NSLM (nslm) wrote,


Okay back in Febuary I made an order from ThinkGeek, collecting packages at home is a PITA so I get it delivered to work, ie the University...

Package is delivered to Maths, fine, no problems there ordered on a weekend, dispatched on the Monday (US), arrives in the UK on the Tuesday, arrives at work on the Wednesday. NOTE: No notes or invoices attached.

Okay, so I'm aware that import duties may have been due, but I'm also aware that they don't always charge, so with no invoice, I just assumed that they hadn't charged since it had been under some limit.

On Friday I got a rather confused and concerned phone call from the international office, they got a notice of litigation through from DHL with my name attached to the information that they got by calling the Legal Division at DHL, and even better by this point if it's not paid by Tuesday (yesterday) then litigation starts. We phone up and get the basic details from the guy at their end, and they say they'll fax the invoice through to the Maths dept that day, come Friday afternoon still no fax so I call them again, and having found the ThinkGeek order confirm the date on the invoice matches the timing for that order, and pay the bill, still not having seen an invoice, but really not wanting to end up in a legal battle. I'm told yes, sorry, the fax is in his intray and he'll fax it "in the next 5-10 minutes".

Come Monday, still no fax, and more concerningly no charge has turned up on my credit card... So I call them again, get through to a different person this time, and am told, yes, they have records of the payment, and she'll fax the invoice to me, I also ask her to post me a copy. That afternoon, the fax finally turns up, and yes it was the ThinkGeek order, and yes it was import duties, oh and charges to boot.

Today, the copy she posted to me turned up, although I still have no receipt, which is a little worrying, but I'll give it a few days before I call them again. The copy she posted contained some slightly interesting information.

The parcel got to me in the Maths department. A request for information on Import duties was faxed to Pharmacy. God only knows where the original invoice was sent. The notice of Litigation was addressed to the old name for the Education department, with an address in the international office. And it took 3 phone calls to get the damned invoice sent to me in the Maths department!

To top it all off, the order was for $75 worth of clothes with $25 of delivery, Approximately £57 invoice total, I'm charged ~£10 VAT on the whole lot, including delivery which I'm sure would have been paid totally seperatly as part of the cost of delivery, there is then a £20 "Clearance Authorisation" fee, and a £10 fee for "advance of VAT/Duty". So for ~£40 of clothes I paid £40 in VAT and "charges". And I'm charged VAT on delivery, oh and probably the US sales tax too just for good measure.

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