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I ordered some health products from the states, and they whisked their way to me in prompt fashion. All was well in the world.

 

A few days later I travelled up north to a flat that I rent (I move between there and another property). When I returned home six weeks later, I noticed that I had a few letters from DHL and other companies that had been failed to be passed on to me.

 

It appears that DHL had send requests for duty and VAT charges totally around £80 for the health products. A further letter from 'Robinson and Shori' (the legal arm of dhl i believe) was also there informing me that I had to pay or that they would commence legal action.

 

I took the liberty of phoning DHL immediately, and they informed me that I owed them £80. I paid it there and then over the phone and thought that was that.

 

However, days later I received a letter from 'account control plc' who apparently (after i looked it up) won a control recovery contract with DHL earlier this year. They send a letter informing that that due to late payment I owe them £40 in charges, and that interest will build up everyday. I had assumed that by fact that DHL allowed me to pay the ammount that I was told I owed them, this matter would be over. The letter appears to acknowledge that I have paid the original amount I owed.

 

It seems that as I delayed payment through not being aware of the situation that things have become quite complicated. I really don't mind paying that £40 if I'm actually required to, as I suppose that it's my fault, but I am surprised that they allowed me to directly pay back the money I owed them if they are then going to pass on this process to a third party who then go on to demand further payments. It seems rather unusual to me. Should I pay?

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tell them to sod off

 

check dhl t&c to see if they can pass your details to an out side agency

 

they have no authority to do this charge

 

hang fire for a bit as checking if they have a consumer credit/data protection licence

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It is not DHL that charged you it as such:

 

DHL pay the duty and vat and then claim it back from the receiver if it is delivered DUTY UNPAID.

 

what was the value of the goods ?

did you get a receipt for the £80 ?

 

was the goods delivered DDP (delivered duty paid) OR DDU ( delivered duty unpaid) it will be on the awb

 

Ask the question why are they charging £40 + interest for a bill that was paid

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postggj - Yes, sorry, it is CONTROL ACCOUNT PLC. I read on their website that they won a contract with DHL. This suggests that DHL passed on the debt to them I assume, but that is contradicted by the fact that they appear to acknowledge in the letter that I have now paid the duty and VAT charges to DHL. It is also contradicted by the fact that DHL allowed me to pass the charges directly to them over the phone and without question, which suggests that the debt cannot have been sold on by the time I actually paid it. The money was taken from my account so i has been accepted and paid. They could've very easily have said "you now owe the money to xyz" but they didn't. The payment was accepted and appears to be acknowlegded even by Control Account PLC.

 

So, in short I did take my time to pay the duty and VAT, but I was allowed to eventuall pay it. Surely they can't add these additional charges that I'd never heard of AFTER i have paid the money I owed them.

 

RHOOD - I don't have all of the details here. Whether I should've paid the duty or VAT is less important now as I already paid it. The products were ordered from the iherb.com website and there was a breakdown of the payment but it was send about a week or so after the goods, which is why I didn't think about it at the time.

 

In fairness to them they did send warning letters, but as I was aware I couldn't read them and was oblivious to all of this. I will get someone to scan in the CONTROL ACCOUNT PLC letter tomorrow so that others can see it. In short it appears to acknowledge that I have paid the duty and VAT, but suggets that due to late payment of duty and VAT I owe £40 in charges and that interest will be added daily. Maybe these are legal charges?

 

EDIT: Also, be be clear, this is the first time that Control Accounts PLC have ever written to me.

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Here's something from ControlAccount PLC stating that they won the DHL contract: Controlaccount Plc . Seems bizarre to me that DHL appear to have passed/sold on a late payment fee, after accepting the original payment? Surely once they accept the payment, then there is no case to be answered. It doesn't make any sense. DHL have never asked me for this fee, nor has anybody else until now. If DHL had told me that there is a late payment fee when I actually made the payment they asked for, then I'd have probably paid it then and there. However, they didn't, and instead they appear to have sold on this mysterious 'fee' that I'd never heard of until now.

 

Ask them for a breakdown of CHARGES ;)

 

Thanks for the suggestion. Are they obliged to do this?

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Yes they are obliged to do this, they must state in clear english what charges have been added to any account and also give you prior warning (normally in the terms and conditions) of any charges that may be applied, ie late payment/none payment etc and so forth.

