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-   -   Canadians buying on airstream.com store (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161/canadians-buying-on-airstream-com-store-40721.html)

Mackhopp 03-25-2008 10:17 PM

Canadians buying on airstream.com store
 
Hi -

I'd like to know if any Canadians have purchased any items on the Airstream website. If so - have you shopped there more than once?

The reason I ask is that I recently ordered a couple shirts from their store (they're very nice btw).

At any rate, each shirt cost $17.06, and with shipping up here to Canada it cost me $48.89.

My problem isn't with the items - it's with the shipping. Airstream.com doesn't give any choice for the customer regarding the carrier for shipping - it's UPS or nothing. And my UPS shipping fee choices ranged from $14.77 all the way to $75.88.

But what I really don't like are the exorbitant brokerage fees UPS charges. In order for me to receive my package I had to pay an extra $23 - and over $17 of that were UPS fees! :angry: Lots of Canadians b*tch about the UPS fees. So in total those 2 little shirts ended up costing me over $71. :mad: Other carriers charge fees, but UPS are the king of fees. There are class-action lawsuits over their practices.

UPS a business, and I'd bet a thriving one at that. And they can run their business as they see fit. What I don't like is having no choice but to use them. Well, I do have a choice - so I won't be purchasing from the Airstream store any longer.

I've emailed airstream.com and am awaiting a response. Perhaps they simply don't know about what UPS does when they cross the border. I asked them if they'd consider using USPS as a carrier for their online store.

Has anyone else had this experience? If so, perhaps you could send a friendly email to the folks at Airstream letting them know that good ol' USPS would be a great alternative shipper - I know I'd shop there lots more!

Garfield 03-25-2008 11:18 PM

I refuse to buy from anyone that only ships by UPS -- and that includes airstream.com.

safari57 03-25-2008 11:25 PM

I feel your pain with UPS.

Frankly, when I'm told that this is the only shipper a seller will use I cancel my order explaining why. I will not accept UPS for anything. They charge an outrageous amount for brokerage. Firms that commit to only using one source for shipping forget that the purchaser is the one who suffers if the service is poor or overpriced. It shows to me a lack of concern about their customer and their customers individual needs.

On a few occasions the seller has agreed to ship USPS or FedEx when they have come to the realization that they will lose my order. In one case they went ahead and shipped UPS. I refused the shipment, called my credit card company and canceled the purchase indicating that the shipper had not followed clear and agreed to shipping agreement.

I haven't ordered anything from Airstream but I will keep this in mind.

Barry

Road Ruler 03-26-2008 06:44 AM

Agree... thr brokerage fees are a rip off and I have slowed down my purchases from the States because of this. Wondering if the class action suit will result in a reduction of costs.

henw 03-26-2008 08:07 AM

DHL is the absolute worst. If they deliver to another address, tough luck.

Melody Ranch 03-26-2008 08:36 AM

FED-EX too!
 
I sent a book to Saskatoon last month....nothing fancy or insured. I got t
nailed by FED-EX for $96.85. I hope my friends enjoy the read.

Mackhopp 03-26-2008 09:02 AM

I received a reply from the folks at Airstream -

I am very sorry about the additional charges that incurred on your t-shirts. UPS is our preferred method to ship because of their tracking capabilities. I am in contact with our Web Administrator and we are looking into the option of offering USPS as a shipping option to our Canadian customers.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond.


Looks positive, perhaps if a few of you have a minute or so to spare to send a quick email to their customer service regarding this UPS issue? Power to the people and all that jazz! :bb:

thecatsandi 03-26-2008 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Macfrodge
Hi -

But what I really don't like are the exorbitant brokerage fees UPS charges. In order for me to receive my package I had to pay an extra $23 - and over $17 of that were UPS fees! :angry: Lots of Canadians b*tch about the UPS fees. So in total those 2 little shirts ended up costing me over $71. :mad: Other carriers charge fees, but UPS are the king of fees. There are class-action lawsuits over their practices.

UPS a business, and I'd bet a thriving one at that. And they can run their business as they see fit. What I don't like is having no choice but to use them. Well, I do have a choice - so I won't be purchasing from the Airstream store any longer.

