And that, for the moment, pretty much wraps up the inventory of Samantha MacIsaac’s living room furniture.
“Our son is sleeping on an air mattress,” the newly arrived Little Dyke resident said. “We have a bed and that’s it.”
MacIsaac, her common-law husband Dave Ramage and son Luke, five, recently moved to the area from Markham, Ont., a bedroom community just north of Toronto.
Before arriving here, they had first taken a vacation in Newfoundland-Labrador, to visit her family.
Prior to leaving Ontario, MacIsaac said the couple had received a quotation from Trillium Moving and Storage in Mississauga, Ont., based on an estimated amount of furniture, of $1,460 plus tax.
That information was confirmed by an e-mailed quotation from Trillium and produced by MacIsaac to the Truro Daily News.
“As you requested a quote for a 2 bedroom house the moving industry average lists that at approximately 3000 – 5000 lbs,” company representative Kate Roberts said, in the e-mail.
Before leaving Newfoundland for Nova Scotia, however, MacIsaac said she contacted Trillium to confirm the quote and then mailed the keys to her storage unit so a company representative could provide a first-hand look at the furniture.
“She was supposed to go to the storage unit, look at the items that we got and give us another quote if it was going to be any different than the original quote,” MacIsaac said.
Instead of doing that however, MacIsaac said, Trillium loaded her belongings onto a truck and then informed her that the total weight registered at 11,600 lbs., and with extra packaging fees, it was going to cost $7,635.39 to ship the furniture to Nova Scotia.
MacIsaac said she and Ramage then considered renting a U-Haul truck and moving the furniture themselves but she was told by Trillium that to have her furniture released from their warehouse would cost $5,971.48.
That price, combined with the cost of a U-Haul rental would then make it more expensive than having Trillium do the move, she said, so the couple decided to proceed as planned.
“They got here and they wanted the payment before they unloaded the truck and we wanted to make sure that all our stuff was there and undamaged and everything,” MacIssac said.
Ramage said when the truck was opened in Truro, he began removing some of his belongings and managed to retrieve a TV and a couple of shelving units and a few other minor items before the truck driver prevented him from taking anything more.
“The way things were told to me I had enough to budget us to get here and be able to start (anew and get set up for winter),” he said. “I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get money together so I can get my stuff back.”
To that end, he has accumulated almost $5,000. The couple’s belongings are currently sitting in a storage unit in Halifax and, now, with additional storage fees, the total bill is just shy of $8,000, the couple said.
“We’ve been living out of a kettle and two pots pretty much,” Ramage said.
Since then, the couple has had some pots and pans, dishes and utensils and some toys for their son donated by The Salvation Army. But their rented house remains near void of furniture, all of the family’s winter clothes are unavailable to them and the moving/storage fees continue to grow.
When contacted in Ontario by the Daily News, Trillium’s general manager Lisa Gold disputed the couple’s version of events, although she refused to go into details of how things transpired from the company’s perspective.
“The allegations made are false and there’s misleading comments and misleading information that you have been provided with,” Gold said. “If anything, we should have the complaint for services rendered and non payment…
“That is all the information that I am going to provide at this time but the allegations are completely false.”
When informed of Gold’s statement, MacIsaac remained adamant about the couple’s version of events.