By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A desperate UK mum claims an Australian moving company lost £22,000 [$40,000 AUD] worth of ‘priceless and sentimental’ family possessions – including her wedding dress.
After living the dream with her Australian husband on Queensland’s Gold Coast for four years, British mum Jo-Ann Wolff relocated back to her hometown of London with her family in August 2015.
In preparation for the big move, Jo-Ann, 44, and her husband Kyle, 42, claim to have forked out a whopping $12,000AUD [£6,600] on a six-metre [20ft] private shipping container, with Brisbane-based moving company Metro Movers.
A few months after relocating to London, Jo-Ann said the shipping container finally arrived, but the mum-of-three claims she and her husband were ‘horrified’ to discover that only 56 items out of 126 had been delivered – with 70 precious items still missing.
Metro Movers said Jo-Ann should be complaining to her insurance company, not them.
Jo- Ann said: “After spending four years on the Gold Coast, we decided to move back to London for my husband’s work purposes.
“Kyle had already picked Metro Movers as they had excellent reviews and being a national company we were confident that they would be reputable, competent and reliable.
“Once we had settled, we gave them the go ahead to organise the international shipment of our belongings from their storage facility in Brisbane.
“We thought everything was fine and three months later we received notice that our things had arrived… It took two men less than 15 minutes to offload everything. I knew straight away something was not right.
“I followed up the procedure for reporting missing items and waited to receive a response, but nothing came.
“Precious items such as my wedding dress and other priceless mementos were gone, as well as important documents, most of our household belongings and big pieces of furniture. I was heartbroken.”
Jo-Ann also claims the family lost ‘most of their household items’ such as couches, a washing machine and beds, as well as ‘expensive’ pieces of clothing.
But the mum said the biggest blow was allegedly losing her precious $3,625AUD (£2,000) wedding dress she had hoped to one day give to her only daughter Sophie, 15, on her special day.
Jo-Ann, a teacher, did not take our insurance as she claims Metro Movers promised to compensate if anything went wrong in their terms and conditions.
Jo-Ann claims when her husband eventually spoke to Metro Movers she was told that her items had actually been packed into a shared container with other people’s belongings – and not the $12,000AUD [£6,600] private shipping container the pair had paid for.
Additionally, the mum claims that Metro Movers admitted they had used a subcontractor to do the job – but allegedly could ‘no longer help’ as the subcontractor had since gone out of business.
Jo-Ann has recently created a Facebook group in a desperate attempt to find out what happened to her wedding dress – in the hopes that ‘someone, somewhere’ may have seen her beloved gown.
Jo-Ann said: “I had no idea they had used a subcontractor and was not informed about any of this. I was furious.
“We received a message from Metro Movers that the subcontractor had gone out of business and therefore they could no longer help us.
“There was no apology, no offer of help and no goodwill gesture. We were beyond shocked.
“My wedding dress meant everything to me as it signified the end of a rocky few years and the start of a new chapter in my life. I wanted to keep it forever.
“All I want is to be reunited with our belongings. I just hope that someone out there in the world might have some information that can help us.”
In a statement, Metro Movers director, Peter Borain, said: “Mrs Wolff should be directing her claim to the insurance company she has taken out insurance with for her international relocation.
“Companies who carry out international relocations offer optional insurance cover for loss or damage.
“It is the clients’ prerogative if they wish to take out or decline this insurance, or if they wish to take out insurance cover with an insurance company of their choosing.
“If a customer has declined and chosen not to take out insurance cover, and therefore have not paid an insurance premium, (they) are then not insured for loss or damage and are therefore unable to make a claim for same.”