DEAN DUNHAM: Do I have to pay taxes and import duties when I buy goods on EU websites?
I bought sneakers on an EU website. They were advertised at £145 but have now been charged additional import and tax costs. Can they do that?
Sarah Gardner, Leeds.
Dean Dunham replies: If the sneakers had cost less than £135 there would have been no additional charges to the order price other than shipping.
However, orders over £135 exceed a threshold at which additional duty, VAT and delivery charges apply.
These fees should have been clearly stated to you, or at least the seller should have made you aware that additional fees might apply.
Threshold: Orders over £135 from the EU will incur additional duties, VAT and shipping costs
If the seller doesn’t honor your complaint and you paid by debit or credit card, you can file a chargeback claim with your bank, claiming that the seller failed to disclose the actual cost to you.
If you paid through a payment platform (e.g. PayPal) you can contact the complaints department, but other scenarios might be difficult – you don’t want to take the seller to court outside the UK.
That’s why you should always think twice before buying goods outside of the UK.
Wrong Klarna offer completed
Last month I bought an electric fireplace from Robert Dyas’ website.
My main reason for doing so was the clear marketing link to being able to buy this item with Klarna’s 12 month interest free option.
I started the online checkout process which was very easy and for the payment method part I selected Klarna as my preferred option.
At that point, I was offered three options: 30 days, pay three monthly installments, or 12 months with 0 percent.
I chose the latter and then received an email confirming my purchase. However, it went through the 30 day payment with Klarna – not the 12 month option I clicked.
I’ve tried to fix this issue but neither Robert Dyas nor Klarna have done anything to help yet.
Jonathan Warren, via email.
Responses Dean Dunham: All Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorized companies distributing financial advertising, including those promoting consumer credit, must abide by the principle of treating customers fairly.
Dealing fairly with customers is one of the core principles of the FCA’s regulatory system. Number six of its “Principles for Business” states: “A company must give due consideration to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly.”
Klarna specifically requires that all merchants promoting its financial products, such as B. Robert Dyas, observe and comply with this.
This is clearly either an IT error or a mistake on your part and in either case you would not be treated fairly if the matter were not resolved for you.
Notwithstanding the above, there is a simple fix. You bought online and 14 days have passed since delivery. In these circumstances, you can return the goods and request a full refund.
You are entitled to do this under the Consumer Contracts Regulation. You can then pay off Klarna and place your order again, this time making sure that the 12 month payment option is applied.
- Write to Dean Dunham, Money Mail, Scottish Daily Mail, 20 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6DB or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Daily Mail takes no legal responsibility for the replies.