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Is UPS running a racket or what?????

Discussion in 'Canada Forum' started by johnnytwofingers, Nov 14, 2012.

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  1. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    So, I need to ship a package (a USPS box I had received while there) from the US back home to Canada, it's a 12" x 8" x 6" box, about the size of a shoebox, maybe 3 pounds of contents.

    I pop into the UPS store and say I need this shipped. They place the entire box into into a larger UPS box, weigh it, and measure it. Cheapest shipping rate is $45. Probably more than the value of the contents, but what the hell, suck it up and pay.

    10 days later it finally shows up, and I discover I now owe and additional $42 dollars, $34 of which is "customs brokerage fees", the rest being various taxes. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but packages sent via USPS also have to clear Canada customs do they not, and I've yet to have any additional charges for customs brokerage fees.

    It seems to me UPS is running a simply running a pseudo-service at the border, to which they can attach an enormous additional fee, without having to disclose it at the time of sale. Oh yes, I'm sure they have their asses covered legally by me having signed something with fine print noting there may be additional charges....but if additional (undisclosed) charges are going to be almost 100% of what I'm being charged for the entire shipping of the package, its seems a bit "dishonest" to not make note of that at the time of shipping.

    So, is this particular aspect of their business just a giant scam, or is there something legitimate here that I've missed?
     
  2. Tgoode

    Tgoode Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    Ontario
    Ups is probably the most expensive shipping method into Canada because of their brokerage fees. Best to avoid them altogether.
     
  3. Nubbie

    Nubbie Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 25, 2012
    Alberta Canada
    This is a little late, but next time you can follow these steps, used it a few times for car parts coming from the states.

    Ask the seller to write "self-clear" on the outside of the box so UPS knows your intent then track the box yourself
    If the box comes to your door anyway, reject it and get the tracking number
    Next go to the CBSA office and give them a copy of the invoice from the seller and the UPS tracking number
    CBSA will decide if it needs to inspect your package or release it without inspection and will calculate the tax or duty owed
    Take the receipt to the UPS warehouse and claim your package.
    For more information call the CBSA Customs D Memoranda office at 1-800-461-9999 of visit their website.


    It can drop the fees from the $45 mark to $1.47. Not door to door service but takes the bite out of hidden shipping costs.
     
  4. dredd0606

    dredd0606 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    NEVER SHIP VIA UPS! They will bend you over, lube you up, and have their way with you. I have had $7 items be assessed $39 in customs/duty/brokerage fees!

    The worst thing though is when they blatantly lie to you about calling you to find out who you want to broker! I run a business in Lethbridge, and I import items into Canada from the US, China, and Japan all the time. UPS is soooo bad that if a business ships exclusively via UPS, I simply will not do business with them. I would prefer to pay quite a bit more for a better shipping option.

    If you are importing from the US, use ONLY USPS. They're fast, cheap, and the brokerage fees are reasonable, and the duty is fairly calculated.

    Regards,

    Dredd
     
  5. Qcaj

    Qcaj Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Calgary
    A few years ago I did all my Christmas shopping at Thinkgeek. At the time, the only available option was UPS (no DHL in the town I was living in).
    $500 order. $120 to ship. Then I was slammed with $250 in brokerage fees (in addition to the $60 or so customs/duty). Never again. >:[


    That story wasn't really related to anything other than to say "I know that feel, bro."
     
  6. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks for the tip.

    > It can drop the fees from the $45 mark to $1.47.

    So do I read this to mean the actual mandatory CBSA charges are $1.47, but UPS's "enhanced" service turns that into ~$40? There's obviously something funny going on when they can profitably transport a package thousands of miles for $x, but then it somehow costs almost another $x to pass it through customs.

    If they had at least been honest about it I wouldn't be so choked. The bad part is, I have another package coming via UPS from the US, and yet another one coming in from China, but that is via DHL. Anyone know if they screw you as bad as UPS?
     
  7. Qcaj

    Qcaj Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Calgary
    DHL has brokerage fees, but IIRC they cap at something like $15-$20 for orders under a certain amount with no special requirements (like refrigeration).
     
  8. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks...I can't hold all these feels right now alone.
     
