barclaycon

Ridiculous mail prices
« on: June 23, 2009, 11:04:22 AM »
After my rant about soaring component prices, the next object of my disdain is the cost of sending AND receiving things through the mail.
I ordered some meters from Bryan in Canada in May and he sent me an email to say that they had been dispatched on the 3rd. June. I've been waiting for them to finish some projects for a while.
Today I receive a card saying that I have to go down to the sorting office to pay £17.06 and pick up the package myself.
Now I checked on the label and it actually arrived in London on 9th. June and has therefore sat at Royal Mail for 13 days while they take their time and charge me for the priviledge of having to collect it myself.
The actual VAT added was £9.06 and then they added £8 handling charge. Bastards!
What a useless bunch of tossers. I didn't think they could get any worse, but they have excelled themselves.
Royal Mail used to be a reliable, trusted British institution. Take my advice, if you can use an alternative - do so!
I could have spent the £17 on a courier to get it over to me in a few days.
Not much point in declaring the value, if it had got stolen then they wouldn't have done anything anyway.
It's like when you see something on eBay or Amazon and think 'that's a good price', then by the time you've worked out the mail costs and possibly VAT it's not so good after all.


skal1

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 11:21:42 AM »
 Here Here, that happen on my edcor package. 23.49p  Bastards!


skal1

trancedental

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 11:41:18 AM »
Royal Mail have been charging £8 or so for a while now :'( Sometimes a package is just over the threshold so the VAT is less than a couple of pounds but the RM charge is still £8.00 ???

On a related note recently I ordered £50.00 of items from Mouser, this was delivered by FedEx who charged £6.80 for collecting the VAT in a letter a few weeks after delivery. Now I don't mind paying the VAT but as Mouser UK didn't mention anything regarding "adminstration" or "brokerage" charges if my goods were shipped Fed Ex on their site I complained to UK Mouser about the charge saying all this information should be on their website so that customers can make a choice regarding purchasing goods.

The customer service girl from UK Mouser said that Fed Ex had been charging non company customers but were not chasing company customers who refused to pay the administration charge, she advised me to only pay the VAT which I then did.

Fed Ex then threatened me with legal action so I got back to the Mouser UK customer service telling them that I would not use Mouser UK again because Fed Ex were charging these disgraceful "administration" charges which added extra totals to my bill making using Mouser totally uncompetive compared to UK companies. In my case an extra 12% on the bill AFTER VAT

Luckily Mouser UK got Fedex to drop the extra "adminstration" charges, the customer service girl mentioned that I had been actually been used as a guinea pig to test Fedex on the charges issue ;D

Mouser UK also told me that they are bringing in their own customs clearance system for Euro customers so that they will not be subject to these "brokerage" or "adminstration" charges :o

Also been wondering what the other courier companies are charging over here in Europe for over the top "brokerage" / "administration" fees for goods from outside the EU? :-[

barclaycon

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 02:21:48 PM »
First of all sorry, I should have posted this in Brewery (!)
I should concentrate more - I guess I was so just pissed off...

[edit] -Your wish is my command... -Keef.

(...Well... maybe not the wish about the huge pile of money... or the one with the goats and the cucumber, either...)[/edit]

All these miscellaneous charges that are bandied about. I'm not sure about the legality of any of them.
Who said it was OK for the Royal Mail to levy such an outrageous VAT handling charge?
What is the justification for £8?

Every time I go through my bank statement I find strange little charges here and there. Debit cards charging because it's a 'foreign transaction'. Like it makes a difference?
It's all electronic so why should it incurr an extra charge ?
It reinforces the impression that everything is an earner. Something for nothing. If you can charge extra for it - do so.
Why doesn't the EU do something useful for a change and sort this kind of thing out? They never do anything to help the small business operator.

