Couple says shipping company held their belongings hostage for thousands of dollars despite delays

The couple was billed for storage after shipment was delayed

SUGAR LAND, Texas – When the Bieltz family moved from Puerto Rico to Sugar Land, they figured the belongings they paid thousands of dollars to have shipped would be delivered in about two weeks. However, it was anything but timely.

“It was… $22,500,” said John Bieltz.

He and his wife Merrily say they are frustrated and confused.

”We paid a lump sum upfront and we thought that was to get our possessions from point A to point B,” John said.

But the Bieltz family says around a month and a half after their belongings were supposedly shipped out by Transparent International, the company gave them an unwanted delivery instead.

”We get an invoice from them for $5,433 for storage, and they say, ‘You pay this and we give you your possessions,’” John said. “(The next day) we get another invoice from them for $690.”

The couple said they reluctantly paid the invoices, along with the $45 it costs each time to make the wire transfers, but about a week later…”An additional $517.50 for three more days of storage,” John said.

Storage that they didn’t ask for, costing more than $170 a day, including admin fees charged by Transparent International. The couple said Transparent told them their belongings were held up because of equipment and trucking issues at the port.

”They keep telling us we don’t understand how international shipping works and that we don’t understand how things at the port work,” John said.

KPRC 2 checked with Port of Houston. Officials say they do not have a record of storing the Bieltzs’ container based on information provided, but say they charge about $29 a day for storage. Port of Houston officials say it’s possible the Bieltzs’ belongings could’ve been shipped through a private terminal, which charges its own rates, but the Bieltzs’ said despite numerous requests for the bill of lading, Transparent still hasn’t made that information clear.

”I never got to talk to anybody above the general manager, and we got no satisfaction,” John said.

The Bieltz family finally got their belongings back a few days before Christmas but they said they still have no idea where it’s been all this time and why they had to pay for problems they didn’t cause. We reached out to Transparent International multiple times for answers and were told someone would respond to our questions, but we have yet to hear back.

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