Sent money -can't get phone

That person needs to pay for what DHL Express requests, in particular!

Please, you need to help yourself here, stay focused (polite) and at least understand requirements (especially those related to Li-ion batteries transportation) of DHL Express.

Batteries?? Has nothing to do with it. Maybe my post was cut short and you missed the point. That’s OK.

At least DHLs AI didn’t talk down to me.

It’s NOT small. And, for several hours a day, for 2 days I went through everything I could at DHL, before anyone suggested and did it all by myself and found them condescending.
I started my quest with their ‘fee’ as you made it to be, 2 days ago. Up till late last night I could not ask them what value they placed the ‘fee’ on. Then they gave me a ultimatum; pay right now, or lose it. And, go away happy about it all.

I’m 73 and don’t need my hand held. But I would like a answer to my question which I gather I must post separately.

Thanks @Quarnero for your kind words.

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Please understand the other side (DHL Express), when they reply to your e-mail someone there just look into “its” computer what related database number is telling him/her. Therefore you do actually need helping hand and understand what someone from this Forum community is recommending to You: just pay amount, please, that exact amount of money that DHL Express requests (there is no other way around).

Please let me know when you transferred money to DHL Express, there is no reason to be stubborn, nor form my side nor from your side. It is about DHL Express fee and those/this entity will not step back one centimeter.

You’ll not get any answer from DHL Express. For them as for many others only received money is what counts. This is all right as well because of very high transportation costs (express related), just please do not spend your civilized energy and knowledge on them.

As this entity told you:

No need. (And I only knew the answer to one of your questions.)

@mladen, @joao.azevedo ?

I might be wrong but, a Value in AUS Dollar is higher as US-Dollar.

850 US-Dollar are 1221 AUS Dollar or
850 AUS Dollar are 591.6 US-Dollar.

May be you are just wrong about the VAT Amount and the Shipping Fee?

In your case, i would just pay it too. Cause if the parcel has just a wrong Value on it (like for a Transport insurance), shipping it twice could be the same fee again (without the VAT-rate-Part) and just double your trouble.


I can’t speak for the law in Canada but this isn’t necessarily true. Governments reserve the right to levy import taxes on the value, rather than what was paid. Is there a difference between these two amounts? There can be. Buyers and sellers have been known to conspire to conduct the official transaction at an amount that is below the value of the item (in order to reduce the tax payable and then split the difference between buyer and seller).

I am not suggesting that that is what has occurred here. I am just trying to explain why governments do what they do.

It is a genuine conundrum for the import tax authorities when the price changes so substantially between when the original contract was entered into (could be as early as 2017) and when the goods are actually despatched.

Given the number of parties involved here (Canadian government, DHL, you, Purism) I think it will be very tedious to get this fixed. Maybe work out what the total C$ difference is and decide whether it is going to be worth your time.

I’ve imported a fair amount of tech equipment over the years and the importing customs agent (DHL in this case) is really all about volume (X thousands of packages per day), not messing around for one package. They can’t and won’t store packages at the border for more than Y days.

Hard to interpret what you mean by that.

The value of A$1 is less than the value of US$1 (by quite a bit at the moment but there was a time in the last N years when the inequality was the other way round).

This means that any given value, when expressed in A$, is a larger number than when expressed in US$ (at the moment).

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Correct (especially in terms that high insurance value payed for every particular Librem 5, as shipped). And as we do agree that manufacturer and at the same time software developer (in singular) received amount of $599.00 USA (for this particular purchase, the one here related). In which currency money deducted from our own account within the second of when this payment made was and stays irrelevant for the company from Carlsbad, California, USA, the one that sends out product for which was indeed payed (based on Librem 5 price at that time) at some particular point of time.

@amosbatto kindly made this overeview (for any other “might be” open/further speculation):

@Sharon I replied to your email.

This would have happened regardless of the shipping company used.

I’m not sure they actually return packages, sometimes they go to unclaimed parcel auctions, or are destroyed.

