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  1. #1
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    Disputing FedEx duties?

    Has anyone had any success disputing FedEx duties? I recently purchased a bike on ebay. The seller is in GB and used FedEx. I received an invoice in the mail approximately 2 weeks later. FedEx used duty code 8712.00.48.00 (other) and resulted in 11% duty. I believe the more accurate code should be 8712.00.25.00, which is for bicycles with both wheels greater than 63.5cm in diameter and total weight less than 16.3kg. This code also has a duty schedule of 5.5%. I called FedEx and filed a dispute. I told the person the code on my invoice and the code I believe should have been used. She did not ask for an explanation. She also said the process will take a long time...at least three months!! Thoughts? Experience? Thanks. Karl

  2. #2
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    We import scientific equipment on a weekly basis. We usually use our own customs broker to clear items through U.S. customs, but we sometimes let FedEx clear stuff if they are the shipper. They often make mistakes, even when details are clearly stated on the shipping documents.

    The reason they say it will take 3 months to resolve this is because they have paid the 11% duties for you, and they want to get re-imbursed by the government before they let you off the hook for those duties. They aren't likely to settle this quickly, unless you have a commercial FedEx account and they value your business.

    The good news is that this problem is likely to be resolved in your favor. This assumes, of course, that your HTS code is correct.

  3. #3
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    I would tell them 3 months is fine with you if it is with them, you will settle after a final determination is made 3 months from now. If they want paid earlier, they can figure out how to expedite the resolution of the duty amount.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I would tell them 3 months is fine with you if it is with them, you will settle after a final determination is made 3 months from now. If they want paid earlier, they can figure out how to expedite the resolution of the duty amount.
    Their response will be "The balance is due now." If left unpaid, they will send you a few overdue notices, and then they will send it to a collection agency. That's how FedEx does things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    Their response will be "The balance is due now." If left unpaid, they will send you a few overdue notices, and then they will send it to a collection agency. That's how FedEx does things.
    I would let them do that if they chose, no skin off my back.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I would let them do that if they chose, no skin off my back.
    ...no skin off your back...except your credit rating. And depending on the amount they may send it to court and if ignore it then it is a default judgment with further possibilities to take more skin off you back plus interest. Same if you don't pay your credit card bill.


    Bend over and pay it now.


    Being an imported entire bike I'm guessing the dollar figure in play here is $1,000 plus between the tariff and the fees and the interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    ...no skin off your back...except your credit rating. And depending on the amount they may send it to court and if ignore it then it is a default judgment with further possibilities to take more skin off you back plus interest. Same if you don't pay your credit card bill.


    Bend over and pay it now.


    Being an imported entire bike I'm guessing the dollar figure in play here is $1,000 plus between the tariff and the fees and the interest.
    I think they lose this discussion in court if they overcharged you - not to mention they can't produce a document with your signature stating you agreed to have them pay that amount for you.

    People letting them getting screwed because a big company threatens to turn them over to a bill collector isn't smart in my opinion if they know they are in the right. I've been in a similar situation a very long time ago and when the collector realized I was right and the company was wrong, never heard from them again and it never showed up on my credit rating.
    Gravel Rocks

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I think they lose this discussion in court if they overcharged you - not to mention they can't produce a document with your signature stating you agreed to have them pay that amount for you.
    They don't need your signature. Air express carriers are authorized to clear shipments through customs under their name and customs bond without a signed POA (Power of Attorney).

    People letting them getting screwed because a big company threatens to turn them over to a bill collector isn't smart in my opinion if they know they are in the right.
    It may be aggravating, but they're not really getting screwed, because they will get their money back in the end.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I think they lose this discussion in court if they overcharged you - not to mention they can't produce a document with your signature stating you agreed to have them pay that amount for you.

    People letting them getting screwed because a big company threatens to turn them over to a bill collector isn't smart in my opinion if they know they are in the right. I've been in a similar situation a very long time ago and when the collector realized I was right and the company was wrong, never heard from them again and it never showed up on my credit rating.
    As mentioned, as a shipper they are authorized to act on your behalf. And they also charge for that "courtesy", including when they wrongly ding you for tariffs.

    Fighting it in court of course means court fees and lawyer bills. Youll probably also need to pay a consult with an HST lawyer/expert...Which in total may well exceed the value of the bike and or it's tariffs and fees. If you win, no biggie--lose and you're out a hell of a lot. Which is why bending over is wise, albeit leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    FedEx and UPS are well known for misapplying tariffs to bike parts. Lots of reports of it here and elsewhere with people capitalizing on sales in the UK of Campagnolo and Shimano

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    As mentioned, as a shipper they are authorized to act on your behalf. And they also charge for that "courtesy", including when they wrongly ding you for tariffs.

    Fighting it in court of course means court fees and lawyer bills. Youll probably also need to pay a consult with an HST lawyer/expert...Which in total may well exceed the value of the bike and or it's tariffs and fees. If you win, no biggie--lose and you're out a hell of a lot. Which is why bending over is wise, albeit leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    FedEx and UPS are well known for misapplying tariffs to bike parts. Lots of reports of it here and elsewhere with people capitalizing on sales in the UK of Campagnolo and Shimano
    So pay the amount you feel is due and leave it alone as long as you are confident the fee is correct. If they take it to court (no way they will do that for the chump change involved) they will lose and the defendant can counter sue for lost work time, distress, attorney fees etc. I'd love to sit in the gallery and hear Fedex explain to a judge how they are owed an amount they billed incorrectly because they didn't follow the correct duty schedule per what was represented clearly on the package - that would be comical. They know they will lose and will drop it. I don't see a bill collector taking a case for that level of chump change either but who knows.
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  11. #11
    pmf
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    First off, what kind of money are we talking about here? If it's $90 and should be $45, just pay it and wait to get it settled. If it's $1000 and should be $500, then I'd consider not paying it. Fed Ex isn't going to take you to court over $1000. They will, as someone suggested, send it to a collection agency. When the collection agency contacts you, tell them that this claim is 'in dispute'. Collection agencies cannot try to collect a claim if that claim is in dispute -- which it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    We import scientific equipment on a weekly basis. We usually use our own customs broker to clear items through U.S. customs, but we sometimes let FedEx clear stuff if they are the shipper. They often make mistakes, even when details are clearly stated on the shipping documents.
    I don't know why I am surprised. I work for a large medical center and we use FedEx. We have to take a shipping class every 2 years if we want to be able to ship "biological substances." At some point during every class the instructor will say that FedEx wants the sender to complete their waybill in a certain manner; however, it is against US and international law. Then the person will explain the correct way to complete the airbill. This has been going on for years!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    Their response will be "The balance is due now." If left unpaid, they will send you a few overdue notices, and then they will send it to a collection agency. That's how FedEx does things.
    Believe it or not, but the customer service rep said that the invoice is not due until the dispute is resolved. I was very surprised and actually repeated what she told me and asked her to confirm. I wanted the recording of the call to be very clear about what she told me. Hopefully she is correct and I do not receive another invoice until it is "resolved."

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    How much money is the bill?

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