27 posts in this topic

I just want to warn Canadians about potential charges on online purchases from the states. Let me provide you with an example of what just happened to me.

 

I purchased the Gryphon Hatchling Plus/Pet for my girlfriend from the Blizzard Store. The plush toy and digital pet cost $25 +  $11 Shipping + Handling. Blizzard was quick to process and ship. I received the item the next day via FedEx. But here is where the problem started. FedEx was re-processing the item to ship back to Blizzard that afternoon because I did not answer the door at 11am (I have a job too FedEx!). I got home, saw the note they left and frantically called them. They forced me to travel to the nearest hub to pick it up because they were shipping it back. I got the item and presented it to a very happy girlfriend. 

 

3 days passed... and I received a letter. FedEx is now charging me for shipping and handeling of the item. To be specific, they are charging me $3 Customs Tax + $10 Brokerage Fee + $1 Tax on the Brokerage Fee. I called FedEx, they blew me off. I also didn't think they were professional because I thought I heard a dog barking in the background of the Customer Service Rep. I then called Blizzard to determine if they were aware I could of been charged and if they can do anything about it. The Customer Service Rep for Blizzard was very helpful and apologetic but she determined that they did not know anything about it but they did receive angry calls from other customers. My friend suggested I call Canada Customs. I did, they tracked my information and they did indeed charge me a $3 Customs fee, but all those other fees are by FedEx and perfectly legal. She also mentioned that by law Blizzard should have known that I can possibly be charged in such a way and warned me, but there is no specific law about warning customers, since that would defeat the purpose of companies doing online business.

 

In the end, my $25 Plush toy = $60 Plush toy. There is nothing I can do about the fees and now I am contemplating not buying anything online from the United States again unless Carriers and Sellers come to an agreement not to charge customers beyond what they paid for initially.

 

Further research into this matter showed that it is very common and failure to pay will result in contact with a collection agency and an escalation to fight the charges will result in court visits.

 

Have you a story to share about a similar situation?

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I've had that happen to. If you're getting from the US, DON'T use FedEx or UPS. They both charge you custom fees and other crap. Use USPS and Canada Post whenever you can. They don't charge you for that stuff. This is one reason why I will never use FedEx again. Never had them try to return it after one visit though..But they have horrible customer service, and they lie. They told my girlfriend that there wouldn't be any custom fees if the value of the item was under $100. So, she put $90 as the value. When I got it up here, they handed me a bill. Think that was UPS though..But still, they are both horrible.

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UPS and FedEx like to legally steal money from canadian customers.

Don't buy from USA unless it's shipped using USPS.

This said you'll have to pay the taxes no matter what. But at least with USPS/Canada Post you pay the taxes only (no brokerage fee added). If the US store did not charge you the taxes assume you'll have to pay them once you get the item.

Here's how it works.

Shipped using USPS : If you have to pay taxes the item will be stored at the nearest post office. They will leave a note at your door telling you where it is. Then you'll have to retrieve the item and pay the taxes.

Shipped using UPS/FedEx/Organized crime : The item will be delivered at your door at an hour you are working. Since you are not there they will return the item to the nearest UPS/FedEX/Don corleon office and leave you a note. You'll have to retrieve the item and pay the taxes and additionally some insane high brokerage fee.

The excuse used by FedEx and UPS is they are offering you a service by paying the taxes for you and delivering the item at your door (Canada Post wont deliver it at your door if you need to pay taxes they'll just leave you a note). The problem is you're not there when they deliver it and honestly there's no difference between paying the taxes directly to the government via Canada Post or repaying them to UPS/FedEX/Some Big Guys after they paid them in your name.

The whole thing is a big scam and they do it to make even more profit. Kinda like extended warranty. The difference is with extended warranty i have the choice. With UPS and FedEx i don't.

It's exactly like organized crime in movies forcing people to pay for a protection they don't need and don't want.

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They can't do that, retroactivly charge you for an item you already recieved. They HAVE to charge you before releasing the item I'm pretty sure. I have never had it stick. Deny you got the item (unless you shown ID and they 100% marked it as you getting item and can prove it. I mean they won't take you to court over this - maybe withold further shipments) and I don't think you have to pay... Thats my experience with Canada Post who retroactivly charged me. Not sure on an established courier...

 

Fedex and UPS (NOT USPS) charge customs and duty on EVERYTHING. $10 item has $25 fees to cross boarder. Usually the duty charges are MORE than the customs and tax, because they process it. Customs is fair, they are taxing you on the value of item you import- just like if you bought at store. Duties/handling and brokerage are where they gouge you. If you have to use them, use worldwide method, which includes all duties/customs. USPS is preferred shipment, then worldwide shipments, then indivudual couriers. Generally under 60$ value is NOT subject to customs with shipments with USPS and various other couriers.