Purism fulfilled their side of the bargain here, they shipped it to your country, all you have to do is pay the import fees. - if it is destroyed it is not going to be their fault, where exactly do you think you’ll sit in line for a refund? - from Purism? from the guy who bought it? from the parcel company that is asking you to come and get it?

I was the most skeptical the first time one of these buy may place in a queue threads came up… Purism are actually handling this pretty great.

ahh, so not just people who bought a place in a queue, but ALL international buyers?

the phone has a value of, whatever the customs guys decide it has a value of. - usually they have reference sheets or categories, they may have looked it up online even. if they say it is $850 USD, its $850 USD. $1209 ASD

nah, border force think that, and that’s what matters.

the situation is that when a package comes for you, the border force guys inspect it and they say.
it’s worth $1200, so that’s a an x% duty rate, then they add GST too, they may add some processing fees too.

so border force calculate all the fees, (duties, taxes and import fees) and they say to the shipper, we are keeping this unless you pay $x to release it.
DHL clearing department pays that on your behalf, - you don’t owe that money to border force, you owe it to DHL.
DHL also add a fee for using their clearing service.

then DHL tell you, we’ve got your parcel, but you need to pay the import fees + duty + taxes + handling fee before we will release it.

As far as what the fee is (and why it is so high)

It’s never based on the you paid price, it’s always based on the commercial value, or an estimated book value.
if you think that the price should have been declared much much lower than the book or estimated value of the device, that might have actually increased the import duties, as this is a way that countries discourage “dumping” (selling goods at below cost value in such a way as to bully out domestic production.) - And it is worse for you as the recipient if you are colluding in that. e,g, encouraging people to declare high value commercial items, as low value gifts. (etc.)

as the package is over $1000 AUD you’ll be required to pay duty as well as GST

GST is charged based on the goods and shipping value. and added to duty.

Four things,

  • Why would Purism want to pay to ship it twice?

  • Even if they did decide to send it a second time even if they write $850 AUD on the box, the customs people still inspect it and use their own reference sheets.

  • And, you don’t know they will return it, shippers may take your refusal to collect as a notice you are happy for the package to be destroyed. - DHL might not want to don’t want to fill out the paper work or pay the jet fuel to return it, certainly even if they return it, they don’t get that import fee they already paid to border force back. (it says on their website.)

  • finally, your debt is with DHL - they will chase you for it! regardless of whether you send it back. you asked for an international parcel to be sent to you, they take this as meaning your want to use their import fee clearance service when it is required…

I think Purism are pretty clear that they are an American seller and they don’t want to get involved with any other nations import duties etc (i.e they won’t pre-pay taxes for you.)
I would suggest you should consider this for ANY international purchase since it is the laws in your country that are holding you up, not Purism.
(I image they are probably claiming the export refund on the state and national taxes at the US end though!)

I think you may have gotten confused here. As I understand it, the seller of the place in the queue is in Australia but the buyer is in Canada. So whether “Border Force” or “GST” are relevant depends on the details of Canada’s governance. Not much about Australia is relevant to this topic other than that the true transaction value may have been in AUD i.e. the seller may have quoted a price in AUD.


Ahh. my bad.
in that case, rules around Australian duty do not apply. - rules on Canadian duty apply.
All the other stuff about border services (not border force) will apply.

they set the rates, based on their book values, not what is written on the package.

Not sure why AUD is coming into this at all?, (the phone was sent from US (Purism) to Canada (customer) then? and should not involve AUD at all, (the transaction for place in the queue is entirely different and border services shouldn’t care about that.

there should be no duty on Electronic items shipped from the states.
and an HST instead of a GST might be charged (to move the tax from your stage to the border)

but all the other stuff about they may not send it back.
the courier has paid and you own them regardless still stands.

the actual amount of fee should have been much smaller though, - how much was the import fee.
(you can figure out what it should be here.

a $1300 USD / $1770 CAD (current price) phone should attract a $230 CAD import fee

(How much was the fee?)

