No wonder people are leaving this moneygrabbing island in record numbers.
I just had a letter explaining that a $50 part I bought from US Ebay had been stopped by customs, and it was time to bend over for them and their Parcelforce buddies.
Because the parcel was sent priority and wasn't declared a 'gift', customs added £12.50 VAT (value added tax). Parcelforce then added their own £13.50 'clearance fee'. That's a $40 fee to release my $50 part. When I asked what the fees were for, I got into this conversation:
Me: "So, this isn't a customs charge?"
PF: "No, we are charged directly by customs and pass the fee on to you."
Me: "But what are they charging for? There is no import duty, is there?"
PF: "No, this is an administration fee for us to pay your customs charges directly then release the parcel to you."
Me: "That's a lot of money to do that."
PF: "Because the parcel was sent priority, we charge more because the parcel has to be released quicker."
Me: "But the sender has already paid a premium to get it here quicker. I'm just paying that premium again to you, for doing absolutely nothing. Why can't I just pay customs directly and avoid your fee – and this delay? You're already being paid to deliver the parcel priority as part of the fee paid in the States. This is just a scam, isn't it?"
PF: "I understand what you're saying, it is a high charge... but... but... our hands are tied."
'I was only following orders'. The undermining phrase of many a destroyed society.
Fuck 'em all.