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This is more of a shipping issue, but it is related to a concertina....

 

A friend of mine is about to celebrate his 60th birthday, and his wife wants to give him a surprise present.

 

She asked me to buy on her behalf a high-end concertina from Ireland. The concertina has been on her husband's wish list for quite some time. She couldn't order it herself because the charge would show up in the credit card bill. The man would see it and that would spoil the surprise.

 

So I ordered the concertina for her. The seller is very accommodating. He customized the concertina, and shipped promptly.

 

But here is where the nice part of the story ended. The next part is better told by the tracking data from UPS website, in chronological order (I trimmed off the insignificant parts):

 

08/27/2020 12:46 P.M.     Dublin, Ireland    Pickup Scan

08/27/2020 6:10 P.M.    Dublin, Ireland    Origin Scan

.....

08/28/2020 12:10 A.M.    Koeln, Germany    Arrived at Facility

08/29/2020 2:02 A.M.    Koeln, Germany    Departed from Facility

08/29/2020 3:40 A.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Arrived at Facility

08/30/2020 9:31 A.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Import Scan 

08/31/2020 11:33 P.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Import Scan 

09/01/2020 10:58 P.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Import Scan 

09/02/2020 11:25 P.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Import Scan 

09/03/2020 11:17 P.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Import Scan 

09/04/2020 6:23 P.M.    -    A valid ID # (tax, personal, deferment) required for clearance is missing. ....

09/05/2020 12:37 A.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Import Scan 

Cleared Customs    09/05/2020 10:54 A.M.     -    Your package was released by the customs agency. 

09/05/2020 12:19 P.M.    Louisville, KY, United States    Departed from Facility 

09/05/2020 7:17 P.M.    Buffalo, NY, United States    Arrived at Facility 

09/06/2020 4:24 P.M.    Mount Hope, ON, Canada    Arrived at Facility 

09/07/2020 11:28 P.M.    Buffalo, NY, United States    Departed from Facility 

09/08/2020 4:10 A.M.    -    Duties or taxes are due on this package. 

09/08/2020 4:10 A.M.    -    Import C.O.D. charges are due for this package. Select Pay Now. 

09/08/2020 7:28 A.M.    -    Your package is being processed at the clearance agency. / Delivery will be rescheduled.

09/08/2020 7:28 A.M.    Mount Hope, ON, Canada    Warehouse Scan 

09/09/2020 3:40 A.M.    Mount Hope, ON, Canada    Warehouse Scan 

09/09/2020 8:45 P.M.    Mount Hope, ON, Canada    Export Scan 

09/09/2020 11:00 P.M.     -    Severe weather conditions have delayed delivery. 

 

Notes:

- From Aug. 30 to  Sep. 05, the package was stuck in Louisville, KY, with the status "Import Scan," which according to UPS, means "The shipment has cleared import procedures in the receiving country."

- The destination is CA, USA, yet the package took a scenic route Louisville, KY, USA -> Buffalo, NY, USA -> Mount Hope, ON, Canada -> Buffalo, NY, USA -> Mount Hope, ON, Canada, and got stuck in Mount Hope, ON, Canada.

- Everyday since Aug. 29 after the package allegedly arrived in Louisville, KY, the "Scheduled Delivery" on UPS website was "by 10:30 AM of the next day" (e.g. on Sep. 01, the scheduled delivery would be by 10:30 AM Sep. 02). That was until today when they claimed "Severe weather conditions have delayed delivery." I checked the weather in Mount Hope, ON, Canada, there were no severe weather conditions (73°/48° light drizzle).

- I called UPS a few times, and was given conflicting answers by different people. Now UPS wants me to pay about $200 "Import Fees," which according to UPS, are included in the original UPS Express shipping charge already paid for by the shipper. I refused to do so. No matter how much I pushed, they wouldn't tell me why the concertina was imported to and then exported from Mount Hope, ON, Canada ( I kwow that "import fees" is a Canada thing, not a USA thing).

 

I have a feeling the saga will continue....

