Vide Grenier (flea market) – Toulouse 2015

Here is a bunch of pictures that I enjoyed taking three years ago, our last Spring in Toulouse.

Tokoname – July 2017

A very short visit in Tokoname, an amazing village near to Nagoya. We discovered a rich scenery of brick buildings and chimneys decorated with potteries and terracotta sculptures.

Nagoya – July 2017

Here are some pictures taken during our last trip in Nagoya during summer. The picture shows Satsuke and Mei House reconstitution (from My Neighbor Totoro), Astuta shrine and Nagoya City Science Museum.

Tsukuba Matsuri – August 2017

Pictures of 2017 edition of the yearly Tsukuba Matsuri (festival). You may also watch a (bit shaky) video to feel the ambiance.

Mount Fuji – August 2017

Our experience with Movinga (Just avoid it)

8 months to move our stuff, 2 packages still missing, 875 euros lost and a very difficult communication.
(English text below)

Résumé en français

Movinga : arnaque ? Voici mon expérience.
8 mois pour un déménagement, 2 cartons disparus, 875 euros de perdus et une communication très difficile
Nous avons eu besoin d’un déménageur pour transporter nos affaires de la France au Japon. Ils sont venus un jour avant la date prévue pour récupérer les affaires, chamboulant complètement notre programme, ils ont envoyé un prestataire qui ne parlait ni français ni anglais. Une fois envoyées, ces affaires sont arrivées 8 mois plus tard, et de plus deux paquets sur 11 manquaient et n’ont jamais été retrouvés, la communication a été très mauvaise, ils disparaissaient régulièrement pendant des mois sans donner aucune réponse aux mails et appels que je tentais régulièrement. Ensuite, ils m’ont promis de me rembourser intégralement les frais de transport à cause de ces problèmes, et donc je n’ai pas déclaré cette prestation à mon employeur qui me proposait de rembourser le déménagement, et quelques mois plus tard ils ont changé d’avis et ne m’ont rien remboursé du tout, j’ai donc perdu 875 euros à cause de cette fausse promesse. Un seul conseil, évitez, vos affaires sont trop précieuses.

Abstract

Movinga: A scam? Here is my experience
We needed a moving company to move our stuff from France to Japan. They came to pick up the stuff one day before the expected day, ruining all our schedule, the mover employee couldn’t speak any French nor any English. Once sent, the packages took 8 months to arrive and 2 over 11 packages were missing. The communication was very bad, they disappeared regularly for months despite many regular emails and phone calls. Then they promised me to fully refund this service. Therefore I didn’t declare this cost to my employer who proposed to refund my moving expenses. But months later, they changed their mind and said that they won’t refund anymore, I lost then 875 euros because of this false promise. One advice, avoid that, your stuff is too precious.

The Romanian guy who picked up our stuff couldn't speak no French and no English
Something you will never actually see. I saw no Movinga employee, no Movinga truck and no Movinga boxes. I saw only subcontractors which didn’t even know what is “Movinga”.
A year ago, my wife and I were living in Toulouse, France. We had nice days there but I was just hired in a Japanese research center called National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. My new contract was starting in April for five years. Therefore, we needed to send some of our most important stuff to Japan, and sadly throw the heaviest, biggest and relatively less important things.
One year later, after many problems, I sent the following email to Mr Leister*, who works for Movinga, the new German start-up which grows in the field of moving company. The packages took 8 months to arrive and two of them were lost. I also lost about 875 euros because of their false promises. But It was even worse than that. I believe that this company screwed up at almost every step of the process, especially at the communication level, disappearing for months despite the multiple emails I sent to contact them. This email summarizes my experience with this company (I modified two or three sentences for more clarity to the reader).

Dear Mr. Leister

It has been months that we did not receive any feedback from Movinga, specifically regarding the promise given by an agent of this company to fully refund the moving expenses.

May be the current strategy of Movinga is to stop communicating and to hope that I give up about that. This email is an opportunity for you to tell me that this assumption is wrong and that there is actually somebody thinking about a solution as explained in your last email.

Actually, everything up to now makes me feel that I have been deeply ripped off by Movinga. I believe that this sort of feedback is important for this kind of company, so I will share with you the chronological events leading to this feeling.

02/23: The first quote is given by Movinga, the price is 1250 euros. It was not exactly the cheapest price, but I had the unfortunate feeling that this company was more serious for this order of price (I have seen companies proposing 3 times this price for the same service). We knew that the moving expenses were supposed to be refund by my new employer, anyway.

(…)

02/28: The details of the operation are given, the packages were planned to be picked up on march 25th. I tell other companies that my choice has been fixed.

03/15: A lady (Mrs Nagiu*) sends me an email, but when I replied, the email address has been deactivated.

03/18: I find out that the person sending emails through Nagiu was in fact another person named Renault de Burgi*, and I can finally send him emails.

03/20 I paid an advance of 875 euros on the shipment fees. It was not easy. A phone number was given to me to make the payment but this service did not work. I had to resort to give to this gentleman the details of my credit card by phone.

