Author Topic: Whilst I don't blame the postman, I object to his employers' business practices  (Read 4655 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Instead of a package containing the playmats jungleboy and I ordered, I came home to find this on the doormat on Wednesday evening:

As annoying as it is having to pay import duty on stuff like this, I can live with it. What I find more annoying is that almost half of the £16.50 fee (£8) is imposed by the post office for doing literally nothing other than giving me this card and then passing the actual fee back to HMRC. It's not like I have a choice though, and JB and I still wanted the playmats (and had paid for them) so I dedicated my lunch hour to going to collect them the following afternoon. Or so I thought...

Unfortunately, because of where it is, and because of where I work, the earliest I could get to the post office happened to be 1:03pm. And guess what? They close at 1pm! >:(

So I had to leave work even earlier today (earlier than I'm supposed to but don't tell my boss!) to get to the post office before 1pm in order to collect the mats today, and smiled happily as I paid my £16.50 rip-off fee just to be able to take them home with me.


PS - My surname isn't actually "16.50" but they still checked my ID when I did finally manage to collect it! C:-) :(n)

« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 02:56:09 PM by danisthirty »

Offline egamar

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Being pedantic, it's not import duty you are paying there, but VAT. 

Having said that, like you I have no issue with paying VAT (after all, we pay it on most things we buy but we don't notice it as it's folded into the cost) but the £8 handling fee really rankles with me too.   

Having said that there is some more administration than you mention: inspecting the data about the parcel, calculating the VAT, making the entry to HMRC's sytem, producing the card, receiving the payment from you, accounting for and reconciling the payment, (double/triple) handling the parcel itself though a different channel than 'normal' mail.    One could even say that £8 is a bargain price for that  - but it certainly doesn't feel like it!

It certainly doesn't feel like it when the imported item is of modest value.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2016, 01:52:15 AM by egamar »
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Offline jungleboy

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Sorry about your ordeal Dan. Hopefully the honour of being my personal UK postman made up for it! :)

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Offline Safari

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Sorry to hear that you had some import issues, Dan. However, maybe you feel a bit better if I tell you that the Austrian Postal Service is charging 20 Euro for exactly the same "service" and you can't even defend yourself against it, as long as you want your parcel.  :(n)

 This is why I started to let sellers send parcels with VAT to Germany, where it is completely free.

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Offline hunnymonster

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At least there are two of you sharing the fee... It's why the denizens of another forum I frequent do group buys from outside the EU (yes they always pay the import VAT but the £8 fee is socialised and once you get to 4/5 sharing it's inconsequential)

Alternatively DHL charge 1.5% (min charge £1.25) for items that are being delivered to non-business premises (the initial shipping is usually higher though)
Whatever it is, it's probably in the post from Germany...

Offline Paul

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I feel ya as I have to constantly nag the local post office about my outgoing packages that are a few grams over limit.
  They insist on me paying double(!) but if I go to post hub in my area, which is a bit farther, they are very friendly and does things more fair.

Ark of the Covenant is a good example always goes from 50g to 70g above 1kg which local post want me to charge for 2kg doubling the cost by more than 10 Euro.
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