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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.
Page 36
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 12th Oct 18, 7:44 PM
    • 5,584 Posts
    • 4,244 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
    • 34,142 Posts
    • 29,020 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
    • 6,896 Posts
    • 15,040 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
    • 9,354 Posts
    • 8,090 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
    • 5,682 Posts
    • 6,477 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
    • 34,142 Posts
    • 29,020 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
    • 9,571 Posts
    • 7,220 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?
    • Nataly17
    • By Nataly17 3rd Nov 18, 9:53 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nataly17
    2nd time when i get this ridiculous ransom request from Royal Fail (I've got a card which demands £11.01, from those £8 solely for RM benefit).

    And this will be the last one.

    After previous time I decided to avoid anything with RM as a carrier and was diligently following this rule. Because more decent carriers (e.g. DHL) don't require that much and don't need this process of printing the cards and bringing them personally. You just get a link via email and pay online. Either RM has severely outdated&expensive processes (not my problem) or RM make money that way (not to be supported).

    This time, unfortunately, another vendor used Royal Fail as a local vendor.

    So since that moment I won't buy ANYTHING abroad which won't be delivered by a more decent carrier from one point to another. Yes DHL is more expensive, but they ship fast, they insure your package, you have a decent tracking. At least with the decent carrier you pay for the service and not for i-don't-know-what!

    And "if you are so greedy, go to the Customs yourself" is NOT a justification. Carrier gets money for delivering stuff door to door. So it's carrier duty to have decent processes, not to make the customer face the dilemma of "maybe this stuff should be just shipped back because the whole idea of paying that much for HANDLING is ridiculous"
    • Rainbowgirl84
    • By Rainbowgirl84 3rd Nov 18, 10:30 PM
    • 625 Posts
    • 1,018 Thanks
    Rainbowgirl84
    2nd time when i get this ridiculous ransom request from Royal Fail (I've got a card which demands £11.01, from those £8 solely for RM benefit).

    And this will be the last one.

    After previous time I decided to avoid anything with RM as a carrier and was diligently following this rule. Because more decent carriers (e.g. DHL) don't require that much and don't need this process of printing the cards and bringing them personally. You just get a link via email and pay online. Either RM has severely outdated&expensive processes (not my problem) or RM make money that way (not to be supported).

    This time, unfortunately, another vendor used Royal Fail as a local vendor.

    So since that moment I won't buy ANYTHING abroad which won't be delivered by a more decent carrier from one point to another. Yes DHL is more expensive, but they ship fast, they insure your package, you have a decent tracking. At least with the decent carrier you pay for the service and not for i-don't-know-what!

    And "if you are so greedy, go to the Customs yourself" is NOT a justification. Carrier gets money for delivering stuff door to door. So it's carrier duty to have decent processes, not to make the customer face the dilemma of "maybe this stuff should be just shipped back because the whole idea of paying that much for HANDLING is ridiculous"
    Originally posted by Nataly17


    Any chance you can make the above coherent?
    • custardy
    • By custardy 4th Nov 18, 6:38 AM
    • 34,142 Posts
    • 29,020 Thanks
    custardy
    2nd time when i get this ridiculous ransom request from Royal Fail (I've got a card which demands £11.01, from those £8 solely for RM benefit).

    And this will be the last one.

    After previous time I decided to avoid anything with RM as a carrier and was diligently following this rule. Because more decent carriers (e.g. DHL) don't require that much and don't need this process of printing the cards and bringing them personally. You just get a link via email and pay online. Either RM has severely outdated&expensive processes (not my problem) or RM make money that way (not to be supported).
    Good luck with that

