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Pain in the neck customer
dickbaker




msg:3904489
 10:45 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I just had to relay this story to get it off my chest.

I just received a call from a guy in Canada looking to buy three or four widgets that I sell. He said that my prices were some of the lowest on the internet. These widgets also come with a $50 rebate coupon.

I told him that I would have to check to see if the product can be shipped outside the US, because many of the products I sell cannot. He got really snippy about this, saying that no other retailer he'd called had brought that up. I said that the other retailers may not be aware of the potential criminal penalties and fines.

Turns out it's legal to export these, though. However, the $50 rebate offer is only good in the US. The guy wanted to work out some kind of deal with me, where he'll pay so many dollars for the items, and I would then cash in the rebate coupons myself. I told him that, if I were caught in that kind of fraud, I would be cut off as a retailer for that manufacturer, and I could possibly face some sort of criminal penalties.

Maybe I should have told him that I'd give him the special price if he'd smuggle some cocaine over the border. I'd pay him a good price, too. ;)

 

HRoth




msg:3904511
 11:09 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had a guy last week who bought $50 worth of widgets spread out over three orders in two days. I had to wait for a couple of the widgets, which I told him about. At his request, I combined the orders and credited him back the shipping for two of them. He sent me a snippy email for crediting him back the shipping when he had not yet received the widgets. He contacted me again after I'd sent out the widgets and said he hadn't gotten them. The delivery confirmation showed that he had. I told him all the things that I tell customers who claim they have not had delivery when it shows a delivery--check with roommates, neighbors, maybe you put it in an unusual place, etc. Generally, this resolves 95% of all "lost" deliveries. Not this guy. He is cranky about contacting the post office with the tracking number. I could tell he wasn't actually going to do anything. All I need is a chargeback on three orders, one of which was for $7. He wanted me to resend the order and he would pay half price for it. I said no, I would not send him anything else because it was just like throwing it down a well, and I credited him back the whole thing to get rid of him. To top it off, this customer made it clear that the reason why he ordered the widgets was so that he might reproduce them and become a competitor. In his dreams.

g1smd




msg:3904523
 11:22 pm on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

You never know when a customer like that is actually a test by the manufacturer or by some regulatory body.

Wise to be cautious...

MLHmptn




msg:3904668
 3:44 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just one more reason to require a signature! I require signatures to every residence...no exceptions unless they explicitly say that we are released of responsibility...Well guess what, I've had 0 customers since February claiming non delivery and before that it was like 4-5 every month (from residences of course) claiming non delivery.

[edited by: MLHmptn at 3:45 am (utc) on May 1, 2009]

MrHard




msg:3904673
 3:55 am on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is something weird about Canadian customers. They always call rather then email, and they tend to say inappropriate things or have an attitude which is hard to describe.

I always assumed it was due to having a history of problems needing to buy from the US and the resulting shipping problems, import fees etc.

radeckd




msg:3905001
 3:07 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Always request signature confirmation. It cos couple more dollars with UPS but it saved me thousands. Recently I had a guy asking to deliver product to different than billing address and to tell UPS to leave it behind storm door. I did not go for it. As it happens, UPS actually did not release package and requested to be signed by the person listed on the label. I guess whoever was there could not provide valid ID and this way UPS driver took the package back. Now they need to show up to pick it up with valid ID. Guess what? Noone did show up. I looked into the the order myself. And my god, UPS driver saved me almost $2000. I was so busy that I did not verify it before. Phone number was incorrect, order placed all with capital letters and of course next day air delivery. How could I miss that. Now I am waiting for shipment to be returned. Thank you UPS guy for right judgement.

rocknbil




msg:3905118
 6:41 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Always request signature confirmation.

Not sure about UPS, but you can't do sig. conf. or delivery conf. outside the US with USPS, just food for thought.

HRoth




msg:3905188
 8:34 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not to mention that many people absolutely do not want one, and not for any nefarious reason, but just because they have to work and don't want to spend their time after work waiting in line at the post office. I use a sig confirmation only for orders over $200.

lgn1




msg:3905220
 9:36 pm on May 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is something weird about Canadian customers. They always call rather then email, and they tend to say inappropriate things or have an attitude which is hard to describe.

Strange. As a Canadian, I have found that most Canadian and American customers have been polite and reasonable. There has been bad apples however, and I had more problems with American ones rather than the Canadian ones. But maybe this is just because Americans outnumber Canadians 9 to 1.

T_Miller




msg:3905519
 2:56 pm on May 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

We only deal with Canada on a case by case basis. If the order is large enough, profitable enough and they are willing to work on *our* terms we'll do it.

We do NOT mark customs forms "gift".
We do NOT lie about the customs value.

Rugles




msg:3906402
 3:26 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

We do NOT mark customs forms "gift".
We do NOT lie about the customs value.

Good, you are doing the right thing. As a Canadian it cheeses me off that people want all the benefits of living in Canada yet do not want to pay the taxes that support the country.

Also, by "cheating" with the Customs forms you are undermining the Canadian retailers that are playing by the rules and paying the taxes and expensive import duties.

Sorry to hear that some Canadians are giving you American folks a hard time, keep in mind they are the minority and that most of us are courteous and kind.

HRoth




msg:3907188
 3:30 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have never noticed any difference between Canadian and US customers, but I do get people from all over asking me to mark the customs form "gift," which I don't. OTOH, I always mark a minimal amount for the value; that's mostly out of laziness on my part, though--I just don't want to look up the order amount. I have had customers from the UK rank me out when I put the regular value or when customs there opened the package and they had to pay duty, which was a LOT, like a third of the cost or something. A few customers there have actually demanded that I put that they would have to pay duty and how much etc., on the cart. Right.

CernyM




msg:3907229
 4:20 pm on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)


I have never noticed any difference between Canadian and US customers, but I do get people from all over asking me to mark the customs form "gift," which I don't. OTOH, I always mark a minimal amount for the value; that's mostly out of laziness on my part, though--I just don't want to look up the order amount. I have had customers from the UK rank me out when I put the regular value or when customs there opened the package and they had to pay duty, which was a LOT, like a third of the cost or something. A few customers there have actually demanded that I put that they would have to pay duty and how much etc., on the cart. Right.

We've always flatly refused to put anything on a customs form other than the truth.

We show customers in Canada & Europe pricing in their native currency as well as what their duty, customs and shipping charges will be. A third party handles the currency exchange and logistics for us.

We ship the orders to a warehouse in New Jersey, and they take care of getting it to its final destination.

lgn1




msg:3907782
 11:57 am on May 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's not really the Customs charge that upset Canadians, its the brokerage fees.

The brokerage firms are required to collect duties and sales tax on orders imported into canada, over the exemption limit. The exemption limit has not been raised since the dark ages and stands at $20.

So if a Canadian orders from the States an item worth $25 dollars, they end up paying an extra $20 in brokerage to collect $1 or $2 in provincial taxes (duty is ususally $0).

The American limit is $200, which also makes it worthwhile to do split shipments to customers in the USA (keeping the cost of the products in each particular parcel below $200, and sending them out two days apart), to avoid any duty charges. [This is kind of a grey area with customs, but it does not happen to often, so we are confortable with it]

As an Canadian etailer, I love this arrangement as it allows me to comepete in the US market, and helps reduce American competition (actually, it mostly eliminates it) in the Canadian Market.

However I wonder, why the NAFTA powers that be in the USA, has not pushed Canada to revised the exemption limit to a reasonable value like a $100 or $200 dollars. I'm not complaining however.

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