Sunday, June 17, 2007


Today I want to tell you a story. It started out as a wonderful story. Rabbi Plaut, who used to be the Rabbi of the Temple in Windsor wrote and published a book. A book about the Jews in Windsor from 1790-1990.

He sent me an e-mail telling me all about it and included an article from the local newspaper. How lovely! I, of course, wrote him and congratulated him.

Then my wonderful friend, the Guv, decided to buy me a copy and send it to me.

In the meantime, another wondeful friend, John decided to buy me some books and sent them from the States. 12 kilo of books. Yahoooo. And we have been on the lookout for those books finally arriving.

So imagine my delight when I got a phone call on Thursday that UPS was delivering the books. And they told me that there would be a 236 charge for taxes etc. I thought that was rather exorbitant, but hell 12 kilo of books! So, I told them OK.

Well! In walks the UPS man with a little package in his hand. 236 shekels for a little package?!?. Turns out that the Guv decided to send it by UPS so that I would have it immediately. Wow!

I took the little package and asked the man what the charge was for. He said, V.A.T./taxes/container fees/releasing the book from the port/delivery.

I said:'How much did the book cost?'
He said: '$30.'
I said:'$30? Are you crazy? You are charging me $80 Canadian on a $30 book?'
He said:'No. You are paying all this on the $30 book plus the $92.35 UPS charge.'
I said:'$92.35? My friend paid you guys $92.35 to send a $30 book UPS?'
He said: 'Yes.'
I said: 'I'm not paying it. Send it back.'
He said: 'No problem. It will cost your friend these fees plus shipping charges to get the book back. Or, you could simply refuse the book and then it goes into a warehouse where it will eventually be destroyed.'
I said:'Are you crazy? Let me talk to your supervisor.'
He said:'Here is your invoice number. Here is the phone number. It's getting late so I'm going to pretend that you weren't home. Make your phone calls and if you decide you want the book, tell them and I'll come back tomorrow.'
I said:'OK'

Then I started making phone calls. I had to wait a couple of hours as it was still in the middle of the night in Windsor, but I did phone the UPS office and spoke to a girl there. Well, she spoke and I hollered.

Then I phoned the Guv and had to tell her the truth. That her generous, good deed, was going to cost me around $80 and that I had no problem paying it, thank you very much, but that please in future send me a book by snail mail. Or better than that, along with a friend who is coming to visit. I also asked if she sent the book C.O.D. which of course she didn't. So what is the money for on this end if she paid for delivery?

I then spoke to another girl...Yael. And screamed at her too. What am I paying this money for? V.A.T? That's 15%. How much can that be on a $30 book? When she informed me, Oh, NO! That is 15% on the price of the book PLUS the shipping fee I went balistic.

Then I spoke with Sophie. Same conversation. So I asked to speak to the supervisor. Her name is Tali and she told me the same thing that the first girl, then Yael, then Sophie told me.

Here is the payment( I have a copy in front of me)
Cost of book: $30
Handling charges: $92.35
That is the part the Guv paid.

What I had to pay:
Taxes: 63.75 shekels
My part of the payment for the container on the plane: 27.63 shekels
UPS charges: 46.75 shekels
Rounding off : 00.40 shekels
Total: 138.53
V.A.T.: on that total: 21.47
Plus V.A.T. on the Canadian payment: 76.00 shekels

Grand total; 236 shekels

I told Tali, the supervisor that I was NOT going to have this book destroyed in a warehouse after my friend paid so much money and went to the time and expense to give me such a special gift. I was NOT going to send it back making my friend pay another $150, or whatever the damn thing would cost.

And I wanted an explanation why a $30 book cost $172.35 to deliver?
She said that that was the law.
I told her that I would pay the fee. And tell my friend. And then tell the entire world never to use UPS again. And then, I would make sure that this story got around the world. That everyone would hear about it in Israel and then I would branch out to North America.

You are my first contact. Please send this story to everyone you know. I am now going to send it to my email list also. I have a wonderful friend who is going to send it to all the Foreign Press in Israel. And then I may contact the telvision.

