I hate DHL

My day was going decently (I managed to catch up on quite a bit of Lindy hop in a short amount of time, which was nice) until I came home and saw a pre-collections letter from DHL.

You see, I bought five audio CDs from Amazon Japan a while back. Under the harmonized tariff schedule, which determines duties paid when you import goods into the United States, audio CDs are duty-free. There’s also a catch-all category for digital CD-like products (think “if it’s not any of the above, then…”) that is charged a 2.7% tariff.

DHL hires its own customs people to help speed their international package delivery—or so they like to advertise. Guess which category they put my five CDs into?

Not only were they catch-all CDs, but there were apparently 10 of them. That was news to me, as well as my Amazon Japan packing slip.

And, since DHL was kind enough to spot me the money to cover this duty they assessed, they want an extra fistful of bucks for their trouble. Needless to say, I called DHL when this first went down—in November. After getting a bit of a run-around, I finally got a helpful gal who took care of the whole mess.

Except that now I’m getting this pre-collections letter. I guess I get to foam at some random customer service rep tomorrow; it’s funny, inasmuch as at work I often hear the other side of the conversation I’m about to have.

So, my assessment: avoid DHL at all costs, if you possibly can. They may be “lean and hungry” (as their latest advertising campaign asserts), but that just means they’re that much more tenacious when they get a hold of your wallet.


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