  9. Mindfield

    Mindfield Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    This is why I never, ever, ever ship, or request shipping via UPS. Brokerage fees are freaking absurd. They charge you the fee though because they use a customs brokerage company to have the package cleared, and the brokerage fee includes both duty on the value, plus the $5 customs fee, plus the fee from the brokerage company, plus whatever UPS's profit margin on that is.

    It's stupid. At least with USPS you may get hit with customs fees, but at least then you don't pay brokerage -- and changes are better you won't get slapped with customs, especially if the declared value is relatively low. (Under $20 is exempt from duty.)
     
  10. denali_41

    denali_41 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
    Over Der
    both UPS and FED-EX do that when shipping a package out of the US .it actually gets it thru customs a lot faster
     
  11. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Usually it takes 14 days to get a package from the US via USPS, this one took 10 days. So they're not doing that much better.
     
  12. Jables

    Jables Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    That's like 30% faster! :p
     
  13. Nubbie

    Nubbie Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 25, 2012
    Alberta Canada

    Yea that's about right, mine went from $32 something to $1.47 for tax and duty and all of the locations I have to stop by was on the way home so not a big deal. No idea where the locations are in Vancouver so I'm not sure if it's worth all the driving around to get it done.


    Here is a story from CTV on the scam they are running.

    Beating cross border brokerage fees | CTV Calgary News

    Enjoy.
     
  14. denali_41

    denali_41 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
    Over Der

    oh dam,,with fed-ex or dhl i can get a pack from alaska to anywhere in asia in about 5 days tops
     
  15. Battlelance

    Battlelance Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    NB, Canada
    And FedEx Express is brokerage included, so if using fedex to ship from the states, make sure you pick express. It isn't that expensive and no hidden fees, except duty if applicable.
     
  16. dredd0606

    dredd0606 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    Better still, if you live close to the border, have your stuff shipped to a friendly warehouse that will hold packages for you for a price. There is one at the Sweetgrass MT crossing into AB that charges $0.25 per day to hold your package, and since it's in the US, the shipping charges are reduced to nothing most of the time. Anything that is made in the USA is duty free, and you only pay GST. I would strongly recommend taking a copy of your invoice with you so you can prove value to the CBSA guards, lately they have been a little high on their value estimations.

    Dredd
     
  17. fourtytwo

    fourtytwo Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Toronto
    Some carriers (like UPS) like to charge all kinds of extra fees at the recipients end to make the cost of shipping more attractive for the company selling the goods. Lots of info on this problem if you just Google "UPS brokerage fees".
    I will never buy anyting from a vendor that only has UPS as a shipping method.
    USPS/Canada Post only charges $5 brokerage and often doesn't even do that.
     
  18. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada

    Excellent article, thanks Nubbie. To me, this is yet another example of how the existence of corporations in a society contribute to moral decay of your culture. I think you'd be hard pressed to find many examples of this type of dishonest and deceptive behavior (especially to the degree of calling the RCMP and pressing charges) undertaken by business run by individuals, as opposed to corporations. Corporations remove all ethics and morality from decision making, and all that is left in the equation is money.
     
  19. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Another update on the gongshow that is UPS.

    My second package, shipped the very next day from the exact same location to the exact same location as the prior package, somehow got assigned the status: "Receiver assigned clearance to non-UPS broker. Shipment is remaining in UPS control. / Shipment transferred to Free Trade Zone or alternate broker per customer request. "

    So, it has been sitting in limbo in a warehouse somewhere for 3 days - no email, no phone call, nothing. And definitely no apology.

    So basically, in this case, I've paid WAY more for UPS shipping, gotten WORSE service than USPS (who wouldn't have stuck it into a warehouse somewhere indefinitely), have to pay the ridiculous clearance fee, and get no recourse or compensation when something like this goes wrong.
     
  20. BrianCig

    BrianCig Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 30, 2012
    Canada
    I do that sometimes. Most often they just let me through if the value isn't too high.

    Any idea what the duty would be if the product was made in China but you ordered it from the US?

    I can't seem to figure out the answer to that. Duty would have already been paid when it entered the US I would think but I could be wrong.
     
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