DEVASTATED customers of a storage firm have told how they have been left “angry and heartbroken” after their belongings were taken and not returned.

Glasgow firm Caledonian Moving and Storage is said to have left clients out of pocket by up to tens of thousands of pounds, while several have also lost sentimental items such as family heirlooms or children’s keepsakes.

Some have been fighting for years to have their possessions returned, facing numerous excuses from “rude and aggressive” businessman David Howie.

The Glasgow Times has been in touch with 10 customers of the firm, which also uses the names Movecare, Smart Space Self Storage and Air Road Sea Experts. Some have had belongings returned badly damaged while others are missing items.

When confronted by Times, Mr Howie admitted that some customers had not received adequate service, but claimed he had tried to put things right.

One customer, Gale Mahood, a former director at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, placed all of her effects in storage with the firm when she left Glasgow in 2013 and has never seen them since.

She said: “I contacted David Howie in 2016 to arrange for my belongings to be taken out of storage and paid for their shipment to Germany.

“We set a date for delivery but the shipment never arrived. I chased him until I couldn’t any more. And then I started living in my empty apartment and

tried accepting that I had been ripped off.

“However, losing everything you ever owned isn’t something you can just get over.”

Ms Mahood, who claims she paid Mr Howie more than £5000 in fees, estimates that her belongings are worth around £20,000.

Glasgow Times:

Another customer, who asked to be named only as Stephanie, moved from Glasgow to Indiana, US, with her family last August and is still waiting for their belongings. She has had to buy new furniture and clothing and has spent months worrying she might never see her effects again, including many sentimental items. She said: “All three of my children’s baby books and keepsake boxes are in the shipment – every single memento I’ve saved from them growing up.

“I really want our things, most of which are irreplaceable. I’m just heartbroken that this has happened.”

Following the Glasgow Times contacting Mr Howie, both Ms Mahood and Stephanie have received assurances that their items will be shipped to them.

Several other customers have had items go missing after storing them with Caledonian, including Elaine Chandler, of Bishopbriggs, who placed the contents of her house in storage in 2017.

When they were returned, several pieces were badly damaged and others were missing, including a Bose sound bar and a Cannondale bike.

Mr Howie is also accused of claiming customer Angela Iles, now in Australia, had mental health problems when she complained about missing items. He denies this.

Customers Wendy Pearson, of Govan, and Marie Brown, of Rutherglen, also had pieces go missing, as well as Ruth Ramsay, of Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, who is missing a precious artwork that was her late mother’s.

Glasgow Times:

Others have also had problems, including Erica Quinn, of Glasgow, who had several items delivered damaged and Kenneth Primrose, now of Newcastle, who fought for months to have his stuff delivered.

According to Companies House, Caledonian Moving and Storage dissolved in 2015, however, a website using that name continued to operate until the Glasgow Times contacted Mr Howie.

Move Store (Glasgow) Ltd, which trades as Movecare, is owned by Mr Howie’s father, James Howie.

However, Mr Howie confirmed to us that he is the one running the firm and said some of the problems had been caused by warehouse difficulties and financial problems.

The businessman, who said he has at times suffered with mental health problems, also refuted some of the claims about damaged goods. He said: “Things go wrong, but I’ve always tried to put things right when they have.”