I moved to Venice for work in January. In November of 2012 I obtained 3 quotes and chose my provider based on previous experience moving with them. I was unable to provide an address at the time but noted I would be moving to Venice propper and talked (in the peresnec of someone else) about how I was stressed about the logistics of the move - that a Venice move was challenging. The contract noted the quote was for normal access which I assumed meant water access, this being Venice and all. The quote in fact was for road access, and now the removalist wants me to cover half of the outstanding costs - a further AUD1100 (GPB1417 all up - on top of the $4000 I have already paid) based on the fact we are both 'not blameless'. My goods have been sitting in the UK since mid January. I was not contacted until I practically stalked the company and am now being patronised. Do I have any recourse to legal action? I believe I acted reasonably and that the Removalist is at fault and should have to pay for the additional cost. Am I best placed to pay up and then seek compensation? I want my things!
I also want to be very clear - the removalist bills itself as
'Australia's and the world's largest moving company with over 40 locations in Australia and 600 locations worldwide. Whether you're moving across the street, moving interstate or moving around the world, X will move you door to door.
So relax, and let us carry the load'.
Given their obvious expertise, I consider it was unreasonable for them to quote me for a move to venice that involved road access - which is not normal, rather than boat access, and that they are at fault.
I have a chain of emails to the removalist. It is true that water transport is not specified in the contract. The question is was it reasonable for me to assume normal access meant water access, and for them to assume truck?
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If you want your goods you don't really have much practical choice in the short term other than to pay.
Of course it is always better to dispute a case of this sort before you hand over the money, but ultimately, a court can make them refund such payments if necessary.
Whether you could succeed in a case that the goods should have been delivered for the original price will depend on exactly what the contract says but if it turns on whether or not the delivery company quoted its price on the assumption that all transport would be by truck then they you may well succeed since, for an international transport company, it would appear that all goods would in part have to travel overseas in any event (just to leave Australia for example) but in the specific case of Venice the shipping company ought to reasonably have had notice of the fact that most, if not all of Venice is not fully accessible by road. Your case would also be greatly assisted if you could show that the company regularly deals with deliveries to/from Venice and therefore has constructive knowledge of such issues.
Naturally, there is a subjective element in assessing what the parties reasonably intended or understood so there is no guarantee that a court will take your view, but it is certainly very arguable.
You I trust the above assists.
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Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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