 

I would just ignore it. See what happens. Good luck!

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Yes, I posted it on there too. I expected someone to go look for it from here :p

I actually read that post on the WoW forums 2 minutes before coming here and seeing this one.

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I've had that happen to. If you're getting from the US, DON'T use FedEx or UPS. They both charge you custom fees and other crap. Use USPS and Canada Post whenever you can. They don't charge you for that stuff. This is one reason why I will never use FedEx again. Never had them try to return it after one visit though..But they have horrible customer service, and they lie. They told my girlfriend that there wouldn't be any custom fees if the value of the item was under $100. So, she put $90 as the value. When I got it up here, they handed me a bill. Think that was UPS though..But still, they are both horrible.

 

Where do you get they don't charge you? they definitely do. Generally though, they have $3-5 duties/handling and an exact tax based on its declared value in current canadian dollars. $75USD item is worth $79.70 CDN, so you are subject to the tax on that $79.70 CDN item at your provincial tax rate, plus duties/handling is basically the wage of what it cost the customs employee to figure out how much your customs was ($30-$50 an hr job all considered, employee can process 10 packages an hour =$3-5 a package). Under $60 isn't worth their time to figure out.. Generally USPS/CP does not bother with items valued under $60. This is their declaired value - what the customs declaration states... If seller sends you $360 HDD and says its worth $60, you pay customs on $60. If shipment is lost, seller only gets maximum of $60 insurance from lost insured shipment...

 

Source is years of importing things of various values to Canada via various shippers from mainly the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Australia, Thailand, Phillipines & UK.

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this is actually nothing new,and yeah,it catches you by surprise. ive once paid 3x as much for an item than what I initially purchased for. Once you know how the system works, then its simple not to get screwed.

 

1. anything under 20 bucks,you don't have to worry about these fees.

 

2. you can actually clear the item yourself with customs. when you order the item and get a tracking number,immediately call the UPS/FEDEX. tell them youre clearing the item from customs yourself. they'll give you some forms,or tell you what to do. then drive down to a local CBSA office,and pay the tax/duties on your item. I think this works for anything under $1500.

 

3. always use USPS whenever you can. They charge a $5 flat fee that's included in the shipping price. no surprises.

 

4. If you have to use UPS, or FedEx,never use ground shipping. Airmail includes these fees in the shipping price. DHL is more preferable.

 

The last time I paid brokerage fees is in 2002.

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I thought this was common knowledge to people using FedEx or UPS.

 

Customs fees and fees tacked on by the courier are nothing new. The same applies to Americans when ordering from abroad.

 

I simply don't order anything from the US unless the option for USPS is there.

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Where do you get they don't charge you? they definitely do. Generally though, they have $3-5 duties/handling and an exact tax based on its declared value in current canadian dollars. $75USD item is worth $79.70 CDN, so you are subject to the tax on that $79.70 CDN item at your provincial tax rate. Generally USPS/CP does not bother with items valued under $60. This is their declaired value - what the customs declaration states... If seller sends you $360 HDD and says its worth $60, you pay customs on $60. If shipment is lost, seller only gets maximum of $60 insurance from lost insured shipment...

They said they wouldn't charge me. We asked them, since we knew that they charged for customs. We had to ship with them, but wanted to avoid as much of the fees as possible. They told us that they wouldn't charge custom fees if the declared value was under a certain amount. So, we put it under that amount, and still got hit with fees. Since then, I have never shipped with UPS or FedEx again, and never plan to.

As for the item, it was a small item, it's value was about what we put on the customs sheet, so we wouldn't have lost much if the item ended up lost or damaged.

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I thought this was common knowledge to people using FedEx or UPS.

 

Customs fees and fees tacked on by the courier are nothing new. The same applies to Americans when ordering from abroad.

 

I simply don't order anything from the US unless the option for USPS is there.

I worked for Purolator for a while and I have ordered lots of things through EBay and other sellers. This is the first time I have come across this. I was aware of this for items over $100+ but not under $100.... especially for a $25 item.

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Ive ordered countless stuff from the US, paid extortionate export fees, and then get slapped with an additional charge upon receiving it for "Import Fees". It infuriates me getting hit with additional charges, after paying more money than the item was worth to have it shipped here.

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I remember seeing something on TV about this a while ago. If i remember correctly, they have the right to charge you extra, but you have no obligation to pay them...

 

gonna try to find this online.

 

EDIT: http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/v2/lafacture/niveau2_15214.shtml

 

Sadly it's in French, the end result, the guy paid the Canadian taxes, but didn't pay the Brokerage Fee and never heard of Fedex after that. It also say that using USPS + Canada Post is the best solution.

