|The day starts with a bad surprise. I look out the window and I am seeing this:
From blue sky and green lawns we went to snow and cold.
But I have an agenda. At 9am a U.S.-truck with lumber is expected at the border. So I have to be there to pay NB sales tax. I am down there waiting in my van at 8:55am. 15minutes past nine there is still no truck. At 9:35 the customs officer comes out to inform me and another fellow that the truck wouldn’t come until 1pm. Hello folks, what’s going on? So I go home. Between sitting idle and not knowing what to do I decide to carry in firewood and paint a couple of baseboards. Then I am watching as the paint dries. Shortly before 1pm I am on my way down to the border again. This time the truck is only 10 minutes late. And there appears to be another problem: The driver tells me that only a small part of my order is on the truck, the rest was not in stock????? How can they take an order if the stuff isn’t in stock? We move the few items he has over into my van and I leave. Now I am a tad ticked off.
When calling the company from home, they are all sorry but can’t do anything to fix the problem. So I cancel that part of the order. It has already been the 2. time the delivery failed as they should have brought it last Thursday but had forgotten all about it. Oh well…tomorrow I drive to St.Stephen and buy it in Canada.
Returning from the customs, I stop by the post office for a mail pickup. To my huge surprise I find a letter from UPS, therein containing a juicy invoice of 129 Bucks. Mistake? Yes, probably I think. Studying it in depth I see that the bill is for handling and duty payment of a NORWEGIAN CHEESE! By now it dawns on me that this is about the long lost cheese, our Norwegian friend had send from Columbus, OH when attending a course there in October. The cheese which has a value of around $30 Dollars, is taxed in at $98 duty tax plus 15%HST on top of that. You read that right: That’s tax on tax. And the rest is “brokerage and handling fees” for UPS. With that total of $129 they have mastered to add 3 times the value of the cheese to it, and best of it all, we still haven’t seen no cheese. The cheese did arrive in Canada on November 03 and what the hell happened after that until today, a full month later, can be anybody’s guess. It remains lost in the abyss of customs somewhere’s in the Canadian woods. So here I am doing the 2. call of the day, this time to UPS Canada headquarters in Toronto. I start by asking whether they are all well over there or in need of some professional help to overcome the obvious weakness with their brain functions. It is quiet for a while before the fellow inquires for details, which he receives pronto. Good thing, this guy must have just come back from a break and his mind is still eager to work. He realizes that something is askew here and suggests to send the matter over to the UPS customs handling department to get an “adjustment” of the invoice. Of course, he also realizes that I am quite unwilling to pay his bill and rather let the folks at UPS have that cheese (if still existing) or send it out into cyber space. I mean we love Norwegian cheese, especially when it comes in 6pound blocks, but contributing a copious amount to the wealth of the Canadian Government for this, is kind of out of the question. Btw. food items are exempt from sales tax.
The UPS fellow assures us that we will be contacted tomorrow before 5pm with a solution.
So, I guess there will be a follow-up on this. Hang in there!