I can answer all of these questions.
- When ordering from ca.sandisk.com, there is no option for shipping other than two-day delvery (go try it out).
- When you place the order, it states:
* - Shipping Cost includes applicable Customs Duties and Taxes for your region.
Also, from the FAQ,
I live outside the US. Do I have to pay customs fees?
If you live outside the United States, custom and tariff fees may apply according to your country’s import laws. These fees will be collected and paid by our freight carrier and are bundled with your shipping charge.
3) The $40.96 is a standard UPS charge for crossing a border on a ground shipment. They charge $29.95US to show the paperwork to customs, proving that duty has been pre-paid. (This is the biggest but not sole reason I don’t use UPS.) It’s called brokerage fees, and would have been waived on an air shipment.
- Sandisk said that they’ve received complaints from almost every customer in Canada who has ordered through their website, and they’re working with UPS to resolve it.
What I SUSPECT happened is that when Sandisk set up the ca.sandisk.com store, someone didn’t quite understand that Canada is a different country than the USA. $14 and two-day delivery within the country is a normal charge. If correct, then that’s just stupidity–it would mean that nobody at Sandisk actually tried to order on the website before it went live. However, what really frustrates me is that since the failed delivery on Monday, I have been “GUARANTEED” delivery the following day on three occasions, and nothing has happened. I’ve arranged my schedule, my wife’s and our babysitter’s to make sure that someone is home on five separate days (scheduled UPS delivery, actual UPS delivery and refusal, and three promised deliveries with no action), all for nothing. I ordered this back in mid-March (replacing my beloved but broken E250) to take on a road trip, and we’re leaving tomorrow morning–without the new player.
Making a gross mistake on setting up the website is one thing. Constantly failing to fix the problem is another.
Ah ok, now you’ve drawn a clearer picture and the gist of the issue is this: there is an error regarding the shipping charge to Canada on the ca.sandisk.com webpage, it was not discovered until after you ordered a product and SanDisk’s response to the blunder (plus perhaps UPS’ inclement weather delay) compounded your frustration.
Your order was not filled out of a distribution center in Canada, it was an international shipment and the shipping cost at ca.sandisk.com did not reflect that. (I made a quick webpage visit and confirmed the $14 two-day shipment charge.) Does that about sum it up?
I didn’t delve far enough into the sample order but taking your reading of the shipping footnotes as complete, “Shipping Cost includes applicable Customs Duties and Taxes for your region” and “These fees…are bundled with your shipping charge” indicate you should have expected no further shipping charges.
So the CAN$40.96 (which is UPS’ currency conversion of US$29.95?) is a (flat?) brokerage fee as you have described which is levied on every merchandise order (perhaps within a certain product price range) ferried across the border by truck, from whatever U.S. merchant to any Canadian consumer and whether by UPS or some other company? The same merchandise ferried by plane eludes the assessment entirely. Is that correct? That’s no small observation.
(I’ve one small quibble with your assertions: that a CAN$14 charge (or about US$11 and change) on a “two-day [UPS] delivery within the country is a normal charge.” The understated amount is partly what led my suspicion in my first post. I called UPS and asked how much the delivery would be for a 2 x 3 x 4 inch, 59.5 gram (Sansa Fuze weight) package from Montreal to Vancouver and then from Toronto to Vancouver: the rep quoted me charges of CAN$26 and CAN$25 (UPS Canada - 800-742-5877), which is more in line with what you might pay in the U.S. Now I suspect you would counter that a large merchant is able to negotiate delivery charges and that frequently on orders there are no delivery charges at all, so how were you supposed to know what correlation the shipping charge had to what SanDisk actually pays UPS to get the package to you? No qualms there.)
So where do you go from here? Vent a bit and let it go? Or press on? If you decide to press on, what sort of outcome are you after?
I wonder if filing a claim with your Office of Consumer Affairs and your RECOL division might be a waste of time (what sort of result can you expect if you do?)–though I would be ready to cite that intention on any further dealing with SanDisk.
In your talks with SanDisk, I assume you asked for a supervisor the second (or third?) time around and perhaps tried to work your way up the call center ladder? And that you took some names? Do you know if the order center was U.S.-based and if it was a SanDisk unit or an outsourced service? No matter, but good to know if you decide to proceed.
And if you do choose to press, I would call CEO Eli Harari’s office in Milpitas, California, directly. Don’t mess with the toll-free number, use a direct line (pick up a pre-paid card if you need to, the daytime toll charge if any should be negligible). Ask to be directed to his secretary and then ask for his executive assistant or whichever righthand person who might be able to field and act on a serious complaint which affects all Canadian customers of the SanDisk website on all products.
Your experience resolves to this: (1) you were assessed an unexpected and exorbitant COD surcharge on a delivery amounting to 40% of the product price and that SanDisk customer service has acknowledged that your experience was not singular, that a number of Canadian customers using SanDisk’s website have complained about the very same, and that secondarily, (2) your shipping order timeline was bungled by SanDisk, but more importantly that when (3) you tried to resolve the handling errors, there was a lack of follow-through by SanDisk customer service on X number of occasions. You were inconvenienced, but that’s not the sum of it as you imagine many other Canadians are going through the same, and nothing on the website has been changed to reflect a possible surcharge.
In such a call as you may well know, stating the case plainly free of any whining, remaining upbeat, conveying that you were put out, that you wanted to bring this to their attention and that you plan to press the issue directly to Chairman Harari (which I might be inclined to do in writing anyway) and to your RECOL division if there’s no resolve is the key to success.
And then see what happens.
If you do choose that, I would be interested to know the outcome. You know the saying of the fish and the rotting head: if you can’t get some traction in the front office, it’s probably not going to happen anywhere in the company.
I’m interested partly because I’ve been thinking about buying some stock in SanDisk, particularly if it tanks even further again, but I’ve had some misgivings (having nothing to do with the mp3 player minutiae discussed here). What will be management’s reaction? How will you be treated? Will they follow through? Will you be offered some other consideration?
Whatever avenue you choose, I hope you don’t give up on the Fuze entirely, I’ve come to enjoy mine thoroughly.
Finally, I can sympathize with your difficulties with UPS. Through several years of delivery, our area driver repeatedly failed to find my home sending the packages back labeled “unknown address” despite calls each and every time explaining the exact location. It wasn’t until I happened upon the regular driver’s immediate supervisor and had a face-to-face with him that the address matter was resolved. The drivers and customer service seem able to handle routine, but deviate from it and there is no expression of initiative or creativity–such as asking for directions (I’m in a major American city and I was surprised to learn the UPS drivers here carry no GPS units or maps of any kind with them).