Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2020 3:54 AM
To: Doug Wiviott; Jennifer; Gary Newman
Cc: ‘Tom O’Gorman’
Subject: International Move to France from Wilmington MA
A week ago today, I was reunited with my belongings from the United States. Many thanks go to a
team of individuals at Gentle Giant Moving Company in Boston, Doug Wiviott at Rainier Overseas
Movers near Seattle, WA, and Jennifer Sloan at European Relocation Services in Marseille, France.
They all worked smoothly and responsively together; each hand-off along the way was well
coordinated. I never once felt as if I was working with separate companies.
Thanks to the careful packing of the team of Gentle Giants in Boston, first in February 2019 when
they packed and moved me (using a crane at times) out of my condo in Charlestown, Massachusetts,
into their storage warehouse, and then, almost exactly a year later, when they packed my
belongings into a container to be shipped to France, everything arrived intact. Not one chip, crack,
not even a light bulb (which unfortunately turned out to be unusable here in France!) was broken!
Doug and his team at Rainier were incredibly easy to work with over the Internet, extremely
responsive and clear in their communications. Both Doug and Jennifer patiently guided me through
the lengthy documentation process required for international shipments by governmental,
transportation and customs officials. They made that complicated process which could have been a
nightmare fairly easy. Doug made sure the container arrived on time for loading by Gentle Giant,
arranged for the container to be loaded on the ship in Boston, and then worked with Jennifer to
organize delivery in France. Though his work behind the scenes was invisible to me, except for our
frequent email correspondence, Doug provided exceptional service!
Of course, no one could have expected the coronavirus epidemic which began to seriously spread
into France and the United States just as the ship was scheduled to leave Boston. Nor could anyone
have foreseen that the French government would pass restrictions on moving companies just before
the ship arrived in Le Havre. I am ever so thankful that Jennifer, a patient, supportive and caring
American, who speaks perfect French, was there to handle the unexpected twists and turns required
for unloading the container, for arranging for unplanned-for storage in a warehouse in Paris, and
then for further managing the delivery of my belongings by her crew to my apartment in Dieppe.
Those arrangements required Jennifer and her team, by now working remotely because of the lockdown
in France, to get in touch with their crew in Paris, as well as with the building’s management
and with city officials here in Dieppe. Jennifer kept in communication with me all along the way, all
the while working to keep additional expenses to a minimum.
The final step of the move required an outside lift since the elevator to the 5th floor (6th floor in the
USA) was too small. The crew arrived at the expected time, providing me advanced notice as I had
requested, with all required notifications and paperwork. The move-in went very quickly. Every
member of the 4-person crew was most professional, quite good-natured, pleasant to work with and
very tolerant of my attempts to communicate in French. They unpacked boxes as requested, reassembled
my dining room table, sofa and other furniture, and went to great lengths to make sure
that everything arrived in good condition and that I was satisfied As the lift and truck drove away
and I looked at the boxes that needed to be unpacked, I could only be extremely grateful for all the
arrangements Jennifer, who checked in again during and after the move, had made and for the
incredible team of wonderful people involved in making my move to France as smooth as it could
have been and at very reasonable cost– despite all the difficulties along the way!