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spot
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Post by spot »

Hi Fedex.

Thank you for your Invoice 384160161 relating to one "plastic piano lamp" from Hong Kong which arrived last week.

The customs due is £4.16, your admin charge with VAT comes to £12.

Fedex has done this to me before, slapping an admin charge double the customs charge on a delivery. I will not pay your admin fee as a matter of principle. I am not your customer.

Do you have a flag on your system that will prevent FedEx from ever picking up a delivery with my address on it? Because I have no desire to have anything to do with your firm or your system, I do not want to have to go through this rigmarole again. Blacklist me, mark me as undesirable, stop trying to charge me admin fees. Refuse to pick up whatever consignment is offered for delivery to me.

I will make online payment to your bank for £4.16, that being what I owe HMRC for this import. I have no problem at all with paying Customs duty. If you want to charge HMRC an admin fee then do that instead, they may well be indebted to you for your work on their behalf. I am definitely not. If I ever actually see your driver instead of just finding parcels outside my front door I'll refuse to accept delivery, as I would have with this plastic part, and you can either return the item to your actual customer marked "refused to pay Fedex admin charge" or use it as landfill.

This practice is a disgrace.

Yours faithfully,

John.
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Bruv
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Post by Bruv »

Plastic piano lamp ?

I see you as a brass piano lamp sort of fellow.
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Post by LarsMac »

I've never heard of such a thing.

Nor have I heard of FedEx ever charging additional fees to the receiver.
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spot
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Post by spot »

LarsMac;1515607 wrote: Nor have I heard of FedEx ever charging additional fees to the receiver.It's what rogue American capitalists do to foreigners, presumably.

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spot
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Post by spot »

Bruv;1515606 wrote: Plastic piano lamp ?

I see you as a brass piano lamp sort of fellow.


It does slightly more than just illuminate the keyboard.

I have a burning ambition to play Litolff's Scherzo in the style of Moura Lympany but my talent isn't up to the job. The piano lamp has a USB port and (given a suitable MIDI app) lights up the next keys to press. My hope is that I learn the fingering that way, mere sight reading has got me nowhere with it.

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Post by Bruv »

spot;1515609 wrote: It does slightly more than just illuminate the keyboard.

I have a burning ambition to play Litolff's Scherzo in the style of Moura Lympany but my talent isn't up to the job. The piano lamp has a USB port and (given a suitable MIDI app) lights up the next keys to press. My hope is that I learn the fingering that way, mere sight reading has got me nowhere with it.




But that's cheating.
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spot
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Post by spot »

Bruv;1515610 wrote: But that's cheating.


I do hope so, yes. I'm encouraged by the story of Milo of Croton.
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1515611 wrote: I do hope so, yes. I'm encouraged by the story of Milo of Croton.


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Post by magentaflame »

Bruv;1515606 wrote: Plastic piano lamp ?

I see you as a brass piano lamp sort of fellow.


I just had an image go through my head of spot in a red sexy dress splayed across a grand piano illuminated by the light of a plastic piano lamp.

I thought candles more your style.
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Post by spot »

Incoming email... Good Afternoon Mr Harris

I am emailing following your feedback to FedEx regarding Duty & Tax invoice 384160161 which you have received.

I was sorry to learn that you have cause to be disappointed with any aspect of our service as it is our commitment to deal with every query we receive in a professional expedient manner and I apologise for the inconvenience caused to all parties by this incident.

I can clarify that the advancement fee of £12.00 you were querying, is the only part of the charges which is purely a FedEx fee and is levied to cover the costs of the Customs clearance administration. The fee is charged at 2.5% of the Duty & VAT levied by HM Revenue & Customs with a minimum charge of £12.

Any monies due on a package are paid in advance by FedEx as HM Revenue & Customs will only accept payment through a deferment. Unless you have your own deferment or you employ your own agent FedEx will pay these charges then seek reimbursement from yourself the receiver of the goods.

I do however appreciate that you were not aware of our Advancement fee & that this was clearly unexpected so the £12 fee levied has been cancelled. In addition, I have arranged for all future imports to you to be held prior to Customs clearance and for yourself to be contacted so that you can decide if you wish to pay the Customs charges & Advancement fee or if you wish for the shipment to be returned to the sender, thus avoiding any unexpected invoices.

Another option you may wish to consider if you do change your mind & wish to import regularly into the UK, is to open up a FedEx account linked to your Credit Card, as one of the many benefits to this type of FedEx account is that you will not be charged for our Advancement fees on imports. If you are interested you would just need to register your interest online at:

Open a FedEx account - FedEx | United Kingdom

Again, thank you for your valuable feedback.

Kind Regards

*Clare Billingham*

CFS Representative Senior Ireland & UK

FedEx Express Europe.

