Customs Clearance: When You’re A Victim of ‘Carrier Ransom’

May 31, 2018

Customs Clearance: When You’re A Victim of ‘Carrier Ransom’ | BorderBuddy

You’ve decided to take the plunge and join the online shopping revolution. After carefully perusing different companies’ websites to find the best deal, you’ve gone ahead and made a purchase. All that needs to happen now is for the seller to make sure your product gets shipped – which requires the services of a shipping company or “carrier” – then passes customs clearance and is delivered to your doorstep as promised.

Seems pretty straightforward, right?

Most of the time, your purchase will run through the Canada Border Service Agency inspection and brokerage system and arrive on your doorstep in a timely fashion.

But not always. Sometimes online buyers get victimized by something we call “carrier ransom.”

It’s usually when your package doesn’t arrive within the promised timeline. You might even be watching the tracking process and discover that the package has stalled along the way. Or you might receive a card from the carrier saying there is a problem and to call them immediately or the process will be abandoned.

Should you decide to follow-up with a phone call, you’ll be given one of a variety of reasons for why there is a problem with your shipment. Most of these will be solved if you pay even higher taxes and duties or opt to pay more for a “premium rate” service to get it to you.

4 reasons why there is a problem with your shipment

Here are some of the reasons that the carrier may give you for withholding a package:

1) Inflated value

The seller had a value listed on the product that you paid taxes and duties on. However, the carrier doesn’t trust the price the seller gave them and insists on proof of value or demands that you pay more based on this perceived inflated value.

2) Incorrect paperwork

The carrier claims there is an administrative problem or an issue with paperwork from the seller that is delaying the customs process. An example might be that the seller did not attach an invoice to the package.

3) Missing information

Some carriers will claim the package doesn’t have the proper contact details for you, such as a phone number or an email address.

4) “It’s caught up in Canada customs”

Sometimes this is true, sometimes it’s not. And it covers a lot of possible scenarios. Unfortunately for buyers, it’s virtually impossible to know if they’re being told the truth.

 

Whatever the reason – real or perceived – don’t give in to panic, disappointment or desperation.

 

 

Contact one of our BorderBuddy experts today!

Tell us what the problem is so we can handle the heavy lifting with the carrier. We’ll make sure that you pay the right amount – not an inflated one – in duties and taxes and that your package arrives safe and sound.