You can't prepay charges from HM Revenue and Customs, right? So when I found out that the girl doing my wig had sent it as goods rather than a gift I was ready to give Her Madge a neat little £12.56 towards paying it.
What I didn't expect was for ParcelForce to intercept that parcel before HM Revenue and Customs even got to me and tell me that they'll pay it for me! but I have to pay them back! and then I have a Parcelforce Clearance Fee to pay on top!
Well, obviously this sucks. I didn't ask them to go along and pay for it, and if they're going to charge anyone they should charge the girl sending it since she entered into a contract with them, not me. They don't really have a right to charge me for something that I couldn't pay for before the event, if that makes sense. (Does everything that goes through Customs get a big fat £13.50 slapped on it by ParcelFarce? They must be making a lot of money.)
Well, on this letter, there's a message at the bottom: "for enquires [sic] specifically regarding Parcelforce Clearance fee please contact the above depot."
Okay. I call the number at the top. They are playing Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" randomly interrupted by a woman telling me how awesome it is to use their international delivery service. Riiight.
Twenty minutes later and someone finally says, "Parcelforce."
No, "hello, parcelforce, West London depot, can I help you?" and no "Parcelforce, my name is XX"... Just a bored man saying "parcelforce".
Not a good start.
I explained that I wanted to dispute the clearance fee. "Hi, I recieved a letter today saying I need to pay VAT and a clearance fee from you, I don't mind the VAT but I want to dispute the clearance fee with you".
"You want to talk to Revenue and Customs, it's 0247454564654654654."
"I'm sorry? It says I should call you guys here. It's NOT the customs, it's YOUR clearance fee."
"No, we don't deal with you, you call 0275464655645646546."
"Alright, wait one sec whilst I get a pen..."
He tuts and sighs like I should have KNOWN he was going to tell me to call someone else.
"Okay, I'm ready."
Okay, well, I call up the number he finally deigned to give me, and it's engaged. Permanently. Doesn't sound right, you'd think they'd have a call centre or something. I don't mind. I get through, and, of course, they tell me that I need to talk to ParcelFarce about the clearance fee and all that jazz.
I call up again... more Coldplay... twenty minutes later my call is answered by the same bored man... H tells me the same stuff again, and I ask to speak to a manager or supervisor. Here's the shocking part -- he tells me he IS the manager. He could be lying, or he could really be the manager-- if he is, that's disgraceful. :(