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  • FIRST POST
    Tarostar
    Royal Mail 8 Internal Post Handling Fee scam?
    • #1
    • 7th Nov 07, 11:59 AM
    Royal Mail 8 Internal Post Handling Fee scam? 7th Nov 07 at 11:59 AM
    This is very loosely paraphrased from my phonecall this morning to royal mail complains after I got done for a 8 "royal mail international handling fee". That, on top of, paying 4.97 duty/VAT on an order for 33. So a total of 13 with the added bonus of the parcel delivery being delayed and me having to pick it up myself (they do have other ways to pay and have it re-delivered but that would add even longer time to the delivery). If I hadn't paid the parcel would be returned to sender and they make it clear that if they get a return because the receiver declined to pay customs they will not refund.

    I called their complaints department and was met by a very unsympathetic representative. He denied that holding the parcel was against any laws, and gave me a rubbish story about how they cannot trust in the goodness of people to pay if they deliver the parcel. I told him something to the effect that this was not a good reason to hold the parcel and both legaly and morally questionable as most companies do deliver goods and then charge the customer, and there are plenty of legal options to deal with non-paying "customers". He didn't really care and said royal mail was well within their rights to withold the parcel. Surely they are not as they are only a carrier, not a provider of goods and one that I didn't even choose to use at that!

    I also argued that 8 was too much and mentioned that only recently it had been 4. He responded by saying that the 8 gave them zero profit and was purely to cover the cost of collecting the duty. He claimed royal mail was losing money when they were charging 4. I stated that this was hard to believe and if true then there is something very wrong with the procedure used to collect the duty as it must be possible to do it cheaper. Keep in mind I've already paid for the shipping when I made the order so the 8 does not include shipping.

    He then said that revenue and customs had agreed this duty collection service from royal mail and I should complain to them if I don't like it. I then asked if this means that there are other ways to pay the duty fee without using royal mail and he confirmed no, there is not. When I then stated that this is a monopoly forcing me to pay the 8 handling fee on any international order, he retorted by saying that it was not a monopoly as customs had decided to use this service.

    Well since I have no choice in paying customs and I have no choice to not use royal mail to do so, it IS a monopoly. When I told him so his response was to complain to the government.


    There are others complaining about this as well, even one who claims they are breaking the law by breaking Section 104 and 105 of the Postal Services Act 2000. Link to that here: http://paulm.com/inchoate/2005/04/customs_royal_mail_clearance_scam.html

    Anyone want to comment on what they think, or what they would do? If we don't make it clear that we won't let them rip us off like this then I'm sure they'll just keep raising the "handling" costs.
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    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 12th Oct 18, 7:44 PM
    • 5,322 Posts
    • 3,987 Thanks
    sheramber
    I agreed to pay the VAT and other import duties but I already paid the seller for shipping so I don't see why I owe parcelforce or royal mail extra money for them paying the duties on my behalf. I should only owe them what they paid to HMRC. The way I see it is that royal mail are just a continuation of the shipping service that originated in the sender's country.

    Imagine booking a flight from say London to China with British Airways. You have to connect onto a different flight in Hong Kong for the final leg of the journey and this is sometimes done by a partner airline - lets say Cathay Pacific. You wouldn't expect the partner airline (Cathay) to suddenly impose an extra tax charge on you. It was all paid for as part of the one flight booking with the original airline.

    Royal Mail are playing the part of Cathay and trying to sneak in extra cash in a very dubious way i think. If the card company agrees then there must be something up with this practice.
    Originally posted by consumerwarrior
    You are paying an administration charge to RM for them doing the work on your behalf.