Tali got scared. And she said she would see what she could do. I told her that would be nice. The book was delivered on Friday. They took off the 46.75 shekels that I had to pay for UPS charges. I gave the guy a cheque for 189.25 shekels.

I love the book. I hate the story. I think it is outrageous!!! Please help me. Please send this story along.

No one should be penalized for receiving a gift. I paid almost 300% taxes after the Guv paid 300% shipping cost...on a $30 book.

Thank goodness my friend John sent his 12 kilo of books by regular mail. Well, at least I hope so. If I have to pay anything on that shipment, I'll let you know.

Shavuah tov.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.


At 10:02 AM, Blogger muse said...

That's an outrageously expensive book.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Kmelion said...

I thought VAT is taxes... so you have to pay 3 different kinds? And why on the Canadian charge??

My husband received a set of books as a gift from the publisher (it's a perk he gets because he writes for them). Unfortunately, it wasn't marked as a gift and the book set value was marked as around $60, and we had to pay VAT on that...

At 12:58 PM, Blogger PortraitofPeter said...

Marallyn, I am in a state of shock - how on earth can UPS charge - twice for the delivery of this gift?

I have never in my entire life had to pay - for receipt of an item, unless it was COD.

I think UPS are rather 'fraudulent' in their actions and costings and this does require an urgent appraisal by all concerned.

Thank you for raising this here and I shall most certainly be looking at costings here in the UK and where necessary - highlighting your particular case.

It should not go unchallenged.

My blood pressure is up - just reading of your plight.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Oh my. That's what you call "Highway robbery". Good for you for spreading the word. Another person in blogland just posted about receiving, and signing for the wrapper ONLY without the merchandise which got lost along the way and they are sorry they don't know where the merchandise went. Seems to be a lot of problems in mail delivery.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger torontopearl said...

Based on your yucky experience, I'm sure you can come up with some new "colorful" words that make up the U-P-S acronym!

At 3:28 AM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

LOL! That has happened to me down here. Sometimes people lovingly send things that cost an arm and a leg to get out of customs. Once it was a box of Jello!!!

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Val said...

WOW - what a story! I love that you're a tough old broad! (not meaning old in a bad sense!) Give 'em hell! That is outrageous.

But nothing surprises me with the way you practically have to 'smuggle' everything into Israel cuz of the tax issue.

Hope the rest of your week goes lovely and that you enjoy the books!

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous yehupitz said...

I feel awful for you and Guv. Her gifts to me were given in person and form a topic of conversation in my home every week. All I had to pay was ten cents canadian for one gift and we're constantly putting money into the other gift, but that's ok.

But I cannot claim to be surprised. I have never shipped anything of size to Israel. I had this hunch that the fees involved in overseas UPSing or Fed-Exing would be exorbitant.

As long as you keep writing...


What a crazy, upside down world we live in. common sense just doesn't men any thing anymore. Sorry for all you went through just because someone tried to do something nice for you, and it was so nice. connie from Texas

At 1:31 AM, Blogger Lemon said...

UPS and taxes are obscene.
I had to spend $45 dollars American to send a driver's license to someone that they forgot. It was sent within the US too.
It had to be there overnight.
I should have used the US Post Office which is way way cheaper.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger The Wedding Guide Windsor/Essex County said...

Nu.. you reacted just as I would have. I would call FedX to see what they charge just so you have a comparison.
Btw.. how is the book? I am in Windosr and still haven't had a chance to secure a copy. I am anxious to hear about the Rabbi's initiative.
Be safe.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous yehupitz said...

And that is why I don't comment. It's usually like a week before it gets put up on the site, and by then the conversation is over!

At 1:56 AM, Blogger Lance said...

UPS is the absolute worst.
They lose packages and leave packages unattended EVEN if a signature is required.
My sister sent me a package of books and software and FEDEX got it through customs and in my hands...all w/o any extra charges or the hassle you experienced.


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