 

Please wish me (and the wife of the birthday boy) luck. We need it!

Edited by pentaprism
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Some observations based on recent personal experience, given your Tracking Data.

 

Re. the daily update at Louisville, I had this with a US/Uk (incoming ) parcel recently, it was a 'default' for "it is still in the pile waiting to be processed by Customs" at Heathrow.  Eventually it moved and was updated as 'cleared customs', like yours.  They basically said it was C-19 working practice related due to reduced staff/distancing. 

 

It almost looks as if '2' histories have the been created, ie. it arrived in Canada before it left Buffalo !  but assuming it has gone to Canada and that there is a delay in transit due to weather, may it be that it is not bad weather in Canada and that the plane can not fly too / over CA because of the fires ? They may have explained that away via the "weather conditions", again, as a "default" code ? ie. bad weather where it is now going rather than where it is coming from ? air space restrictions etc ? 

That might explain why it was routed through Canada in the first instance to get to California, or that someone read CAnada for CAalifornia ? and misdirected it.  

The suggested Canadian customs charge may have been caused by the same lack of 'logic' on the part of the handler until realised it was in transit?

 

Good luck with the birthday and can we start a campaign to get dates written properly so they read down the first column more readily ( 10/09/2020 ? )   

 

NB I have an ongoing internal Uk claim with UPS who - despite their secure looking vans - are treating me like an idiot and FedEx were brilliant & fast on two recent outgoing postings to 'North America', albeit, it's a bit late to know.

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Some time ago I had a parcel coming from the US (to Ireland). It took all of two weeks to get out of California and after another two weeks scans completely ended, in Denver, It arrived, eventually, nine weeks after posting (it went with  USPS). Things have gone a bit chaotic with the pandemic, between shipping restrictions, the way people work and the huge volume of online buying going on.

At this end couriers are completely overworked (I am waiting on a parcel at the minute) resulting in delays, poor information and a degree of frustration on all sides.

 

That said, I received a package from China rewcently that had taken just over five months so you're not doing to bad yet.

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1 hour ago, Peter Laban said:

 

At this end couriers are completely overworked (I am waiting on a parcel at the minute) resulting in delays, poor information and a degree of frustration on all sides.

 

 

Add damaged parcels to the list.  A candid conversation with a UPS driver revealed atrocious handling procedures at loading facilities (U.S.)

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4 hours ago, Sprunghub said:

FedEx were brilliant & fast on two recent outgoing postings to 'North America

I was the recipient of one of these Fedex postings and I fully concur with Springhub.  We also used Transferwise for the payment and that worked out very well too.

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11 hours ago, David Barnert said:

I’m afraid to ask: When is (was?) the birthday?

It’s a few weeks out, mid-October.

 

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1 hour ago, pentaprism said:
12 hours ago, David Barnert said:

I’m afraid to ask: When is (was?) the birthday?

It’s a few weeks out, mid-October.

 

Let us know if he gets it in time.

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Look at it from the concertina's point of view. When it got the chance to leave the house where it had been confined for years,  it took advantage of the opportunity to travel and to see a bit of the world. When it gets tired, I'm sure it will come to its new home and settle down.

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On 9/10/2020 at 12:59 AM, pentaprism said:

Now UPS wants me to pay about $200 "Import Fees," which according to UPS, are included in the original UPS Express shipping charge already paid for by the shipper. I refused to do so. No matter how much I pushed, they wouldn't tell me why the concertina was imported to and then exported from Mount Hope, ON, Canada ( I kwow that "import fees" is a Canada thing, not a USA thing).

Can you find out what they mean by "Import Fees"? 

 

If it is Canadian HST ( a VAT-like sales tax and not an import duty) then you will probably have no choice but to pay. 

 

If they claim it is duty then tell them that this is a "Musical Istrument - Small Accordion (wind)" with a "Harmonized System Code of 9205.90.10.90" and that is duty free (but not HST-free).

 

If it is some bullshit handling fee that they want to add then you have to decide how much you want to fight it with lawyers.

