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.


3 Responses to I hate DHL

  1. Sarah says:

    DHL drives me absolutley crazy!
    They’re so “lean” that my workplace has a no-sign policy with them. What sane person would have a no-sign policy with any courier?! So many items have been lost to the bowels of DHL; it’s shocking! The sad thing is that it’s all site-to-site overnight couriering and mainly from rural towns to major urban centres.
    I dunno. It just seems like one more thing to take care of at work. Sorry for my griping. Even more sorry to hear that you got sacked with customs. Hope you still found some bone to chew in that “lean and hungry” company of theirs!

  2. Brent says:

    Griping can be cathartic, sometimes. No worries there.
    I didn’t actually yell at the gal who took my call; I’ll save that for when my honest-to-goodness collections letter arrives in a few weeks. (I don’t have much faith in DHL getting things straightened out before that happens, even though this last call seemed productive.) I’m probably crazy as all heck to risk going to collections over some $13, but I really don’t owe that money, dangit.

  3. Sarah says:

    They’re sending you to collections over $13 measley dollars?! Well, at least you’ll get satisfaction out of the labour & administrative cost DHL must accrue in order to get you to collections. Heh.


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