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Old 05.11.2019, 19:31
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mail order- conned

yes, I know, I know. you savvy people would never have fallen for it- but here goes.

Buy 3 WiFi boosters from Swiss site, in Swiss francs- pay with PayPal. They send from Singapore- and the customs' declaration says 'commercial sample, value $9- when you paid 99.-

So Customs think it looks suspicious (no wonder) have a good look, write to ask for original bill then

19.- for the time spend looking at it
16.- for customs clearance + 3% of value
10.10 for import tax
= 42.10 = about 50% of cost. Wozzer.

Yes, I know, could never happen to you clever cloggs.
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:41
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Re: mail order- conned

Is it a conn though, or just an annoyance? I just bought glasses online. Paid about chf 250. No invoice, had to send the invoice and was charged about Chf 50. My next order, I asked them to send an invoice with the package. We’ll see.


Several years ago, we bought some lithographs from an artist in the US. They wrote “gift” on the declaration. I had to explain to them that they had to put the full value on the package because one way or another, the Swiss would figure out the value -they weren’t doing me any favors.

So yeah, happened to me, but I don;t consider it a con.
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:45
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Re: mail order- conned

The 'con' is that we didn't buy from Singapore or the USA. We bought from Switzerland, in Swiss francs- and therefore were expecting the package to come from Switzerland and therefore NOT liable for customs' duties.

If you buy from abroad, then fair enough.
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:46
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Re: mail order- conned

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The 'con' is that we didn't buy from Singapore or the USA. We bought from Switzerland, in Swiss francs- and therefore were expecting the package to come from Switzerland and therefore NOT liable for customs' duties.

If you buy from abroad, then fair enough.

Still don’t see it, but ok,

So much of online commerce is fuzzy like that.
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:50
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Re: mail order- conned

You don't pay import duties if you buy from Switzerland, do you?
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:54
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Re: mail order- conned

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You don't pay import duties if you buy from Switzerland, do you?
What was the website?
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:55
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Re: mail order- conned

Can’t you refuse the delivery? Demand a refund from the website? Cancel the credit card payment if they demure?

And Name and Shame the website that did this!
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:57
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Re: mail order- conned

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yes, I know, I know. you savvy people would never have fallen for it- but here goes.

Buy 3 WiFi boosters from Swiss site, in Swiss francs- pay with PayPal. They send from Singapore- and the customs' declaration says 'commercial sample, value $9- when you paid 99.-

So Customs think it looks suspicious (no wonder) have a good look, write to ask for original bill then

19.- for the time spend looking at it
16.- for customs clearance + 3% of value
10.10 for import tax
= 42.10 = about 50% of cost. Wozzer.

Yes, I know, could never happen to you clever cloggs.
It likely will happen to us, if you don't let us know, which Swiss website leaves import procedures to the client without telling them when ordering PLUS faking sample delivery at customs.
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Old 05.11.2019, 19:59
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Re: mail order- conned

Do what you want, but the web site and the customs are different entities.


The website sold correctly, albeit it very sharp with the import duties


The customs/forwarder charged according to their scale.


If you send it back, not sure the web site will accept to refund after which you need to prove it's been sent back to reclaim the customs money (note, the admin fee will certainly not be refunded)


Swisscom sell these in their shops for about same price i believe.
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Old 05.11.2019, 20:25
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Re: mail order- conned

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Can’t you refuse the delivery?
Yes you could. But after paying all the handling charges and import duty it is too late.

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Demand a refund from the website?
You can demand a lot of things, question is if you also get what you want.

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Cancel the credit card payment if they demure?
Maybe possible.
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Old 05.11.2019, 20:34
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Re: mail order- conned

Well, in the future, if I am presented with a question from Swiss Customs I will inform them that I have not ordered anything from Singapore (or wherever).

I would then complain to the seller that my order has not arrived and ask them to either deliver or give me a refund. And if they didn’t respond tell my Credit Card that the order was never delivered and to cancel the transaction.

