I have sent paintings through the post before, but mainly in the UK. When a client asked could he arrange for one to go to Australia there didn't seem to be any problems. He was paying for the packaging and the company to collect and deliver the painting.
I arranged with a local hardware store, on Irlams o' th' Height, to make a suitable container and the painting was encased in bubble wrap and then placed in a large plywood box and delivered to my house.
The delivery company sent me the paperwork to be completed at my end, all five sheets of it, and shortly afterwards collected the box.
Then, in mid-November, they rang with the first small problem. Apparently, I had not given them certain information, which, when I checked the form, there was no mention that this information was needed. I explained this to the company that if I hadn't been asked for it, how could I have given it. This seemed to be too much for the agent I spoke to but needless to say, it was eventually sorted and a new form with the relevant information was sent.
About two to three weeks later, I was pleased to hear that the box had arrived in Australia. Here, the client just needed to sort out a couple of things before delivery, which, after several emails was also arranged.
The last week in December we had a short break in Iceland. Whilst we were away, a card was pushed through the door about a parcel not being able to be delivered. Being Christmas we had ordered several presents and this was not a surprise, so I rang up and arranged to collect it.
The next day, a van arrived and as I looked out, the driver was trying to deliver a large box which looked exactly like the one I had sent only a few weeks ago! He told me that this had been sent to me from Australia!
I then had to tell him that I had sent it to Australia and that was where it was meant to be. He spoke to someone in the office .
I wondered if it was the confused agent I had spoken to previously. However,he agreed to take it back to the depot.
Several phone calls later and having to explain the mix-up to different people each time, I hoped something had been sorted. Talking to the client, he was obviously upset, as he had emails from the Australian branch of the company, saying that everything had been resolved.
Next, to my surprise, I got an invoice from the UK company asking me to pay an import duty for the painting sent from Australia. You can imagine my disbelief! A few more telephone calls land eventually, they agreed to look into this.
Then, not having heared anything for a few days, I got a text from the client saying that the painting had eventually been delivered to him.
The funny thing about all this, is that when I looked at the tracking, I noticed that the first time it travelled to Australia, it took a couple of weeks to get there, yet only three days to come back!
This was certainly a learning process and I'm glad to say that at least the UK company have cancelled my invoice for it's arrival back here. I know one of the men who works at the Hardware store, who made the box for the painting and keeping him updated, has kept his workmates amused with the on going saga.
Hopefully, the client and his family like the painting, after all the trouble it has caused, and can enjoy it as they sit at the dining table. A nice reminder of England as they enjoy the warmth.
As for me, I think that it looks good1