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Help, I'm being stalked by the post office!

Earlier today I tweeted:

How can the Royal Mail want to charge me £12 customs on a $15 t-shirt? Quickly losing support for them. Grr.

Within ten minutes, I got a reply from @RoyalMailCares, saying:

we're not charging you £12 customs. HM Customs decide what and who to charge. Plus our £8 fee for dealing with HMRC on your behalf

As it happens, I knew that. It's the £8 per parcel for "dealing with HMRC" (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, for those of you unfamiliar with our archaic British institutions) that I actually object to, rather than the relatively small customs fee on low-value items, but it's difficult to fit such niceties into 140 characters.

And anyway...what the hell?! Am I going to get Daily Mail employees coming round to contradict me every time I slag them off? Met office employees every time I complain that the weather forecast is wrong? Surely they have better things to do.

The profile says "Unofficial Royal Mail Twitter", so it looks like they're a random employee who have started trying to help the company's reputation by defending them when they see them being maligned on Twitter. I expect to see them in the news soon, though, since their last reply to someone today was:

yup, just like all our customers are lying twats

I mean, the person had said that Royal Mail were thieving c*nts, but I suspect that isn't the officially mandated way to reply...



( 10 comments — Comment )
Mar. 10th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
You might want to join royalmailsucks.
Mar. 10th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
How can the Royal Mail want to charge me £12 customs on a $15 t-shirt?

The same way DHL charge £18 "admin fee" for dealing with HMRC and UPS charge £23 "admin fee for same. They do it because they can. Disgustingly, last time I had customs due on a parcel shipped through USPS and thus Royal Mail at this side, I had a £15 "admin fee" for the privilege of paying the customs charge (just over £9) online and not taking up very much of their resources At All. Bastards.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Eek. So, Royal Mail: still better than the alternative. That's depressing.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Ohyes! And the latest fun with US shipping I've had resulted in worse than useless customer support from USPS, followed by absolutely stellar service from Parcelforce who were on the UK side of the same transaction. So I wanted to leave feedback on their website to say thanks... oddly enough there were only forms available to make a complaint. The poor dear on customer service complaints that day must've died from shock ;o)

Does Parcelforce count as being part of Royal Mail still? I can't keep up with it all.
Mar. 10th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
I spent a little while outraged by the £8 charge, but Royal Mail will say that that reflects the true cost of providing the service, and while £8 might be a bit high, it's certainly not out of the ballpark. And I do, I think, believe that we should pay the actual price of postal services, especially on things like imports.

Memo for the future; buy goods from the EU, or count the likely customs plus handling charges.

However. If the value of the goods is less than £18 (you have to count US tax and shipping in that total), you shouldn't be paying anything, and you can get the charges back.

My experience is that about half the customs-able packages I buy get through without customs charges.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Mmm, I suppose I hadn't thought it through - it must involve money transfers and things rather than just "here's some parcels with the customs amount on them, please send out little cards." And yeah, we should probably pay the real price of postal services...I'm just used to free delivery on everything these days!

Someone else told me about the £18 limit too, so I guess either they're wrong and I'll be able to claim it back, or I'm wrong about what's in the parcel - it's just the only thing I remember ordering from the US recently.
Mar. 10th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
I now have an urge to bait the Royal Mail on Twitter. Should probably find something more productive to do today.
Mar. 10th, 2009 08:30 am (UTC)
I thought there was a lower limit for customs on goods -- is it below $15?
And is there any way to deal with HMRC direct? I suspect not, in which case it's not really fair to charge for them having to do it.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah...apparently it's £18, which means either they've fucked up or I'm wrong about what's in the parcel. Heh.

It does feel kind of unfair, but I suppose there are costs involved. I just wish you could see them at the outset.
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of getting some t-shirts from some US sites but I may pass on that for now.
( 10 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
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