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Ive ordered countless stuff from the US, paid extortionate export fees, and then get slapped with an additional charge upon receiving it for "Import Fees". It infuriates me getting hit with additional charges, after paying more money than the item was worth to have it shipped here.

 

And what nobody is realizing is that these are fees charged by the government (Canada, in this case).  These fees have a singular purpose - to drive Canadian customers toward Canadian sources.  Period.  (The same applies to fees charged by DHS on imports into the US.)  USPS and Canada Post are exempt due to being QGEs (quasi-governmental entities); Purolator, being owned by Canada Post, is exempt for the same reasons.  It's protectionism - plain and simple.

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And what nobody is realizing is that these are fees charged by the government (Canada, in this case).  These fees have a singular purpose - to drive Canadian customers toward Canadian sources.  Period.  (The same applies to fees charged by DHS on imports into the US.)  USPS and Canada Post are exempt due to being QGEs (quasi-governmental entities); Purolator, being owned by Canada Post, is exempt for the same reasons.  It's protectionism - plain and simple.

 

Which is stupid because the stuff I order from the USA I can't get here.

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They've been doing this for years. Never use Fedex to ship cross border. They'll hit you with a second bill a few days later. I've gotten three in my life from them. Ignored the first two, it said it's going to claims, blah blah, never hear anything again because it gets written off. The last one, was about $40CDN.. That one I had to pay.

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Like others have mentioned, if I order from the US, I get it either via USPS or Purolator if possible.

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The Blizzard Store never gave me a choice on carrier.

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And what nobody is realizing is that these are fees charged by the government (Canada, in this case).  These fees have a singular purpose - to drive Canadian customers toward Canadian sources.  Period.  (The same applies to fees charged by DHS on imports into the US.)  USPS and Canada Post are exempt due to being QGEs (quasi-governmental entities); Purolator, being owned by Canada Post, is exempt for the same reasons.  It's protectionism - plain and simple.

 

yep,its called duty. they will tax your ass until the item costs you the same as you would get it here. I used to buy cigarettes online,and the ones get inspected by customs, I would get slapped with a $50-$60 duty fee on top of what I paid for said carton,effectively making it cost the same as buying it locally.

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you guys should try to send something to the Philippines :) The import tax is determined by a postal worker who holds your package hostage lol, freind of mine has house there, sent a 2008 Honda CR500 there, when it arrived there, he got a called saying the import/release fee for $6300 CAD, he just bought the next one locally.

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This happened to me last year with Amazon.com. I order a lot of DVD box sets and TV shows on DVD and have been for years from Amazon. Especially some of their Manufacture on Demand items that you can only get from them.

 

They've always sent it to the border with DHL where it gets passed onto Canada Post, who unlike UPS, FedEX etc.. will deliver the item or leave it at the post office for pickup. Several years no problems.

 

Last summer I ordered a season of Night Court, 35$ +15 for S&H and Import Fee. They sent it the UPS tho, and when they came to deliver they wanted another 16$ for duty. I told them there seemed to be a mistake and to come back the next day so I can contact Amazon. I called Amazon and they said UPS can do that; different companies have different methods of going through customs. They said I could refuse the package though and have it returned.

 

I ended up keeping it but 66$ for a season of Night Court is not something will do regularly. I asked Amazon to use a different shipping method for my parcels but they said they had no control over individual parcels like that. I told them if it happens again I will have to stop ordering from there because its too expensive. Since then no more problems!

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I had that issue once got letter in mail about it then basically told them that its the legal responsibility of the person shipping it not the end user to pay it as its legally required to have all fees and duty and taxes paid by shipper. the person that shipped it got the bill and paid it and choose never to ship with them ever again.

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Okay, I'm not from Canada or anything but never had any problems with DHL like this before. Thankfully FedEx and UPS don't deliver here and every time I've ordered something from Amazon I haven't even paid duties on the items. I wonder if it's something that's included in DHL shipping prices or just been lucky :shifty:

 

If you are an local customs agent disregard this message :rofl:

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Wow, that stinks.  Sorry.


Okay, I'm not from Canada or anything but never had any problems with DHL like this before. Thankfully FedEx and UPS don't deliver here and every time I've ordered something from Amazon I haven't even paid duties on the items. I wonder if it's something that's included in DHL shipping prices or just been lucky :shifty:

 

If you are an local customs agent disregard this message :rofl:

 

I think DHL was an international shipping firm before FedEX and UPS... based on my experience in the early 80's as a shipper/receiver for a large US corp.  Didn't one of the other firms buy DHL?  Or did DHL buy someone else, I forget...

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