I ordered an iPod from Apple a few weeks ago. I think I might have written about it already. Because I bought it through apple.ca, they added GST to the price. Apple didn’t charge for shipping, and I didn’t have to pay FedEx for anything when it arrived. Then last week I ordered a dock for the iPod, so I can plug the dock into my stereo and TV, and then when I plug the iPod into the dock, I can get sound through the stereo and watch videos on the TV. The dock shipped from North Carolina, but when it hit the border, the Canadian government decided that I should pay them GST on this item even though I bought it from a company in the US. I suppose the idea is that I could have bought the thing in Canada, in which case I would have paid GST on it. Being able to order something from the US and not pay GST on it would be a loophole, so I need to pay the GST as if I bought it here. However, that GST (in this case, $21.77) is due the moment it crosses into Canada, so since I wasn’t there to pay it, UPS had to pay it on my behalf. Thanks UPS, very sporting of you. Well, no, not really — UPS charged me $39.10 (plus GST, so $41.45) for this service, or almost double the amount that they had to pay. When they deliver the dock tomorrow, I will have to reimburse them for the GST they paid, plus pay this extra service charge, so I’ll have to give the driver $63.22. The dock itself only cost about $150, so this extra charge is almost half of the original cost of the thing.
I suppose the GST goes towards things like health care, but it’s still frustrating. Actually, I’m not sure which is frustrating me more — having to pay the GST or the fact that UPS is charging me a service charge of almost 200%.