 

It sounds very much as if this charge is a penalty charge, rather than any cost incurred by your failure to pay on time, as such it would be an unlawful charge and completely contestable

Hope this helps

 

 

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Please note: i am not a qualified lawyer, any advice is offered in good faith and is based on my own and others experiences and a penchant for research and a desire to help others to empower themselves

 

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as someone mentioned earlier tell them to sod off. You have no debt to pay. Given the fact that the whole banking industry can't justify excessive charges, i seriously doubt these can. It seems they are trying it on, in the hope you'll pay up and they make a quick buck.

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Here is the scan.

 

They appear to acknowledge that I have paid the principal overdue amount and that the charges are for late payment under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act. However, they go on to say that I shouldn't make payment to DHL, but should make it to Control Account instead which seems a bit fishy. Also, I find that this act only applies to businesses and not consumers:

 

Section 2.1:

This Act applies to a contract for the supply of goods or services where the purchaser and the supplier are each acting in the course of a business, other than an excepted contract.

 

I am a consumer. I didn't sell these health products on. They were for m own useage. I'm not sure if the responsibility is on me to prove that though.

 

If I ever actually owed this 'late payment charge', I'd have thougt DHL would've asked me for it when I paid the duty and VAT (admittedly quite late). However they didn't, and stated that it was fine for me to order from them again and that the matter was resolved. This was either a mistake on their part, or this company are trying to make a quick buck on what is effectively a £0.00 debt.

 

To be on the safe side, should I contact DHL about this matter? If I do, what are they likely to tell me? I think Control Account plc are trying to scare me into paying with this threat of additional interest accruing and legal proceedings.

 

Further input appreciated :). Should I contact them to tell them I am not paying, or is there any chance that I'm in the wrong here? Thanks for the advice so far guys.

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Edited by astounded
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I posted on another forum, and they appear to take that this is both unfair and unenforcable. If one or two of you would take a quick look at the letter I scanned it and my most recent posts and let me know if you agree that this is something I should ignore, I'd very much appreciate it :)

 

Thanks.

Edited by astounded
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ISSUE RESOLVED (I hope)

 

I just called DHL (16:39 - 20 oct) after waiting about 30 minutes to get through :), and they told me that this matter should not have been passed on to ControlAccount PLC on multiple accounts:

 

1) I paid DHL all outstanding monies due before this charge was passed on to control account plc. She stated that it was passed on after payment was already made and in error.

 

2) I am an individual and not a business. I sent off for full priced health products, and as such the act they state doesn't apply to me.

 

It's a bit shoddy of DHL, to pass this on after I had paid, but I did take longer than is perhaps reasonable to pay (since I was away from the property) so perhaps I am lucky. She stated that she called ControlAccount PLC (she put me on hold) and that I shouldn't be hearing more from them. If I do I'll let you know.

 

I'm glad I held out and didn't pay ControlAccount upon receiving their threatening letter.

Edited by astounded
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Look at your air way bill ( address label) under the barcode it will be ticked ddp or ddu.

 

Did you get the DHL persons name and i would also keep a record of the phone call - just in case ;)

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iherb.com . A large supplement site.

 

Then DHL have no effective recovery option with you regardless of whether ddp or ddu terms.

 

Can't see anything on iherbs t&c's with even a suggestion of standing authority from consignee.

 

DHL will ship under HV, CMR, BIFA or a combination of same.

 

Unless they (DHL) are in receipt of a standing authority (usually a business) to recover duties at destination the onus returns to the shipper.

 

Usual practise would be to hold a lien over goods until duties paid and present additional storage costs, if the storage costs then outweighed the advantage of accepting goods you would be within your rights to reject consignment without penalty.

 

In basic terms its a little akin to royal mail popping a card through the door asking you to collect a package from the sorting office and settle short paid postage.......its entirely up to you whether you accept. The sender entered into the contract not the consignee.

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Yes, the first I heard about these additional payments was after I had alreadt signed for the parcels. The delivery man didn't state anything either. I feel that the process should be more transparent. They don't even have an online payment option, I had to wait on the phone for about 30 minutes in order to get through. And again I had to wait that long just to check that I didn't owe this late payment debt that they passed on to Control Account PLC in error.

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