I too have had that nonsense from courier companies sending letters with mysterious charges AND being very heavy about it.
First of all I make sure that the item has been delivered, and if so I don't pay.
Don't get me wrong, I always pay the right amount for the service. But I'll be damned if I'm going to get involved with extra charges, duty, handling fees etc. etc. that were not mentioned in the first place.
Don't worry about the heavy letter, they don't take things any further because a) they are not on firm legal ground and b) it would cost them too much to persue it.
Just by way of example. I changed my internet service provider because my email was rendered unusable through tons of spam. This was entirely due to their incompetence.
I requested a MAC number and then cancelled the direct debit. Next thing they want to charge me a £30 'disconnection fee'. Can you believe that?
I didn't pay it.
I'd already moved my account so what are they going to do?
In actual fact I would have enjoyed going to court and seeing exactly what the legality was for a 'disconnection fee' !!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 03:13:07 PM by SSLtech »

mnats

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 05:14:23 PM »
What is the justification for £8?
On my last shipment of printed circuit boards, UPS charged me $50.20 AUD for "Customs Entry Fee" (£24) on top of 10% GST that they calculated on a highly inflated value - some 20% above the actual declared value. To add insult to injury there was a $9.95 "Security Fee".

3nity

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009, 05:34:55 PM »
i bought 2 pcb's at 80$ few weeks ago and they arrived last friday ups was claiming 40.50$!!
When i buy online i try to keep things in canada.
Good luck next time!
Life is a path, death the destination.

sahib

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009, 05:51:13 PM »

All these miscellaneous charges that are bandied about. I'm not sure about the legality of any of them.
Who said it was OK for the Royal Mail to levy such an outrageous VAT handling charge?
What is the justification for £8?


Administration charge for Royal Mail to deal with the import/VAT procedures which are not part of the shipping fee, and completely legal.

Assume you would have the option of telling Royal Mail not to do that. Then your goods would be stuck at the customs and you would have to get a customs agent to do your importing. And that would hurt you even more. To be completely fair I find that charge to be a bargain.

barclaycon

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009, 08:33:44 PM »
Quote
To be completely fair I find that charge to be a bargain.

Really sahib?
You are completely happy with that are you !!?

On this last transaction of mine, it cost me:
Over £17 on top of what I paid for the goods and postage.
A delay of nearly 2 weeks on top of the normal transportation.
The grief of not knowing where my goods were and when I might expect them.
A journey to a sorting office in the middle of nowhere to pick up the package myself.

Well sahib, what I will do next time is: spend that £17 on a courier - so it comes in 3 to 4 days.
I will call it a gift, value it below the threshold and I will rely on the fact that it is tracked, traced and signed for.
I will definetely be avoiding Royal Mail.
For larger parcels I already learned that internet courier companies cost half of what Royal Mail charge. These companies track and trace internationally, deliver with signature, and collect from your home.
I thought that since this was a small packet it wouldn't be a big deal. Now I know differently.

But... since you are happy with their charges, you stick with Royal Mail mate.

Biasrocks

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2009, 08:42:17 PM »
i bought 2 pcb's at 80$ few weeks ago and they arrived last friday ups was claiming 40.50$!!
When i buy online i try to keep things in canada.
Good luck next time!

Avoid UPS at all cost for cross border transactions. They have their very own "brokerage" that tacks all kinds of charges on. I ordered a free sample of a chip from AD a few years back, it ended up costing me $15 in fees! USPS is the best from the US, although you may have to pay taxes there's never any additional "brokerage" fees.
http://SharktankPro.com

"I'd rather use an SPX90 than a UA plugin....." Joe Barresi

okgb

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2009, 09:55:41 PM »
yep never use UPS if you can help
In Canada you can avoid the brokerage charge by picking the
paperwork then driving t  customs paying whatever they say
then going back yo UPS , wait in line and get your goods
but here that is a potential several hour ordeal
GKB Audio / Greg Boboski


trancedental

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2009, 10:32:55 PM »
To be completely fair I find that charge to be a bargain.

These "fees" are way above what these couriers actually occur in costs to process the VAT / customs charges, in the case of FedEx all the information required was supplied in the shipping invoice by Mouser, in Royal Mails case the shipping / custom value declaration is usually attached to the front by the seller.

So the time needed to calculate the VAT charges is probably less than a few minutes, which means that the couriers are using these "brokerage" / "administration" fees as a way to increase profits at the expense of their customers.

The fact that Royal Mail increased their fee for collecting VAT from £4 to £8 recently confirms this is a blatant racket :'(

MartyMart

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2009, 06:02:18 AM »
I had a package from Bryan a few months back which was worth about $100 cn
The PO charged me £16 for VAT and £8 charges !
I don't call that a bargain !

