I recently had a crowdfunded item shipped to me from outside the EU and delivered to me by FedEx. Delivery went well, they kept me up to date with when it would arrive via text message.
I’d fully expected I’d have to pay some sort of tax and sure enough I soon received a text informing me an invoice needed settling. What surprised me was that along with the tax charge was a £12 charge for something called “Direct Payment Processing Fee“.
Tax has to be paid, no reason not to pay this, it’s due and should be expected when importing goods to the UK. I’d no idea what basis FedEx were charging this additional £12, after all I’ve no relationship with them, I’ve not agreed to pay such a charge, they’ve done nothing for me as they’re delivering on behalf of the company sending me the goods.
A quick google and I came across a blog by Adam Owen for a slightly different charge, for Customers Advancement Fees. He had published a useful template which I’ve modified and sent off to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Within a couple of days they’d wiped the additional charge and all I had to pay was the original tax charge.
Here’s the email I sent, feel free to make use of it and let eveyone know in the comments below if it works for you.
This is in reference to invoice #xxxxxxxx.
After having bought an item outside the EU I understood there would be the possibility of VAT due on receiving them.
I was however surprised to see an additional section for a ‘Direct Payment Processing Fee’ of £12.
Since my purchase was made outside of the EU, I of course will pay the VAT due.
However, I refuse to pay the ‘Direct Payment Processing Fee’ of £12, since
at no point was I made aware of, nor did I agree to, any terms and conditions which clearly stated that I would be liable for any such charges.
At no point in the transaction and subsequent delivery was any contract for a Direct Payment Processing Fee made between FedEx and myself.
I paid the supplier for delivery, and would expect that any international
fees be factored into the initial cost of such a shipment.
If you want to pursue further charges for delivery or administration or the terms upon which goods are shipped, I suggest that you take it up with the company who shipped the goods initially.
Therefore, I request that you update this invoice to reflect no admin fee,
and once that has been done I’ll make immediate payment.
Please let me know when this has been done.