I believe you will find Fed/EX DHL or any carrier will have the same charges and you will have the same issues. I know for a fact that UPS and FED/EX run tight ships and try to keep costs down as much as possible.

You can't blame UPS because the cost of fuel in the US has doubled in the last year or so. Blame our extremely profitable, got us by the genitals Oil companies.

Stefrobrts 03-26-2008 10:30 AM

That's outrageous! That's why we do all of our shipping via USPS. The forms are easy to fill out, provide some minimal tracking, and shipping to Canada can be cheaper than shipping in the US in some cases. Nothing has ever been lost of damaged. I'm amazed at businesses that claim to be customer oriented, but can't jump through the simplest hoops to get items to their foreign customers.

safari57 03-26-2008 12:18 PM

UPS charges a base fee for handling Canada Customs shipments and then add the duty on top. FedEx does not charge a base fee so you only pay the actual cost of duty. I have not dealt with DHL. The cost savings can be significant on smaller shipments like T-shirts, books, etc.

ArtStream 03-26-2008 04:05 PM

The great white north
 
I'm headed to the post office tomorrow to mail a few forum member orders.
I'll find out what it costs exactly to send 2 tee shirts to Ottawa, and will report back!

Michael

adore 03-26-2008 05:00 PM

To Michelle (thecatsandi) who says "You can't blame UPS because the cost of fuel in the US has doubled in the last year or so. Blame our extremely profitable, got us by the genitals Oil companies."
Yes, we can sometimes blame the Oil companies, but if in this case other carriers can transport the same items at a fraction of the cost of UPS, we can certainly blame UPS. I am one of those who has dealt with UPS in the past and like the many others I am not buying anything anymore from anyone who will ship through this carrier. There was a program on TV, here in the province of Québec, the other day, which warned the consumers regarding the UPS fees when importing from the USA. They suggest using USPS (US Postal Service). This is what I had been doing for some time, avoiding the high costs UPS charges.

love vintage 03-26-2008 05:51 PM

Recently ordered custom drapes from AJP. Beautiful product, 100% satisified.
However... upon delivery, UPS rang my doorbell and requested $138.00 +. Note: no advance notice from UPS as to delivery date or related costs.

I questioned the cost and advised him shipping was pre-paid. In addition, was covered under the NAFTA Agreement and was not subject to Duty charges. He, being just the delivery guy, suggested I contact Head Office.

I did call the 1-800 number and was advised the charges were a result of brokerage fees (paper work) and GST!!!! Bad combination of cross-border Companies and Federal Agencies not advising consumers in advance!

That being said, will never again purchase from anyone using UPS. Also will not puchase from those on E-Bay who do not use PAYPAL. Heads up!

P.S. Snow weary but Canada is still the best country in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cameront120 03-26-2008 06:22 PM

I've been bitten by UPS's questionable brokerage fees as well. Businesses who use them exclusively for shipping no longer get my business.

Alumatube 03-26-2008 07:25 PM

I absolutely HAD to send a 43-lb box to Brad from Arkansas to California by UPS 2-day recently, and was expecting somewhere around $90 (thinking that was high). Imagine my total shock when the bill came out to be $177.23!!!!!!!!!!! The fuel surcharge was either $14 or $47 (don['t remember for sure). Fortunately, his company is reimbursing us on the expense, but DANG. I actually was a proponent of UPS, but after this, I am expolring other shipping venues.

Susan :)

SmokelessJoe 03-26-2008 07:30 PM

My own experience with several imports during the rebuild of my trailer and the appearance of this thread made me curious to know more.

Checking, here’s what I think is happening:

Items valued at more than $20.00 need to clear Canada Customs. Brokers offer to do this for you, for a fee. (You can clear customs items yourself, if you want to go to the trouble of doing it)

All the major parcel shippers, like UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. seem to have created or acquired their own brokerage firms. They all charge the same exorbitant brokerage fees.

