to UPS, getting new documents that UPS required (including a copy of our flight itinerary), Spanish customs still wouldn’t release our packages. Finally, I hired a local attorney who spoke English and she was able to file the correct documents within hours. After 17 days in a customs warehouse in Barcelona, our household items were finally on their way to Malaga.
But, there was one more problem. As I discussed in an earlier post, through a stroke of magnificent luck, we had secured a permanent home much sooner than expected. Now, our packages were headed to the temporary address in Mijas and UPS refused to change the destination. A representative in Spain told me that they would not change the destination until they had attempted to deliver four times at the old address. (Even though that would mean some poor driver would have to climb five flights of stairs.) Finally, a representative at UPS International in the US (thank you, Anna) understood the situation and got some cooperation from UPS Spain.
So, everything was delivered last week. The boxes were in rough shape, but the contents were undamaged (except for a minor problem with this computer). We had to pay €118 import duty, even though the shipping agent had assured us it would be duty-free. Needless to say, we will not be recommending White Gloves Express to anyone.