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Customs and postal issues in Swachh Bharat !

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

Fantastic

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After being sent for customs evaluation on 1st Jan my parcel ( kit power amp parts worth Rs 1700 ) the Web Tracking showed nothing else for a long time. On 27th Jan the parcel was brought by the postman ( all squashed up !) with a duty charge of Rs 1690/- ! I told him to take it back and that I would complain to the post master. He said "Why, do you expect to find stones ?"

Anyway, at 5.30 pm I went to the post office on the same day and gave a written request asking it to be re-assessed by customs along with copies of the sellers invoice and my payment for it ( US$28). I came home and at 6.58 pm (!) I logged on to the tracking site and found that there was no entry except for the one on 1st Jan saying sent to customs. Nothing about it being received at my post office and that it was out for delivery.

Today on the 30th Jan I see an entry saying 'Unsuccessful item delivery attempt' and it has been sent back to Kolkata airport sorting office. Time stamp : 5.57 pm 27th Jan !!!

Is there a time lag of over one hour between the post office making an entry and me seeing the updated web data ?

I will be contacting the main post office for an explanation of the entry. Wonder who else has been having issues like this.

I think we must ask all sellers from China to mention the customs HS category and the correct price on the package along with proper content list.The HS list is available on the web and I have posted it on some other thread in 'amplifiers'.

Lets see what will happen !

PS. There are a LOT of complaints on the Net of delayed and excessive duty for parcels that arrive into the country at Kolkata. Claim is that they have to be opened and assessed. Better to attach all information outside to hopefully avoid this delay and meaningless duty.
 
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Fantastic

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A quick update. I called up the main post office listed on the Net and told them about my concerns. The youngster at the other end was one of the most polite and well informed government employee I have come across for a while!
He told me that irrespective of the web tracking information, the parcel will go directly to the customs office where it was assessed. He added that the parcel cannot be sent back to the seller easily as it has already been assessed by customs'. The process of sending it back is very complicated ( for them !). So it will only go for re-assessment to the customs dept. It should take 2 weeks to get some response from the customs.
That's good news. I thought the local postmen were playing truant and trying to send it back to the sender which is what the post man said.
 

Fantastic

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Another update. This is very encouraging.
The postal customs replied to my email ( the complaint about the tracking information ) and said that the package has been sent to their department and that they will do the needful in a few days.
Very nice ! At least I know where it is !
I admit that the department has progressed a lot from what it used to be several years ago. Nothing like getting feedback to clear one's fears ! Must congratulate them.
I did send them a 'thank you' email.
 

captrajesh

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I've imported two pairs of Alpair 7.3 from Mark Audio which were dispatched through Hongkong Post and have not reached me. Going through the ordeal of following up. Tapped someone higher up in Postal Department today. Will post my experiences when I get them.
 

kaushik

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post man on saturday calls carrying ESS sabre chips

"sir iam near to address come sir "
i told why should i come , i am busy doing smthing

again took address
calls come i am near ATM ... duh!

i told i am working bhai ... finally came and delivered .
Where is the INDIA were postman used to go by boat..via jungles and used to deliver
As per me i do my job full ..why they want to do half job .
Still appreciate the service but all these ..
 

sound_cycle

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post man on saturday calls carrying ESS sabre chips

"sir iam near to address come sir "
i told why should i come , i am busy doing smthing

As per me i do my job full ..why they want to do half job .
Still appreciate the service but all these ..
Congrats on receipt of parcel.

I have seen free delivery options/ delivery to India altogether VANISH from many webstores over the past 5 - 6 years I have been ordering stuff (cycling stuff, not audio) from abroad. Will not know the reason for this but I suspect that the very large number of orders they have shipped multiple times to keep the customer satisfied may be a contributory factor.

It is much worse than you think.

Order from sites which ship with a tracking option. you will pay for customs etc but get your item sahi salamat and on time. Worth the peace of mind.

ciao
gr
 

Fantastic

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Almost a month has passed ( returned for reassessment on 27th Jan) and the parcel reappeared with reduced duty. Now it is Rs 830/- . The Net calculator says about Rs 500/- ! Anyway I'm not sending it back as it will be a big chakkar again. Chances are that I will not buy anything that comes through the regular postal service ! Couriers that charge duty in advance are the best. Usually it is about 30 to 40 % or less. No arguments and tracking is very up to date. In my case this latest delivery ( today ) isn't even shown on their web site several hours after delivery.

I've just received an AT95E cartridge plus head shell. Total cost including shipping and handling and duty advance is Rs 5788/- . Duty ( collected by Amazon.com) Rs 982/- . That is about 20% on the cost ! If I had got it via regular post it would probably have been Rs 2900/- ! Tracking shows it arrived into India at Mumbai and from there it took a week to appear at my door.

I'm debating if I should write to the Customs and ask them to tell us how we can find out the duty applicable for items BEFORE we buy them as their customs calculator on the Net doesn't seem to be close to actual duty paid !

Has anyone done this already ?
 
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captrajesh

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Five weeks plus since I made the payment. Still no trace of the drivers. I was interacting with a very senior official regarding the same. Apparently the postal customs guys do not report to the officials in the Postal hierarchy; a tongue-in-the-cheek comment which he confided 'between both of us'. There are some consignments lying for clearance for a decade!!
 

captrajesh

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Update:
A day after my previous post, I lodged a 'Consumer Grievance Redressal' on the website of Indian Customs. I got a call the very next day where i was advised to call up the Postal Customs Office. I was asked to produce the following documents:

A letter from me explaining the purchase
A copy of the invoice.
Proof of payment.

I was to visit Bangalore and then Hyderabad. On my way back from Hyderabad, I landed in Cochin enroute to Trivandrum to meet the 'Postal Appraisal Department' of 'Indian Customs' to sort out the issue once and for all. Lack of direct flights to Trivandrum from Hyderabad helped after all.

I was received well by the Administrative Officer who perused the documents that I produced and appeared to be satisfied with what he saw. He promised to clear the consignment.

Hope to receive the drivers intact.
 
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