    This time, unfortunately, another vendor used Royal Fail as a local vendor.
    You mean all those companies queuing up to take on the UK mail system?
    I mean TNT saw it as such a great opportunity they dropped out after trying just a few cities.
    So since that moment I won't buy ANYTHING abroad which won't be delivered by a more decent carrier from one point to another. Yes DHL is more expensive, but they ship fast, they insure your package, you have a decent tracking. At least with the decent carrier you pay for the service and not for i-don't-know-what!
    So you are comparing a courier with a network where they know whats coming in vs RM with no control over what comes into its network?
    And "if you are so greedy, go to the Customs yourself" is NOT a justification. Carrier gets money for delivering stuff door to door.
    Yup, except paying customs isnt part of the delivery process. Is it?So it's carrier duty to have decent processes, not to make the customer face the dilemma of "maybe this stuff should be just shipped back because the whole idea of paying that much for HANDLING is ridiculous"
    Originally posted by Nataly17
    So,what did RM charge you in postage when you ordered from abroad?
    • soolin
    • By soolin 4th Nov 18, 8:32 AM
    • 61,177 Posts
    • 43,729 Thanks
    soolin
    2nd time when i get this ridiculous ransom request from Royal Fail (I've got a card which demands £11.01, from those £8 solely for RM benefit).

    And this will be the last one.

    After previous time I decided to avoid anything with RM as a carrier and was diligently following this rule. Because more decent carriers (e.g. DHL) don't require that much and don't need this process of printing the cards and bringing them personally. You just get a link via email and pay online. Either RM has severely outdated&expensive processes (not my problem) or RM make money that way (not to be supported).

    This time, unfortunately, another vendor used Royal Fail as a local vendor.

    So since that moment I won't buy ANYTHING abroad which won't be delivered by a more decent carrier from one point to another. Yes DHL is more expensive, but they ship fast, they insure your package, you have a decent tracking. At least with the decent carrier you pay for the service and not for i-don't-know-what!

    And "if you are so greedy, go to the Customs yourself" is NOT a justification. Carrier gets money for delivering stuff door to door. So it's carrier duty to have decent processes, not to make the customer face the dilemma of "maybe this stuff should be just shipped back because the whole idea of paying that much for HANDLING is ridiculous"
    Originally posted by Nataly17
    I can't entirely follow this post as it's a bit confusing, however good luck with DHL and other couriers, they have always charged me more than RM for sorting import out for me. My last DHL charge, on top of the HMRC costs was £12, compared to the £8 RM charge. It also took me a while to actually get my item as I had to phone DHL, on a payable line, wait for someone to be able to help- which I was surprised was not immediate, then wait a few days for delivery. With RM, I get a card, take it to my local RM depo, pay and get my package- much simpler.
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    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 4th Nov 18, 8:38 AM
    • 4,078 Posts
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    Fosterdog
    I can't entirely follow this post as it's a bit confusing, however good luck with DHL and other couriers, they have always charged me more than RM for sorting import out for me. My last DHL charge, on top of the HMRC costs was £12, compared to the £8 RM charge. It also took me a while to actually get my item as I had to phone DHL, on a payable line, wait for someone to be able to help- which I was surprised was not immediate, then wait a few days for delivery. With RM, I get a card, take it to my local RM depo, pay and get my package- much simpler.
    Originally posted by soolin
    To add to that with RM if I don't have time to go to the depot I pay online (it is one of their options) and then choose the most suitable date to have it delivered to my home, or I can choose an alternative address and have it delivered to work or my parents, basically whatever is most convenient for me. With other couriers, after paying you have no control over what day it will be delivered and cannot choose an alternative address. So unless you are someone who doesn't work and sits at home all day every day just hoping your delivery will arrive the RM service is actually far more convienient as well as being several pounds cheaper for the service.
    • Nataly17
    • By Nataly17 4th Nov 18, 2:24 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nataly17
    For me DHL is way more convenient.
    Though in general the idea of paying this handling fee is ridiculous.
    When the package arrives, it has all required information enclosed. When courier is demanding this handling fee, courier doesn't ask for an extra information. Only money.
    If all information is already in courier system, this means that all required forms may be produced automatically. And submitted to the customs automatically if customs system allows that. Where's the place for manual labor/efforts?
    And if customs system doesn't allow that, I don't understand how my taxes are being spent.
    • Nataly17
    • By Nataly17 4th Nov 18, 2:32 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nataly17
    Paying customs is 100% part of the delivery process.

    Courier company takes obligation to deliver door to door (or have you seen on any website "and we'll deliver your stuff to the customs at the airport"?).

