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Received Canada Post notice of "Amount Due" - Now what?

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  • Mar 25th, 2011 5:52 pm
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Sep 24, 2006
4699 posts
205 upvotes
bylo wrote: OK.

What Happens to Undeliverable Mail?

Looks like there's need for some remedial training at Canada Post ;)

This would be true if I worked in that department. I do find it funny though that the guy who tells everyone to google stuff for their answer failed to use his own advice before I had to tell him to.
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Jan 7, 2002
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Kris81 wrote: This would be true if I worked in that department.
People at Canada Post actually do work? :-0 :razz:

I do find it funny though that the guy who tells everyone to google stuff for their answer failed to use his own advice before I had to tell him to.
Actually I did follow my advice but apparently used the wrong search term. I Googled on "dead letter mail", which I believe is the correct technical term, and got the Wikipedia entries to which I linked. Unfortunately they didn't clearly address the issue for Canada. So when you asked me "Why don't you just google it?" I tried a second time using "canada post undelivered mail" and came up with the on-point page.

Unlike the all-too-many people here who shoot off at the mouth with their opinions rather than look stuff up to provide useful and authoritative information, I do indeed practice what I preach ;)
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Feb 28, 2006
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problem is, there are some stuff you can't get in Canada.

maybe Canada customs should raise the ceiling of bought merchandise to 200 like the US. many canadians are already paying an outrageous amount of taxes in this country, from 50% income tax to 13% HST. the government is a bit greedy imo. and this greedy habit gets inherited to Robbers and Bhell and breed bad companies that rip off Canadian's hard earned money.
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Jan 7, 2002
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Sprite_TM wrote: maybe Canada customs should raise the ceiling of bought merchandise to 200 like the US
Maybe they should, just as the they raised personal exemptions for returning travellers a few years ago.

But it's not Canada Customs who get to make that call. It's our politicians in Ottawa. So if you want to see an increase, instead of speculating about what Canada Customs maybe should do, it would be more productive to lobby your MP directly. There's a budget coming up and an election looming after that. Now would be a good time to contact your MP to explain why you believe the ceiling should be raised.
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Mar 3, 2008
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Sprite_TM wrote: problem is, there are some stuff you can't get in Canada.

maybe Canada customs should raise the ceiling of bought merchandise to 200 like the US. many canadians are already paying an outrageous amount of taxes in this country, from 50% income tax to 13% HST. the government is a bit greedy imo. and this greedy habit gets inherited to Robbers and Bhell and breed bad companies that rip off Canadian's hard earned money.

+1 There is a lot of stuff that you can't here.
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Sep 30, 2003
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jeedee wrote: Did I say I didn't want the item? I simply stated "right now I just want a refund".

Why do you think I bought [buy it now] and paid for the item with my own money? Cause I wanted the item

I also never said "I wasn't aware of import charges". I know how and where they come from, it just surprised me that I got it, as I have never had pay anything before.

Getting items shipped from the US, if you're using USPS there's a lower chance of getting hit with taxes/duties, but you're not immune. If the seller used UPS or Fedex, you'd get dinged for sure, and with higher costs.

From the amount you say you paid, it seems like you got off light. I'm pretty sure there's a $5-8 processing fee, and I doubt you're getting charged duty if they're only asking for $40 and change all told. It happens.
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Mar 23, 2004
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I once had some cologne shipped from the US along with some matching body wash, stupid Canada Post they removed the cologne and attached a dumb letter to that^ effect. The grounds was that it was non-shippable as it was flammable liquid :rolleyes: Anyway it said they "destroyed" it but I'm sure someone at CP just pockets something like that. I mean I would actually rather they had done that then throw it in the garbage.
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Oct 14, 2003
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With all the threads with people complaining about the taxes duties and fees that are involved with buying stuff internationally I think some people should just avoid purchasing internationally. I don't understand how the OP could be aware, yet still surprised? I always assume I will pay them and then if I don't, it's a bonus for me.
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Jr. Member
Nov 1, 2004
170 posts
43 upvotes
What I don't get is that people blame Canada Post all the time for this kind of situation.

Canada CUSTOMS (CBSA) will charge you tax and duties, Canada Post just collect the fee and give it to CBSA.

It's also CBSA that will seize stuff not allowed in Canada, not Canada Post.