This has perhaps allowed them to offer shippers very low cost service to Canada. That’s probably why you increasingly see claims like this on various websites:


Sweetwater has the best shipping deal on the planet: FREE SHIPPING* with no minimum purchase. We've chosen FedEx as our principle carrier due to their expertise in handling sensitive electronic equipment as well as a shipping time that's twice as fast as the competition. (1-5 days vs. the 2-9 days shipping time that the competition offers.) It's all part of the Sweetwater difference; your order arrives safely, carefully handled, in half the time, and for FREE*.

(Airstream has fallen for the UPS sales claim that it offers a tracking service. Everybody offers tracking today, even the Post Office).

You think the shipping is FREE. UPS knows they are going to nick you for “brokerage”.

These brokerage charges are only charged on GROUND SERVICE. They are included in higher Air Service charges. Again, tricky marketing. You compare the cost of Ground over Air and choose the cheaper. Surprise. With brokerage added, the final cost is THE SAME.

If it is a small parcel or if you need your parcel in a hurry, air is better.

Use the Unites States Postal Service and their business partner, Canada Post.

I think the Canada Post brokerage charge is a flat $8.00, no matter the cost of the shipment.

(No matter who delivers it, you will have to pay PST/GST).

I’ve found USPS and Canada Post to be just as dependable but cheaper than their competition.

I smiled when I read this thread. The universal theme here is “I’ll never buy from anyone that ships UPS”.

UPS thinks their customer is AIRSTREAM, not you. They won’t even know they are losing business until their customers start to tell them.

You know who you have to complain to.

Sergei

Mackhopp 03-26-2008 10:02 PM

Let the Northern peasants revolt! :bb:

I'll be interested to know if Airstream takes this seriously. It would be nice if they listen.

If I'm shopping online, and find something I'd like to buy but notice the store uses UPS, more often than not I can find this product somewhere else. But... I can't really find more official Airstream t-shirts and products other than on their site (well, I did find some neat shirts at Old Navy last year but I think that was a one-time thing).

Guess I'll be looking for some pink flamingos elsewhere... ;)

As an aside, I went to the USPS website and checked to see how much they'd charge for shipping a 1 lb box to Canada. Their website said $4.66. Add $6 for the fee, and the gst and you're looking at around $12 for those t-shirts. Compare that with the almost $37 I paid.

And now you know..... the REST of the story.

vswingfield 03-27-2008 12:04 AM

Shipping Practices
 
I have had better luck with UPS than FedEx at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) where I work and have everything delivered. FedEx delivers everything shipped to UALR to the mailroom for them to deliver. UPS does bring it to the specified office. I’m paying for premium service when I use either one of these carriers. I feel that I have a right to have my packages delivered to my office. FedEx just can’t be bothered to do what they are being paid for. When I complained to a customer service rep, he told me that I wasn’t a customer since the shipper pays them the shipper is the customer. It made no difference that I am the one paying for it. To me, whoever pays is the customer.

The best service in the U.S. comes without a doubt from poor old USPS, who like Rodney Dangerfield, just can’t get no respect. After all the price hikes, I can still send a letter anywhere in the U.S. for less than the price of a Coke. Not only that, they send someone to my house 6 days a week, including Saturday (try that with one of the “premium” services) just to see if I feel like mailing a letter and to bring me whatever came on Saturday! Even when I don’t mail anything, they don’t get their feelings hurt. They check anyway. What a deal.

Sorry about your troubles in Canada. Realistically, I can see no reason it should cost more to ship anywhere in North America. The borders are just lines on a map.

briandg 03-27-2008 12:21 AM

Alaska to
 
They do the same thing in Alaska as happens in Canada and we are part of the good old USA last time I checked. IT has to come here on a plane and we get charged big time. I will not order from anyone who does not use the USPO. Companies say free shipping until I say Alaska then they crawfish. The USPO uses the same planes and its one fifth the cost.

adore 03-27-2008 09:43 AM

For the information of Canadians buying from airstream.com (store). Here is the message I have received from the store regarding their use of UPS as their carrier for shipping:
"We do offer US Postal Service as an option for shipping. There is a comment box on the order form where you can request USPS. Other wise we automatically ship UPS as that is our authorized distributor. We are working with UPS to see if we can’t do something different for our Canadian friends. We are sorry for the confusion all this as caused we are aware and are looking in to solving the problem. Sincerely, Jean"




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