    I don't want to hear the b-s that "it's not clear how much you'll have to pay when the package arrives so it's OK not to include this into delivery costs and then demand it" - that amount of money it's crystal clear, in accordance with the info on gov.uk; if you're a courier company, you ARE able to make a simple delivery costs calculator depending on costs of goods/delivery and country of export/import.

    About the rest, esp. "So you are comparing a courier with a network where they know whats coming in vs RM with no control over what comes into its network?", what do you mean by "no control", something falls from the sky? Very easy to make a system with checkpoints. If it hasn't been done, then it's courier system fail.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 4th Nov 18, 2:55 PM
    • 5,682 Posts
    • 6,477 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    Paying customs is 100% part of the delivery process.

    Courier company takes obligation to deliver door to door (or have you seen on any website "and we'll deliver your stuff to the customs at the airport"?).

    I don't want to hear the b-s that "it's not clear how much you'll have to pay when the package arrives so it's OK not to include this into delivery costs and then demand it" - that amount of money it's crystal clear, in accordance with the info on gov.uk; if you're a courier company, you ARE able to make a simple delivery costs calculator depending on costs of goods/delivery and country of export/import.

    About the rest, esp. "So you are comparing a courier with a network where they know whats coming in vs RM with no control over what comes into its network?", what do you mean by "no control", something falls from the sky? Very easy to make a system with checkpoints. If it hasn't been done, then it's courier system fail.
    Originally posted by Nataly17
    No, import duties and taxes are 100% the resopnsability of the importer, i.e you! Your fail not RM.

    RM are rarely the people the exporter has contracted with, they are just acting as agents once the items reach the U.k, so yes they have no clue what is coming in or itís value or the taxes to be paid.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 4th Nov 18, 2:57 PM
    • 34,142 Posts
    • 29,020 Thanks
    custardy
    Paying customs is 100% part of the delivery process.

    Courier company takes obligation to deliver door to door (or have you seen on any website "and we'll deliver your stuff to the customs at the airport"?).

    I don't want to hear the b-s that "it's not clear how much you'll have to pay when the package arrives so it's OK not to include this into delivery costs and then demand it" - that amount of money it's crystal clear, in accordance with the info on gov.uk; if you're a courier company, you ARE able to make a simple delivery costs calculator depending on costs of goods/delivery and country of export/import.

    About the rest, esp. "So you are comparing a courier with a network where they know whats coming in vs RM with no control over what comes into its network?", what do you mean by "no control", something falls from the sky? Very easy to make a system with checkpoints. If it hasn't been done, then it's courier system fail.
    Originally posted by Nataly17
    Checkpoints? In what country?
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 4th Nov 18, 3:09 PM
    • 4,078 Posts
    • 7,040 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    Paying customs is 100% part of the delivery process.

    Courier company takes obligation to deliver door to door (or have you seen on any website "and we'll deliver your stuff to the customs at the airport"?).

    I don't want to hear the b-s that "it's not clear how much you'll have to pay when the package arrives so it's OK not to include this into delivery costs and then demand it" - that amount of money it's crystal clear, in accordance with the info on gov.uk; if you're a courier company, you ARE able to make a simple delivery costs calculator depending on costs of goods/delivery and country of export/import.

    About the rest, esp. "So you are comparing a courier with a network where they know whats coming in vs RM with no control over what comes into its network?", what do you mean by "no control", something falls from the sky? Very easy to make a system with checkpoints. If it hasn't been done, then it's courier system fail.
    Originally posted by Nataly17
    If courier companies were to do it the way you are suggesting by pre calculating the costs they would have to charge every single person for every single package, considering only around 10% of all items/packages imported actually get checked in customs it would mean everyone is over paying 90% of the time. My brother orders more to be imported than I do and out of a couple of thousand pounds worth of goods with packages arriving on a fortnightly basis he gets each year he has only had to pay for tax, duty, and admin once or twice each year only costing him around £20 in admin fees and around the same in duty and tax. Doing it your way would cost him several hundred pounds a year. The courier doesn't know which packages are going to be checked and need clearance and which ones will pass through unnoticed.
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