 

Added later:

 

Sorry, I misread your post (my fault) as you were trying to import the concertina into Canada when you are actually trying to import it in to California.  The information I posted above is irrelevant and only applies to imports into Canada.  So not HST and probably not duty either.

Edited by Don Taylor

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We need a tracking update from the OP !  I can't believe they expect a customs payment ( or other tax ) on an item "In Transit" through Canada and not destined to stay in the country.  It probably got 'pinged' there by default as it was in Handling on a re-route to avoid the flames up the west coast of the States?     Stuff has been being transited via Japan and 'all over' since C-19 broke out, to get from A - B.  Fingers crossed it is there or close.......

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I finally gave up and paid $200 to UPS to get the concertina.  If I wanted to challenge that, I'd have to fight with UPS Billing Department and I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. Over my friend’s objection, I contributed the payment as my birthday gift to her husband (I'll also find something for his "proper" birthday). That's a big chunk of changes, but I figured I wouldn't be any poorer or richer for $200.

 

We finally received the concertina. It is good, but has some very minor issues. The seller said he would take care of it.

 

Note that this was not the seller's fault. He was just as frustrated as we were. He told me it would be OK if I wanted to cancel the whole thing, and offered some compensation for the trouble. But I didn't take any of that. I didn't want him to pay for someone else's fault.

 

Thank you all for your thoughts.

 

>> can we start a campaign to get dates written properly so they read down the first column more readily

 

Yes. My choice is YYYYMMDDHHMMSS (e.g. 20200914110532 for Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:05:32 AM).

Edited by pentaprism

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21 hours ago, pentaprism said:

>> can we start a campaign to get dates written properly so they read down the first column more readily

 

 

Yes. My choice is YYYYMMDDHHMMSS (e.g. 20200914110532 for Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:05:32 AM).

 

Well, that's the american way, which is obviously wrong 😀, but I can see the logic in it. Obviously the UK way  (DD/MM/YYYY) is the correct way😀😀😀. The UPS way just seems a crazy hybrid of the two!

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7 minutes ago, Clive Thorne said:

Well, that's the american way, which is obviously wrong 😀, but I can see the logic in it. Obviously the UK way  (DD/MM/YYYY) is the correct way😀😀😀. The UPS way just seems a crazy hybrid of the two!

 

It's actually one of the variants of the international standard date format (ISO 8601).

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23 hours ago, pentaprism said:

Yes. My choice is YYYYMMDDHHMMSS (e.g. 20200914110532 for Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:05:32 AM).

Good call! Apropos nothing at all, it also provides a 'unique' integer as a seed for random number generators

which is nice if you are a programmer - as long as your system can handle long integers that is - been doing it

since 19800104090000...

 

Not a happy story though. I've had the same problem with clothing (from the U.S.), and more recently a chess

set (from Japan). I feel for the OP - very, very frustrating!

 

I'm very reluctant to trust a concertina even to domestic mail/carrier - which is a pain as I have at least one

which needs tuning, and the nearest fettler is 3 days camel ride away...

Edited by The Crimson Avenger

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On 9/10/2020 at 7:48 AM, alex_holden said:

International shipping can be a nightmare.

 

Indeed it can, I received some case hinges today - which I'd ordered from China five months ago (to the day)! 🙄

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Indeed it can, I received some case hinges today - which I'd ordered from China five months ago (to the day)!

 

 

 It can vary wildly though, depending on the mode of transport offered. Some items I ordered from China during february and march did take five months, apparently shipped to Europe in a sea container and then posted inEuropean countries (one parcel was eventually posted in Schiedam in the Netherlands, of all places). On the other hand, I ordered two apple picking devices last Sunday week after finding the one I had had deteriorated to a state of near uselessness. I ordered two, as they were only €6 with free postage. I didn't hold out hopes and thought they'd be great for next year's apple harvest but they were stuck on a plane, with accurate tracking provided, and they entered the Irish postal system yesterday. Waiting for them to arrive today. Which is a faster delivery from China than Ebay's Global shipping programme can manage (at an extortionate cost) from England.

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