Asked for 'Collect on Delivery Payment' for online item I bought - is this a scam?

Bought a rug online from Urbanara. Free shipping was stated.
Got a note through my door from UPS to say my parcel has a Collect on Delivery payment due of £99.32.
Emailed this to Urbanara:

My delivery has arrived with UPS but I am not able to receive the item until I pay a 'Collect On Delivery Payment' of £99.32.

This was not stated in the terms and conditions and is unacceptable.

If this payment needs to be paid I wish for my item to be returned and receive a full refund for the item.

Almost immediately got the following response:

Thank you for your email. 

Unfortunately as in this instance, some orders have been afflicted with additional fees.

I am pleased to say however, that we have been authorised to re-fund all customs duties. Should you still be interested in receiving the goods, we kindly ask that you pay the fee. 

The fee can then be re-funded, preferably through PayPal. For this we need the UPS receipt for your payment and your PayPal email address or your bank details, if you do not use PayPal. This is a temporary measure, which should no longer apply to future orders. Please note that re-funds may take several days to process.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the inconveniences this will no doubt cause you.


  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Free shipping does not mean free VAT Customs Duty etc .
  • ThumbRemote
    ThumbRemote Posts: 4,599
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    JJ_Egan said:
    Free shipping does not mean free VAT Customs Duty etc .
    Their website does say "Please note URBANARA is a German online shop shipping to the UK. All VAT costs are taken care of and covered by URBANARA leaving no expense to the customer."
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,389
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    We had to pay UPS £18 for something son sent us from the USA. Annoying. 
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,617
    First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped! First Post Name Dropper
    As we are no longer in the EU customs  VAT and import duty apply.
    Urbanara should have paid the VAT direct to UK but    in your case they have omitted to do that.
    That is why they are  saying they will refund the charge.
  • pinkcloud17
    pinkcloud17 Posts: 84
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Post Name Dropper
    Ok thanks, looks like it's legitimate and they will refund the payment, just something I've never come across before so wanted to check :) 
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