Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Today I learned an expensive lesson

After Christmas I decided I wanted to take my Wii back to Scotland with me. We can argue about the relative merits of this decision (i.e. the effect it will have on my schoolwork vs. all the weight I'm going to lose playing Just Dance 3), but suffice to say, the die was cast, and that thing was crossing the ocean. There was just one problem: my bag was way overweight and I had to take the Wii out. In retrospect, I should have paid the heavy bag fee or even just paid to check a second bag, but at the time, it was getting down to the wire and I was stressed, so when my dad suggested I give him whatever wouldn't fit and have him mail it to me, I took him up on the offer.

I immediately regretted the decision, not because I just couldn't wait for my Wii but because I knew how pricey international shipping can be, and I felt bad about asking my parents to pay it. But my dad assured me it was ok, and I put it from my mind. My mother figured out how to send it after I was gone, and I eagerly awaited the package's arrival.

Three weeks later, I still have not received the Wii, and I've started to get a little nervous. Last night I asked my mother if she could track the package, and she said she would get back to me. Well, today the mystery was solved.

When I went downstairs to check my mail, I was greeted by a letter from Parcelforce, which we will equate to the UK's UPS. It informed me that my package was being held by Customs until such time as I paid them EIGHTY POUNDS in import taxes. EIGHTY POUNDS! There are not CAPS big enough to express my surprise and outrage. They're running quite a racket over at the UK Border Agency. I'm seriously flabbergasted by this. Had I but known, I certainly would have paid that heavy bag fee.

But they don't warn you about these things, dear reader, so I'm warning you now. NEVER mail a Wii across the Atlantic (or really anything valuable). You're better off buying it its own seat on the plane. Ok, now I'm being hyperbolic, but let this be a lesson to you. The amount of money my parents and I have paid to send this thing could have almost bought me a new Wii. Please, don't make the same mistake I did.

I'm pretty upset, but after I post this, I'm going to let it go and regain my serenity. And tomorrow, when my package finally does arrive, I'm going to devote myself to playing £80 worth of Zelda. So don't expect to see me for about a month.

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