And no I don't work for either of those corporation/agency, I just want people to get their facts straight. I had to pay outrageous fees before, I had items seized by CBSA and later destroyed but I learned from my mistake and have no one to blame bu myself.
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Jan 7, 2002
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ES_Revenge wrote: I once had some cologne shipped from the US along with some matching body wash, stupid Canada Post they removed the cologne and attached a dumb letter to that^ effect. The grounds was that it was non-shippable as it was flammable liquid :rolleyes:
Cologne, but not body wash, contains alcohol, which is a flammable liquid, which they prohibit to be sent by mail. (See here under Class 3 items.)

So they were just doing their job exactly as they're mandated to do.
Anyway it said they "destroyed" it but I'm sure someone at CP just pockets something like that.
You're "sure"? You were actually there and you saw them do it? Now that comment truly deserves the :rolleyes:
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Newbie
May 12, 2009
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Nova Scotia
I would like to clarify an issue with the dead mail. There are two UMOs (unidentified mail office) in Canada. I have been to one, and can comment that it is the strictest setting for the employees. They do have to open the mail that has no information on it to try to send it to the shipper or receiver. It is a very secure plant as they get a lot of high value goods through there. They also get a lot of illegally shipped goods, that are then turned over to the police.
Any item that has a resell value is sold to an auctioneer in another province. Canada post does keep the proceeds of this sale.
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Mar 23, 2004
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bylo wrote: Cologne, but not body wash, contains alcohol, which is a flammable liquid, which they prohibit to be sent by mail. (See here under Class 3 items.)
Thanks Captain.
bylo wrote: You're "sure"? You were actually there and you saw them do it? Now that comment truly deserves the :rolleyes:
Thanks also for smoking the crackpipe. I didn't see them do it and I'd prefer if they actually did pocket it than throw it out. But of course you can't read so I guess you're excused from any adult discussion on the matter.
Sr. Member
Feb 5, 2007
850 posts
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jeedee wrote: Thanks for all the replys.

After posting this on eBay aswell, and receiving tons of bitching from eBay sellers, I guess I'll just pay the fee. I have bought/ordered many things from US sellers in the past and not once have I ever paid a penny for a fee...

You've been very lucky...I've ordered lotsa stuff from the US and I'd expect to pay taxes etc. on this amount. Usually, under $50US items are OK,but even then........You're gettin' off easy @ $40
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Oct 26, 2009
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Ojam wrote: With all the threads with people complaining about the taxes duties and fees that are involved with buying stuff internationally I think some people should just avoid purchasing internationally. I don't understand how the OP could be aware, yet still surprised? I always assume I will pay them and then if I don't, it's a bonus for me.

Exactly. I always factor in the shipping, hst, duty if applicable and brokerage when buying Internationally. If I don't get assessed, then bonus. I also factor in the time it takes for shipping. I'd rather buy locally for a few dollars more for instant gratification than wait a few weeks.
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Oct 20, 2010
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I posted a relevant response in another thread that could be useful here.
flight878 wrote: I've ordered $40 worth of cable from Monoprice and fortunately didn't get charged duty and tax. It's all at the discretion of the CBSA.

A Canada Post agent told me once that a 'regular' parcel has a 20% chance of being stopped for assessment due to high volume. By my experience over the years, if my dutiable package arrived in a padded envelope or small box, there was no duty assessed. If your dutiable parcel meets Letter-post dimensions, it is more unlikely that it will get assessed and it will get to your door faster. If your parcel comes in larger box (e.g., a shoebox size or bigger), it is more likely to be assessed. If your package is dutiable and is coming via expedited service (e.g. EMS, Xpresspost USPS equivalent), it WILL ALWAYS be assessed AND you will pay a $8 processing fee instead of the usual $5 on top of duties and taxes. So avoid shipping via expedited service unless really necessary.
Be mindful of the postal services you choose from international sellers. Anything over $20CAD is dutiable (excl. NAFTA exceptions). I ordered a $200 fountain pen from Germany and asked for it to be sent via Registered Letter-post with tracking number and signature confirmation. Shipping was 6 EUR, but no duty and tax -- actually, 11th German purchase with Registered Mail over $20 and no duties and taxes to pay. However, I ordered another item from Japan via EMS (Xpresspost equivalent) and via UPS in Italy, and I was served with customs (and brokerage) fees at the door.
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