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Old June 19, 2012, 03:51 PM
TM2-Megatron TM2-Megatron is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 3

Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
It's a Tariff Tax grab. By charging $20.00 for shipping, it pushes the value of the bought item above the less than $20.00 no Duty charge.

Shipping is considered an item.

Nice little government scam on items that originated from China.

Once again, suckered by your Government.

You're right that it's a grab, but it's not on the part of the government. UPS sets their prices, not a government agency. And the fees UPS charges for cross-border items has zero relation to the actual government customs fee. I've never had any objection to paying customs on an imported item; our services and health care don't just magically appear out of a vacuum. Many times customs won't hit my USPS-shipped items at all, regardless of the value (I've had packages with a marked value of a few hundred dollars in the past, and they didn't touch them); but when they do, I pay it happily.

But UPS charges exorbitant "brokerage" fees, which are supposedly for their cost of assessing what your customs fee actually is. As an example, I once ordered an item from the US that cost me about $120. The Canadian sales tax rate at that time would have yielded about $18 tax on that, plus a small customs fee of a few dollars; so I may've ended up paying a bit over $20 had the item been sent USPS via Canada Post. UPS tried to bill me for well over $70 to deliver the item, and that was in excess to the $20 or so they'd already been paid for shipping. So apparently it costs $50 to assess that $18 fee... or maybe they're just crooks. The breakdown of who gets what is easily seen on their brokerage invoices; the paltry amount that ends up in the government's hands is insignificant.

So no, it's not the government. Governments may not be perfect, but they're not as prone to cash grabs as greedy corporations.

I agree that Cooler Master needs to offer USPS shipping for their Canadian customers; or just open a small Canadian warehouse that can ship from somewhere within Canada if they get enough orders from this country to justify it. UPS and other couriers simply aren't cost-effective for shipping small and/or cheap items across a border. If you choose any service above their "Ground Shipping", then you won't get any additional fees since brokerage is built-in to the price, but those options are very expensive compared to Ground, and only make sense if your item is large and/or very valuable.

For a handful of small, cheap things? Throw it in a box and give it to USPS. I guarantee that 99% of Canadians won't give a rat's ass if it can be tracked or not.

I do agree it was wrong to give that Customer Service representative a hard time, though. The vast majority of American companies have been totally unaware of UPS practices regarding Ground Shipping on international items until only the last few years, as the Internet has made international orders much more common. If the company as a whole is largely unaware, then someone working the phone or e-mail support lines certainly isn't going to know anything but the little they're told, or be able to change policy. What needs to happen is that these companies need to be convinced to move away from UPS, and couriers in general, for small and cheap orders. The decline in business will put an end to the brokerage fee policies one way or another, even if a courier or two needs to go under for it to happen. And USPS could use more business these days, anyway; I've always been very pleased with USPS customer service.

Last edited by TM2-Megatron; June 19, 2012 at 05:41 PM.
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