Stung for import tax – Threadless Tees

Bummer. Seems to be a lottery for orders over £18 (£15 from November 2011) but on this order I got stung a whopping £20 charges! £8 of that is for post office handling.

While I completely understand why import tax exists I think there ought to be a pre-pay system to enable buyers to avoid an unnecessary handling charge. This handling charge is just a clear way of creaming money off a predictable expense. I, for one, would rather pay the tax upfront rather than get stung for it being some sort of surprise tax “pay us because we were inconvenienced when we found it” – its just silly and avoidable.

Arguments for pre-pay:

  • means you know the real cost of the product being ordered
  • speedier delivery as you don’t have to wait for the postoffice to
    • write to you
    • process and accept your payment for an un-described parcel
    • put your parcel back in the damn post
  • AND the post office dont have to
    • detect your post
    • store the parcel
    • label and calculate the tax (surely a manual process)
    • issue a bill (pay for its postage)
    • handle payments made against the tax
    • waste loads of ink and stickers saying “tax not paid” and subsequently “tax paid”
    • re-deliver your parcel

The arguments of not implementing a pre-pay system

  • cost of set up (post office/ tax office and bank would need to meet about it)
  • agreeing standards with payment gateways
  • shops MAY need to implement changes to their payment process (those how dont forfeit UK ‘pre-pay tax’ business)
  • loss of income – the post office would not be able to cream £8 per parcel

I have lost the energy or interest to type, this seemed like a good rant in the beginning, I am calming down now but that does not mean it is not all true. I still believe that shops like Threadless ought to offer clearer information about this Tax, my address is clearly a UK one and they do have the intelligence to detect my IP and change their header – “Yep we ship to the UK” BUT HOW MUCH and TAX are seemingly not important. Come on Threadless, its plain good design to offer a full set of info….

P.S. I still very much like Threadless Tees and their customer service, but the postage / tax issue will surprise and put off repeat business. Saying that, I will prob buy from them again…


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Stung for import tax – Threadless Tees

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