First of all, beat UPS at this game and try this: http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/home/courierfees/steps.html
Recommend this product?
Now for the rest of the story. :)
I auctioned off 2 identical SCSI hard drives on eBay. Bids closed at $50 each on 15Apr06 over Easter Weekend. Both buyers happened to have been from Canada. One buyer chose United States Postal Service ("USPS") and the other chose United Parcel $ervice ("UP$"). Packages were 3lbs each and shipped from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA). Ebay Item 8793633251 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8793633251)
Decide for yourself which was the better solution. Here are the details for shipping and handling:
Buyer 1 via USPS Economy Parcel Post: $17.00
Tracking no. CP082405398US
1. 18Apr06 at 4:30pm CST: shipped
2. 20Apr05 at 10:41pm LOCAL: Arrived
2 TOTAL STEPS
TOTAL S/H COST: $17.00
TIME IN TRANSIT: 3 days
DISTANCE: 1614 miles
Buyer 2 via UP$ $tandard to Canada: $13.13
Tracking no. 1Z18F06Y6895027417
1. 18Apr06 at 4:30pm CST: package shipped with pre-paid label (no mention at all of any additional duties, taxes or "brokerage fees")
2. 18Apr06 at 11:53pm CST: received e-mail from buyer indicating that tracking shows "Exception" for shipping status
3. 19Apr06 at 9:11am CST: Received a voicemail message from the local UP$ office indicating status: "THE COMMERCIAL INVOICE IS MISSING AND IS REQUIRED FOR EXPORT"
4. 19Apr06 at 11:10am CST: I called and spoke with local UPS office to verify, asking why it's any of their darn business (again, conveniently no mention of any additional or impending COD charges).
5. 19Apr06 at 11:29am CST: I fax a signed copy of the invoice to UP$
6. 19Apr06 at 11:45am CST: I called to verify the fax was received and sufficient (again, no mention of more charges)
7. 20Apr06 at 9:32pm CST: package finally leaves local UP$ office
8. 24Apr06 at 11:50am: package appears to arrive in Canada
9. 25Apr06 at 12:03am: package appears to clear customs
10. 25Apr06 at 4:11pm: I receive an e-mail from an irate buyer because COD fees of $42.64 are required before the package can be accepted
11. 25Apr06 at 11:00pm: I spend about 30 minutes calling around between UP$ in America and Canada to get to the bottom of this. Long story short, taxes are $8.65 and
"Brokerage Fee" is $33.99, payable COD by recipient. I'm also advised that if I had prepaid these fees, I would have been assessed an additional "domicile fee" of $15.00! Also, if package is returned to sender, fees still apply. ** HIJACK!! **
12. 26Apr06: UP$ IS GOING TO GET A BARRAGE OF CALLS FROM ME!!
12 TOTAL STEPS (AND MAYBE MORE)
TOTAL S/H COST: $55.77
TIME IN TRANSIT: 7 days
DISTANCE: 965 miles
If you have not yet decided which was the better shipping method by now, let me make a few points:
* UP$ cost $38.77 more than USPS
* UP$ took more time to deliver the package over a shorter distance
* UP$ had ample opportunity to disclose the extra fees that would be imposed via COD, but did not (not when I pre-paid for the shipping label, not when the local UP$ office contacted me or when I contacted them). If these fees were in fact disclosed, it most definitely was not clear.
NOW MY OWN OPINIONS ON UP$ DELIVERY TO CANADA:
** RIP-OFF! **
** SCAM! **
** HASSLE! **
** PACKAGE HIJACKING! **
I've read many of the other opinions here and while some of the comments produced a chuckle here and there (especially one of the "Pro" comments indicating that this could "make a good prank"), I still feel like a total sucker. Geeze, I've used UPS before, but never would've thought something this bad could even be legal.
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