Barclaycon - try parcel2go.com they are terrific and charges are very fair
( sent a box of 100cd's/ cases booklets to NZ for under £70 and it was heavy )

MM.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"

sahib

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2009, 03:53:35 PM »

With all due respect, it is not a matter of whether I like Royalmail or not.  I have been importing and exporting regularly for over 10 years now and I am looking at it from a completely different point of view.

You order something from outside the EC, that becomes an import whether it is a big or small parcel. It is not Royalmail who decides whether a parcel is an import or not, it is the built in mechanism that they have with Customs and Excise, hence Customs and Excise. This is based on what is declared inside the parcel. The VAT charged has nothing to do with Royalmail, it goes to C&E.

Now, you may well find that £8 a racket but go and get a customs agent to clear your goods and see how much it is gonna cost you. In hundreds, I can assure you.

Custom clearance charges do not apply to shipping charges whether it is Royalmail, FedEx TNT or whatever. They are always additional. Have a look at FedEx or UPS airwaybill and see what it says.

Some internet companies might be cheaper but until something goes wrong and you have to make a claim. I see it as better the devil you know. Going to a Royalmail Depot in a remote part of the city might well be better then finding out that the courier company you used does not actually have a depot in your city and using a third party for the deliveries.

But still it would of course be great if we did not have to pay anything at all.




barclaycon

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 09:16:48 PM »
We are not big-time importers sahib.
As DIY constructors (some professional, some not) we buy components in small quantities - sometimes however, from abroad.
The costs that Royal Mail are piling on are a rip-off! I don't care how you try and justify it - it never used to be like this. Look at the example a few posts back of somebody who went slightly over the threshold and instead of having to pay a few pence, incurred a fee of over £8.
In your post you've got into Customs agents and clearance charges, hundreds in costs etc...
We're not talking about containers, we're talking about jiffy bags.
I know all about waybills thank you. I may not be a major importer/exporter but I do have to send and receive stuff in different parts of the world.
Yes, internet companies are cheaper. A lot cheaper. I've been using them for medium size items for a while now. Never had a problem. Royal Mail on the other hand have been absolutely useless. I know, I've had stuff go missing. I have tried to make a claim. Nightmare. They don't track and trace internationally. In fact, they don't seem to give a toss.
Like I said, I thought that a small packet from Canada would not be a big deal, now I know better.

sahib

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 09:02:38 AM »
I am not a big time importer at all, just a very small business sending-receving goods regularly.

Now on the custom clearances etc. It does not make any difference whether it is a container or a small packet. It is completely considered by what is declared on the packet. I also sympathise with the guy who was charged for just going over the limit but that is a bumber. There are thresholds and once you are above it does not make any difference even if it is a penny over. You get that everywhere and it is really annoying.

In terms of claims, I have just had two claims from Royalmail which went very smoothly. On the other hand I remember having a fight with FedEx, which I have a regular account, over a claim and I got nothing. I can not say one is better than another.

My complaint would be how expensive UK generally is and how this "expensive" culture has been imposed upon people, because it is "UK". But this is another matter.

Peace.



barclaycon

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 12:38:00 PM »
Mmm. I not really sure what the point is you were trying to make.

If you are saying that the UK is ridiculously expensive; no argument there.

What I was ranting about (in Victor Meldrew fashion - for which I make no apologies!) is the poor level of service and the high cost of Royal Mail.
You seemed to be saying that you didn't mind their costs and basically you were happy with their service.
Is that correct ?

I, for one, will be going a different route in future.
Martyn

sahib

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 05:23:34 PM »
There was no point. I was bringing explanations to the points which there were complaints about.

Yes. I find that £8 charge reasonable for the services rendered and so far the service I received is satisfactory.

We all have different experiences and views and you are entitled to disagree. However, that does not warrant you to respond to my first post in a near-obnoxious manner. I did not snatch your sister's handbag or beat up your brother. All I said was that I found that charge to be fair.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 05:25:30 PM by sahib »

barclaycon

Re: Ridiculous mail prices
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 07:24:46 PM »
Hey. If you want obnoxious, I'll PM you - right?

I disagree with you. OK ?

If you are not happy with that then take it up with the moderators.


 

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