TONY HETHERINGTON: UPS mistakenly charged me import duties on a vintage watch I bought in Vienna
Tony Hetherington is the Financial Mail on Sunday’s star investigator, battling readers’ corners, revealing the truth behind closed doors and winning victories for those left penniless. Find out how to contact him below.
RN writes: I purchased an antique watch at an auction in Vienna and arranged for packaging and shipping via UPS.
You had complete shipping instructions in triplicate attached to the package, but out of ignorance or arrogance UPS made all three potential errors when calculating taxes and duties.
Tony Hetherington replies: NoDo you love it when it turns out that the customer knows more than the people who are paid to provide a service?
I know: I once fired a law firm who demanded all sorts of personal information from me, falsely claiming it was their legal duty under money laundering rules, to the point where it became clear that I knew better about those rules. that they.
Flight of Fancy: UPS Made All Three Potential Mistakes When Calculating Taxes and Duties
With you, UPS could hardly have picked a worse customer to shower with demands that were simply incorrect. The watch he bought was between 100 and 250 years old, so value added tax (VAT) should only be paid at 5 percent. UPS tried to charge him 20 percent.
There are no import duties on antiques of this type, but UPS imposed an import duty charge on your invoice. And UPS based its VAT calculation on the total invoice amount from the Vienna auction house. Instead, VAT should only be payable on the ‘hammer price’ (the €1,400 (about £1,200) you bid) and not on the additional buyer’s premium or Austrian VAT.
The result of all this was that when the UPS driver turned up at his door, he demanded £321. The correct amount should have been £82, and that would have included the £12 UPS dispatch fee. You refused to pay.
And why do I say that UPS chose the wrong customer to overcharge? Well, they would never have expected you to be a senior official at the European Commission, where your field of expertise was customs duties and VAT. You were involved in making all those rules where UPS was wrong and you were right. All UPS had to do was follow the instructions they kindly attached to the package.
When I asked UPS for comment, it told me, “The package was successfully delivered to the customer on the first attempt and the invoice discrepancy was resolved at no additional cost to the customer.”
When you’re trying to charge more than £200 from a customer, it’s a bit of a stretch to describe this as an “invoice discrepancy”! And saying that UPS resolved this “at no additional cost” leaves me wondering how they could have demanded more when they were demanding too much in the first place.
When I told you this, you had received your antique watch, but you told me that the delivery was actually rescheduled five times. And I still didn’t have the correct invoice or proof of import or customs clearance.
So I went back to UPS, which said, ‘Of course, there are cases where technical or administrative errors occur; We take care of solving them for our clients.’ A few days later, UPS provided him with a corrected invoice and documentation. And as a gesture of goodwill, he has waived the £82 charge. It was time.
Help…BT is ruining business
NH writes: My son and I run a small business in St Helens, Merseyside and we are desperate that BT will not restore our phone line.
We have been without a telephone line for more than four weeks. This is crippling our business.
Court: NH small business has been without a phone line for more than four weeks
Tony Hetherington replies: You told me that BT came to your company to repair the line and then there was a discussion about renewing your contract.
BT sent a new router and then his phone died. Using different phones, you called BT several times, spoke to someone in another country and answered the same security questions each time, but no one solved the problem.
We are now close to the point where jobs are at stake. I contacted BT on his behalf.
Three days later, he apologized, saying: “Due to an error in our records, the original order was sent to the wrong exchange.”
An engineer came to his company the same day and installed a temporary telephone line. Your broadband is working and your original number has now also been reactivated.
We are watching you
Investors who poured their savings into shares of medical cannabis company Orange River Capital will now have to count the cost of their decision as the business looks likely to disappear in a cloud of smoke.
The company’s shares were traded with the prospect of annual dividends of 15 per cent and capital gains of 300 per cent, but it has not filed accounts that were legally due in May.
Bad taste: Cannabis company Orange River Capital likely to disappear in a cloud of smoke
Companies House officials have initiated proceedings for its mandatory cancellation and dissolution. Investors say dividends that were due last January and in July have not been paid.
In September last year I warned that the share offering was riddled with false claims. It was promoted in marketing emails by London financial newspaper CityA.M., but the formal offer document named a director who had already resigned and claimed the backing of a stockbroking firm that had gone into liquidation.
And he announced his “proven track record” while at the same time his own documents showed that he had not yet marketed.
Worse perhaps, the man behind the stock offering falsified his own track record. Lee Farbrace, 45, from Folkestone in Kent, listed five directorships on his CV but omitted his role as head of EMI Wealth Limited.
An investor who invested £130,000 in the business received only £30,000. The company was closed and forcibly dissolved last October. Farbrace did not respond to repeated invitations to comment on complaints that his latest company now owes money to investors.
If you believe you are a victim of financial irregularity, please write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large volume of inquiries, it is not possible to provide personal responses. Please only send copies of the original documents, which we regret cannot be returned.