Embattled removalist company WridgWays fails to deliver furniture six weeks after woman’s move from Sydney to Hobart

WENDY Rice couldn’t wait to move to Tasmania, but has been stuck in an empty Hobart house for more than six weeks and was forced to temporarily sleep on the floor, as a removals company failed to deliver her possessions.

The 59-year-old and her housemate paid WridgWays $7500 to move their furniture and personal effects from Sydney in May.

Miss Rice said removalists picked up their belongings in Sydney on May 10 and were told to expect them at their rental property in Battery Point about a week later.

They drove to Melbourne and caught the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, bringing only a couple of changes of clothes and minimal other possessions with them.

But their furniture and possessions never turned up, turning the move into a nightmare.

“I have family here including my elderly mum, and so we planned for a long time to do this and just thought this was a good time, but now this has happened,” Miss Rice said.

“We’ve had to buy clothes, and of course we had nothing to cook with, so we had to spend a lot of money on eating out.”

Empty house saga

Wendy Rice in her empty Battery Point rental property. Picture: Chris Kidd

A month and a half of frustration has ensued, with a flurry of emails and phone calls from Miss Rice unable to solve the impasse.

At one stage, she slept on the floor with only a few cushions for comfort, and has since had to purchase a bed and other supplies.

It comes as freight provider Pacific National lodges a winding up application against WridgWays, which says it is in the final stages of a potential sale of the business.

Ms Rice said when she got through to a WridgWays representative, she was told the possessions were being stored in Canberra, with no timeline on when they might be delivered.

“It’s horrendous,” she told the Mercury.

Miss Rice said there were no obvious warning signs about the company, and added the workers who came to do the packing “were all upbeat”.

Wridgways Packing Truck2

A WridgWays removal truck.

WridgWays Australia chief executive Kobus Fourie apologised to customers affected by delays.

“WridgWays takes the utmost care to deliver customers’ belongings on time and in good condition. Unfortunately, on this occasion, that did not occur, and for that we apologise,” he said.

“WridgWays is undergoing a comprehensive re-engineering of the business involving multiple external parties, and as such a few customers have experienced some delays in fulfilling their delivery due to changes in suppliers and processing.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that our customers may be experiencing and will continue to do our utmost to resolve any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Mr Fourie said the company had been significantly affected as a result of its exposure to international partners, and were in advanced discussions about an acquisition.

Miss Rice has lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and NSW Fair Trading.

cameron.whiteley@news.com.au

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