I am so pissed. I just need to post this blog out to share to the world how sucky DHL Express Philippines is!
Let me tell you the WHOLE story point by point:
- This March, I won a book giveaway sponsored by a publishing company in the USA.
- I have no clue when the package will be sent as the blog who hosted the giveaway was the one who got my details.
- Last March 26th, said publishing company sent over the book via DHL US.
- Yesterday, March 30th, the book arrived at my home, but guess what? They levied taxes on me. Not just any tax, but a HUGE amount of tax. So huge in fact, that the amount that was supposed to be paid was even larger than the amount of the book that I was to receive.
- Since I was not around to receive the package, our maid was, she was afraid to not pay the customs levy because she thought I might not receive the package.
- When I got home that night, I scoured the bill and lo and behold, I got billed for the following:
Informal Entry Declaration - 30 PHP
VAT for Informal Entry Declaration - 3.60
Import Processing Fee - 250 PHP [What the hell is this? Books aren't supposed to be taxed, right?]
Customs Documentary Stamps - 265 PHP
Now, I am against this taxing of books. Hello? If the Philippine Government doesn't tax me on books, then why should DHL? I received other books from other couriers and no, they don't tax the books either. I got them safe and sound with no extra charges.
So why did DHL Express Philippines tax these books? Are they not aware of the 2009 decree that Arroyo stated?
Calling their call centre, someone tried to explain that every package that is handled by DHL Express Philippines is billed an Import Processing Fee. Come on! Don't give me that BULL! What if I'm a receiver of some important packages, does that mean I have to pay my share of fees too when clearly, the sender has managed to pay them out before you send them???
I am annoyed. I've been contacting their call centres for an hour now and I've received the following feedback:
- Let me forward your phone call to so-and-so. Okay. But then again they are not in the office!
- They put me on hold but then the line was dropped. Hello? Talk about customer service?? You are making me more irate here! I just want an explanation on why these charges are levied, and how did they come to that! I want also a refund if needed if I could prove my point that the package should not have been taxed in the first place!
- I tried calling for the fourth time and they automatically transferred me to the contact person who was out of the office again. Don't they have another manager they could escalate the issue to?
Also, it is clearly stated that the book's unit value price was at $1 from the commercial invoice. So how did their personnel get those computations from above?
It's the Holy Week starting tomorrow and when shall I get a feedback on this case? On Monday? Come on!
I thought that DHL was supposed to be customer oriented and blah blah blah. NOT!
Use other couriers instead. This is definitely not worth your time, effort, money and hassle.
Yes, I am fuming about paying the P500+ thing to this company. Yes, I want a refund if they could score me a refund. If not, then let that be a lesson to me and the maid [will have a LONG chat with her about this later]. If such a thing arises again, I'll refuse to pay them. Hell, I'll let them return the book to the sender. I don't care! This is not right!
Gah. I hate this country's system sometimes!
See more articles below.
This issue has been already discussed in the Great Book Blockade of 2009 and this was already lifted late 2010 as well! Why in the world is DHL not informed that books for personal consumption are supposed to be tax-free? See article dated as of May 25, 2009 from the Philippine Star:
“President Arroyo ordered the immediate lifting of the customs duty on book importation,” Remonde said in a text message to The STAR.
“The President wants books to be within reach of the common man. She believes reading as an important value for intellectual formation, which is the foundation of a healthy public opinion necessary for a vibrant democracy,” he said.
Remonde said Mrs. Arroyo directed Finance Secretary Margarito Teves to revoke Finance Department Order 17-09 which imposes duty on book importation.