Furniture arrived this week. It had supposedly arrived in Jebel Ali Port – that’s the Dubai shipping port – on January 8th.
I’d had an introductory email from the handlers this end saying, “Hello. We will be handling your belongings when they arrive in Dubai. They will take between 5 and 10 days to clear customs. 5 days of storage is included in the cost you have already paid. Further days storage due to customs or otherwise will be charged to you.”
Whenever I tried to call them I got a very sexy sounding Englishman (they exist!) on a voicemail saying in his masculine yet cultured voice, ‘please leave a message’. Well, I left a message. In fact, I left several. The sexy man never called.
Eventually, my husband decided he’d try to up the authority level by leaving a voicemail from a man. Still no return call. Clearly Mr Sexy was unimpressed.
The intriguing thing throughout this period of about 2 weeks was that the voicemail message kept changing slightly every time we called.
Originally it said, ‘We are open between 8am and 1pm…please leave a message.’ I left a message.
Then it was updated to say, ‘We are open between 8am and 1pm…. AND 2pm and 6pm. Please leave a message.’ I left a message.
Then it was updated to an IVR message that said, ”For inquiries to Company A, press 1. For inquiries to Company B, press 2.’ Upon pressing 1 I then received, ‘We are open between 8am and 1pm…. AND 2pm and 6pm. Please leave a message.’
Guess what I did then? I left a message.
No-one ever called me back.
Finally I called and managed to actually get a live person. It was the Indian bloke who had sent me the original letter of introduction! ‘Ah yes. Mrs Grant. What is your delivery address? (I gave it to him even though he already had it from me via email and the original shipping company.) I will contact you shortly.’
Next morning, up turns the furniture! Literally, a guy shows up at my door at 9:30am and says, ‘ Madam. I am from Company A and I have your furniture outside in the truck. Is it possible to deliver it?’
‘Yes’, says I without hesitation (I’ve learnt not to fuck around with these things lest you are waiting another 2 weeks) and start frantically moving shit out of the way so that 4 guys can deliver beds, the 4-seater sofa, refrigerator, washer/dryer, TV, Printer, 2 cat carrying cages (sans cats) and a whole bunch of boxes.
These people completely crack me up with their no-appointment style! If I had been out getting coffee, I guess they would have gone back to the station and, if necessary, unloaded the truck. Who knows?
And ultimately who cares? If they want to make their lives hard I’m not going to break my brain trying to fathom why.