I continue working on the wardrobe. This is tricky but rewarding work. It would be very expensive if labour costs were included!
Next we turned our attention to grouting the shower we tiled last week. We use an epoxy grout to guarantee water resistance but it proves very difficult to work with. Bev volunteers to have a go and proves more adept than me. She definitely has a flair for this having done the kitchen floor previously. Obviously needs a woman's touch! She was greatly cheered up when I immediately awarded her the grouting contract for the remainder of the tiling: 4 floors, 2 showers and a bathroom!
I have been a very satisfied customer of Pickfords for many years having used them for our last 4 moves. When I started this project they were therefore my first choice. My costs for storage and removal for this project thus far already exceed £5000.
In January 2003 they wrote to me explaining that they were going to have to increase their charges for container storage. They explained that these increases were due to increased building and insurance costs etc and whilst they had absorbed some of the increases they would have to pass the remainder on to their customers. They did not mention a percentage and as their billing is notoriously difficult to comprehend (at least to me) I did not appreciate the size of the increase. Having now had my second invoice since the increase it turns out my costs have gone up 77%. Yes 77%! They have risen from £210.25 to £373.35 per month!
When I telephoned to complain they said "Sorry, but it says in your contract that we can raise charges at any time". "Fair enough" I said, "but not by 77% surely, and not for existing customers". I was told that the pricing was dictated by Head Office and out of their control. I then asked for a contact at Head Office whom I could speak to. I was told that this was pointless as they would only refer me back to them (the regional office). I asked to speak to the manager but he was not available. I therefore faxed a letter to him and have thus far received an acknowledgement of its receipt and an assurance that they will respond in detail, in due course.
To me this is totally unreasonable. I am over a barrel. The cost of moving my belongings to another storage company are simply prohibitive. I have had no choice but to prematurely arrange for my belongings to be removed from store at great personal inconvenience. I will still have to pay at least three months of the new charges.
I will keep you updated on developments.