Tel : 00 44 2476 835886

Email clare.billingham@fedex.com

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Post by spot »

And a reply...Thank you for the detailed response, and for arranging that I can request all items shipped by FedEx to be returned to sender if any future admin charge is referred to me by FedEx for payment.

I was fully aware of your Advancement fee, it was not unexpected, I've been stung by it before. What I am never aware of is the supplier's choice of Fedex as delivery agent when making a foreign purchase. Were I aware of that choice I would never place an order on that basis.

I have one follow-up question based on what you've written here.

Given that the cost to you of your administration function is fixed, regardless of the amount involved, since it's all computer-generated and automatically reconciled against your bank transactions, how do you justify charging an admin fee based on the amount of customs duty being collected?

It is my opinion that this administrative fee is a source of profit to FedEx rather than covering the cost to FedEx of administering its Customs Duty collection. Please tell me whether there is any oversight system in the UK which can discover whether this is the case or not, with power to order you to stop if they find it is. Is there an Ombudsman for your industry? If there is, how may I contact that office?

John.
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Post by Ahso! »

Get em, Spot!
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Post by FourPart »

You should try this little book. It's a very simple technique & most instructive. I had a copy years ago.



It has a tear out strip, with tabs you place at the end of the keys, showing you which keys to play for the basic chords, and which 'Anchor' note to hold while the other ones move in order to play a chord succession. There are several books in the series.
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Post by spot »

I'll report back on how I get on with it, that's a very helpful suggestion.
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Post by FourPart »

Example:

G, C, E = Chord C.

Anchor C & shift others up 1 = A, C, F = Chord F

Anchor F & shift others down = G, B, F = Chord G7 (without the D).

Anchor G & shift others in to return to original G, C, E = Chord C.

The same basic pattern can be used in different keys, then, once you get more used to them you can improvise more.
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Post by minks »

Wow I am impressed Fed Ex even responded to you.

I have to wonder what the admin fee is really for.

I am not familiar with customs and duty over the pond, but I can tell you here it can be a living bloody nightmare.

Admin fee's here is a catch all for any time a customs broker has to lift a pencil, or touch a keyboard
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spot
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Post by spot »

The initial reply did, astonishingly, offer a solution: "open up a FedEx account linked to your Credit Card, as one of the many benefits to this type of FedEx account is that you will not be charged for our Advancement fees on imports". I'll give it a try and report back in a few months. When a foreign purchase next uses FedEx and is stopped by Customs will be pretty random but at that stage I'll be invoiced. After looking closely at the online FedEx knowledgebase I've found no reference to this mechanism.

This is the final response - I note it doesn't deny that FedEx might profit from the fee:

Good Afternoon Mr Harris

Thank your reply.

I can confirm that FedEx made the decision to implement the Advancement fee several years ago to cover the costs incurred in the Customs clearance administration completed on shipments, which regrettably are not tasks which can all be automatically computer generated.

I want to assure you that when reviewing our Advancement Fee, we do ensure that we remain competitive with other companies.

There is currently no ombudsman for the industry however, HM Revenue & Customs do publish information regarding Advancement / Handling charges levied by firms such as FedEx & the Royal Mail detailed in HM Revenue & Customs notice 143 section 3.5 listed below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... post-users



" 3.5 Why do I have to pay a handling fee to Royal Mail?

If customs charges are payable upon importation, Royal Mail will charge a handling fee to cover the costs for carrying out customs procedures, which includes paying any customs duties or VAT due and collecting it from you. If customs examination is required, or if information is missing from the declaration, Royal Mail open, repack and reseal the package. All international courier and postal operators charge fees for their services and HMRC and Border Force doesn't have any authority over the level of charges they apply.

Note that if there is no duty and/or tax to pay, you won't be charged a handling fee."

Kind Regards

Clare Billingham

CFS Representative Senior Ireland & UK

FedEx Express Europe.



Tel : 00 44 2476 835886

Email clare.billingham@fedex.com

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Post by Clodhopper »

I note it doesn't deny that FedEx might profit from the fee


Agreed. Just says they are competitive and there's no industry regulator which I take as an admission though I don't know if a law court would.

Have to admire the skilled evasion of Ms Billingham though. Smooooooth as you like.
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Post by spot »

She appears to agree with me that the fee is unfair. She starts "I was sorry to learn that you have cause to be disappointed", not that she was merely sorry to learn I was disappointed. She acknowledges in her first sentence that I have, objectively, cause to be.

From all I've seen, Ms Billingham is on my side in this instance and perhaps she's sufficiently far up the management structure to bring it to the attention of decision-makers. Maybe her good advice might end up on the small print of their Customs invoices to non-account holders.
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Post by Betty Boop »

Balls is she on your side she's done a course on appeasing customers. You read far too much into her written word.
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Post by spot »

Hush! She might come and see the thread.

If her proffered solution works then she's a worker of miracles.
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Post by magentaflame »

Her names' not really Ms Billingham is it?
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