    You could have gone to the customs depot yourself to pay these amounts and collect your parcel but that would no doubt have cost you more than the handling charge.
    • consumerwarrior
    • By consumerwarrior 13th Oct 18, 10:32 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    consumerwarrior
    Surely if people buy goods from overseas without making arrangements to pay for any customs, duties and/or taxes involved it's a bit rich of them to accuse other people of scamming. One can only assume they were hoping not to pay these charges.
    Originally posted by pmduk

    You have misunderstood the contention. Nobody has complained about paying import duties such as VAT and excise. They're complaining about RM or Parcelforce charging excessive amounts to do it on their behalf when they have already paid for shipping (free or otherwise). RM charging 8 'admin' for paying 4 worth of import duties and holding the item hostage is basically a demand for ransom. They should send an invoice for 4 to the customer and wait until its paid before releasing the item.
    • consumerwarrior
    • By consumerwarrior 13th Oct 18, 10:35 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    consumerwarrior
    I called their complaints department and was met by a very unsympathetic representative.
    Originally posted by Tarostar

    Theres no point in complaining to them. Just use the AsHappyAs method and get your money back after paying it.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 13th Oct 18, 11:36 AM
    • 34,104 Posts
    • 28,991 Thanks
    custardy
    You have misunderstood the contention. Nobody has complained about paying import duties such as VAT and excise. They're complaining about RM or Parcelforce charging excessive amounts to do it on their behalf when they have already paid for shipping (free or otherwise). RM charging 8 'admin' for paying 4 worth of import duties and holding the item hostage is basically a demand for ransom. They should send an invoice for 4 to the customer and wait until its paid before releasing the item.
    Originally posted by consumerwarrior
    Who is 'they'?
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 13th Oct 18, 11:52 AM
    • 6,694 Posts
    • 14,532 Thanks
    marliepanda
    You have misunderstood the contention. Nobody has complained about paying import duties such as VAT and excise. They're complaining about RM or Parcelforce charging excessive amounts to do it on their behalf when they have already paid for shipping (free or otherwise). RM charging 8 'admin' for paying 4 worth of import duties and holding the item hostage is basically a demand for ransom. They should send an invoice for 4 to the customer and wait until its paid before releasing the item.
    Originally posted by consumerwarrior
    So, who pays for the admin to produce the letter, and the postage to send it out? Who pays the overheads for the offices and the printers and the computers than run the service.

    Who pays the person who arranges payments to be made on customers behalf?

    Or do you think all these processes just happen for free?
    • Andy L
    • By Andy L 13th Oct 18, 11:58 AM
    • 9,194 Posts
    • 7,859 Thanks
    Andy L
    So, who pays for the admin to produce the letter, and the postage to send it out? Who pays the overheads for the offices and the printers and the computers than run the service.

    Who pays the person who arranges payments to be made on customers behalf?

    Or do you think all these processes just happen for free?
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    Is the correct answer "somebody other than me"
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 13th Oct 18, 1:30 PM
    • 5,551 Posts
    • 6,301 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    You are lucky it was RM, some other carriers charge a lot more.

    Importing stuff involves costs, if you fail to factor that in before ordering more fool you.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 13th Oct 18, 2:27 PM
    • 34,104 Posts
    • 28,991 Thanks
    custardy
    You are lucky it was RM, some other carriers charge a lot more.

    Importing stuff involves costs, if you fail to factor that in before ordering more fool you.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    This thread is 11 years old. Rms fee has been static throughout.
    Must be due and increase in time for all the brexit import fees
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 14th Oct 18, 7:12 PM
    • 9,180 Posts
    • 6,878 Thanks
    pmduk
    You have misunderstood the contention. Nobody has complained about paying import duties such as VAT and excise. They're complaining about RM or Parcelforce charging excessive amounts to do it on their behalf when they have already paid for shipping (free or otherwise). RM charging 8 'admin' for paying 4 worth of import duties and holding the item hostage is basically a demand for ransom. They should send an invoice for 4 to the customer and wait until its paid before releasing the item.
    Originally posted by consumerwarrior
    You haven't got a clue how much it costs to administer these sums. Why should the rest of us subsidise these transactions?
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