But please name and shame these guys. They are lower than a snakes belly.
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Old 05.11.2019, 20:38
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Re: mail order- conned

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Well, in the future, if I am presented with a question from Swiss Customs I will inform them that I have not ordered anything from Singapore (or wherever).
Just that we do the name and shame correctly: The question will be from the courier (Post, DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc) which does the customs handling. It is also those bastards which charge the outrageous processing fees approved by the Federal Preisüberwacher https://www.preisueberwacher.admin.c...gebuehren.html.
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Old 05.11.2019, 20:41
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Re: mail order- conned

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You don't pay import duties if you buy from Switzerland, do you?
Not all .ch websites are really Swiss suppliers. I usually check delivery/possible custom procedures in the "AGB" first time I come accross a site.

I bought from two .ch sites - one was German, one Dutch and delivered from their countries as well. But both did take care of all the procedures and said so in their general terms and conditions.
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Old 05.11.2019, 20:45
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Re: mail order- conned

Well yes, we realise now. And yes, we could have refused them and got money back from paypal- but OH decided he could not be asked and just learn from experience.

He is out tonight, so can't give name of site.

The costs I mentionned above were charged by La Poste for Frais de Dédouanements- not from seller. The seller made fraudulent declaration about cost, $9 instead of CHF 99.95 - and in filling form with 'commercial sample'.
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Old 05.11.2019, 21:04
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Re: mail order- conned

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Not all .ch websites are really Swiss suppliers. I usually check delivery/possible custom procedures in the "AGB" first time I come accross a site.

I bought from two .ch sites - one was German, one Dutch and delivered from their countries as well. But both did take care of all the procedures and said so in their general terms and conditions.
Yes, thanks. Many of you are used to Mail Order- we are 'old biddies' and with little experience. So ... posted this as a warning, rather than a complaint, as such. Not the end of the world- but annoying.
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Old 05.11.2019, 21:07
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Re: mail order- conned

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Well yes, we realise now. And yes, we could have refused them and got money back from paypal- but OH decided he could not be asked and just learn from experience.

He is out tonight, so can't give name of site.

The costs I mentionned above were charged by La Poste for Frais de Dédouanements- not from seller. The seller made fraudulent declaration about cost, $9 instead of CHF 99.95 - and in filling form with 'commercial sample'.
$9 was probably their cost price
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Old 05.11.2019, 21:16
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Re: mail order- conned

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$9 was probably their cost price
Sounds about right.

Yes, there's still a 'con' going on, although the buyer in this case was not party to it. The singapore supplier is conning the Swiss customs by falsely declaring the goods.

Sadly, Odile, it's still a case of Caveat Emptor. Lesson learned - always check where it's going to ship from, which should normally be displayed on the website somewhere.

I think I only once got caught out like this, some years ago, and it was French duty, not Swiss, that I had to pay. These days I'm very careful, although I still do order things , e.g. via Amazon, that are shipping from China. Only low-value items though.
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Old 05.11.2019, 21:28
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Re: mail order- conned

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The 'con' is that we didn't buy from Singapore or the USA. We bought from Switzerland, in Swiss francs- and therefore were expecting the package to come from Switzerland and therefore NOT liable for customs' duties.

If you buy from abroad, then fair enough.
I once bought a battery online from a .ch Swiss supplier. I wanted it in a hurry so paid the hefty premium to buy it locally - or so I thought.
It came a few weeks later in what looked liked typical Ali-Express style packaging.

If I had know that and wanted that type of crap service, I would have ordered from Ali Express myself!

As for the customs - I once ordered a network cable tester from Ali Express and it was about 10 dollars*. The customs here asked me for proof of value paid before they would release the item. I duly did that and they fowarded it on. There were no additional fees involved like in your case.


*works brilliantly in case you wondered what 10 dollars gets you.
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Old 06.11.2019, 15:45
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Re: mail order- conned

Well, they work. So this massive 16C pile, with 90cm thick walls- now has WiFi in all parts, including Ye Olde Parish Room- so will make it easier for all the cultural and social events that take place there.

Live and learn- and suck it up this time. Singing club starts next week- so we can have lyrics and music, and a film for the old folks luncheon tomorrow.
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Old 06.11.2019, 16:23
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Re: mail order- conned

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Just that we do the name and shame correctly: The question will be from the courier (Post, DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc) which does the customs handling. It is also those bastards which charge the outrageous processing fees approved by the Federal Preisüberwacher https://www.preisueberwacher.admin.c...gebuehren.html.
Highway robbery.
BTW In my experience parcels sent by ship (not by air) from a mail forwarder in Japan slip through the customs despite having invoices way above the CHF65 limit.
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