03/24 I receive a call saying that the transport truck is at my address. But that was a day before the planned date. I was in the middle of a meeting at work. My last meeting with my former colleagues. I had to leave the meeting in the middle, and go home as fast as possible. I found the truck and tried to talk with the driver. He couldn’t speak French, he couldn’t speak English, He couldn’t even tell me what language he speaks. I figured out that he was Romanian by watching the contents of the truck. He didn’t know anything about “Movinga”. I can say I was not reassured.

After several calls to Movinga, I found out that it was a legit transporter for my stuff and that I had to prepare the packages urgently despite it was one day before the plan. I am told that my stuff could arrive very soon to Japan, and that is why the transporter came one day earlier. The truck driver didn’t really help carrying the stuff, he said he has back problems, or at least this is what I managed to understand. But on the contract it was specified that carrying and handling packages were part of the service. I have back problems too. I carried almost all the packages, and specifically the heaviest ones. And I put them in the truck.

I was not aware that I would not see them again for months, and for ever for two of them.

03/30 Arrived in Japan. I want my package to be delivered directly to my permanent residence, and since I am told that they will arrive early, I have to find a residence as fast as possible.

04/04 I have my new address, After only few visits. I have to move and work in parallel.

04/11 after asking Mr de Burgi, he says he will tell me when he has news of my packages.

04/20 I asked again in another email.

4/27 one week after, He says he has no news, and that may be I will receive news from the customs of Japan. Of course I did not receive anything.

05/25 I sent an email reminding that our stuff went two months before, and we didn’t have any feedback in the mean time.

06/01 I sent another email asking if he received the previous one. He replied and said that he didn’t, and that he will tell us if there are any news.

06/09 “Do you have any news?” without answer. I try to make a phone call from Japan to France but the service does not reply.

06/10 “Do you have any news?” again without answer. I managed to talk to somebody from another service (domestic transport) and he allowed us to have a phone conversation with Mr de Burgi. He says that there is a problem with the subcontractor and that they try to locate our stuff. He promised that we will get fully refund of all the expenses I paid before. Therefore I asked my Japanese employer to not refund this amount. I had to regret this decision.

06/17 I send an email to try to know if we will see our stuff again or not. No answer.

07/07 I received a bill asking me to pay 1250 euros without even taking into account the amount I already paid! This was the opportunity to make Mr de Burgi react finally by sending an email explaining that it was a mistake and renewing the promise that Movinga will refund the amount I already paid. He said also that our stuff have been located.

08/08 I send an email to try to get any news, no reply.

08/19 another email without answer

08/24 another one

08/30 another one

09/02 another one

09/07 another one

09/14 I call again the domestic transportation service to which I announce that I will fill a complaint against Movinga, they finally get me in contact with you. You tell me again that our stuff has been located.

09/16 You tell me that the week after I should receive news.

10/02 I send an email reminding that it has been more than two weeks. No reply.

10/06 I sent a re-launch email. And you reply that our stuff have been actually picked up and the delivery is being prepared. I knew after that that the pickup happened on September 22nd, more than two weeks before. I still don’t understand why I had to insist that much to have these news.

10/12 I receive an email from the company activmoving. I discover then that there are only 9 packages instead of 11. I ask if there were two missing. I am told that the packages are redistributed on the others. This was completely false.

10/19 I asked which packages were distributed, I had numbered them, and the employee tells me it is the packages 10 and 11. I finally understand the reality: since the packages 10 and 11 are a piano and a guitar, there are actually just two packages missing. It seems I need to make investigations to get the truth about my stuff. The employee admits he doesn’t know anything about these missing packages.

11/15 I send an email to ask what happened with our stuff since one month. I get your reply saying that it is arriving at the end of the next week.

11/28 The packages arrive, two are missing as expected. They contained some sentimentally valuable items. But we are happy that most of the stuff arrived.

11/29 You tell me that no refund is possible for this stuff. And you announce me that I will not have to pay the remaining amount of money, as a commercial gesture, but that Movinga is likely to keep the amount I paid.

I think it is not hard to come to a conclusion about how I can feel regarding this situation.

As I said earlier, hopefully, I am wrong and Movinga is still considering the situation. In that case, I will keep this record as a bad souvenir, and continue my way trying to avoid Movinga and just advising my friends to do so. Otherwise if you confirm that nothing will be done, or if I do not have a reply for weeks, I am hoping to share it on social media to talk about my experience and how this company should be perceived.

Please, be aware that I have all the documents assessing all the events I gave earlier. Therefore it is not excluded also that I fill complaint to French proximity judge.

Best regards,

*Names have been modified to protect the privacy of the agents.

Here was the last reply of this company:

Hello Mr Benallegue,

i have spoken with my manager. We can not pay out any further compensation as you were informed about this when booking the move. However, we will not chase you for the outstanding amount anymore.
Best,

I let you come to the conclusions about how we are feeling today regarding this experience.
You are considering to move your stuff? My advice: your stuff is valuable, avoid Movinga.