I think it’s more complicated than that. The true transaction here is between the buyer and seller - and with a transaction value in AUD. However as Purism is preparing the actual item for despatch, Purism either does not know the price that buyer and seller have agreed or does not care to know. (Purism does of course know the price that the seller paid to buy the phone from Purism - but that price could be quite out of date, an added complication here.)

Yes and no.

For sure, if the declared value is taking the piss then sooner or later it will get detected, and governments reserve the right to use their assessed value instead of the declared value or the transaction value.

Personally, I’ve never had the value written on the package rejected by “Border Force” but then I’ve always been completely legitimate with the value specified by the seller (no input from me) and being the arms length commercial value and standard price as advertised on the seller’s web site.

On the other hand, I don’t think “Border Force” could override the declared value unless they get the packaged opened up and go through the order meticulously, bearing in mind that the order can be multiple order lines with varying quantities. So how much time they would want to spend on it could depend on how much interest your item attracted. (The issue of having to go through the order lines could apply here, since the OP could have ordered accessories to be despatched with the phone - and those are a transaction between Purism and the buyer.)

I think that buying a place in a queue should be like buying receipt of a contract.
If you bought a futures contract for delivery of oil on X date, that’s what you expect. the seller (driller/refinery) to deliver the oil, even though you actually bought the contract for delivery from a futures hedging market… and those contracts (like the sale of the phone) are dollar denominated, regardless of the currency that you settle in.

But, I agree with what you are saying too, Purism might want to say no, our contract was with the original buyer, we just agreed to change the shipping address.

  • and that’s exactly why I said OP should be careful about refusing delivery, who are they going to get a refund from? - they bought a place in a queue, so the Australian guy delivered.
    Purism sent a phone, - their contract is fulfilled.

Agree. It has been a struggle to get to this point, so I wouldn’t want to mess it up now - but I guess that’s the OP’s business.

That’s where I think you need
a) to be a lawyer, and
b) to have specific expertise in the relevant Canadian law.

Would it be worth it for an oil contract? Yep. Would it be worth it for a US$600 / US$800 / US$1200 phone? Nope.

@ everyone!

GOT IT!! :partying_face:

I’m quite OK with the value now. I have the email and papers with the value. In Canada, taxes are applied to the price of the product. Some businesses, small ones that I know of, and the “law” as it is written on the government website, can get some taxes back at tax time.

Yes, João was kind enough to forward me the “packing slip”. I’m not sure what João does at Puri but I have a feeling he stepped out of his normal job to help out. Thank you João :1st_place_medal:

@Quarnero, much thanks. You helped a lot and thanks for the promotion to “entity” :grinning: Blessings to you.

Each province decides if they want to convert from GST to HST. BC did, and taxpayers, near election time, gave politicians an ultimatum, be voted out or return to GST. We have GST back.


I like to send them an “AND/OR”

I will agree that many things “should” be different, but I was buying the phone from a buyer turned seller. Seller told Puri to change address, Puri did and I think shipped the next morning. Voila!

I imagine Puri might be investigating their policy or procedures about such things. My hope is they don’t say no to a similar situation. It would deter others from buying a phone sooner than later. There is a que in every retail store waiting for a customer. Oil and water don’t mix- - L5 and Oil, don’t mix either.

Phone is due maybe Friday 27 but IMO, as they note, due to supply chains and COVID blah blah excuses, maybe later… DHL gives the word “Express” a bad name.

Sidenote: 6 people have already asked me to let them know when it’s here because they want be there for the ‘unveiling’ and to see it in action. I think I’ll make a sign for the door “Leave all cell phones here.” so the L5 doesn’t have to be sterilized after coming so close to their digital devices. :slight_smile:



I think they have already announced a more general change towards a model of not funding the development of new products via crowd-funding from would-be buyers. That alone will make it less likely in the future that selling one’s place in the queue will be a scenario. Problem solved (once parity is reached for the Librem 5).

Yea i mixed that up. The value of US Dollar was higher for one AUS Dollar. Like 1 AUS Dollar was like something 1 or more US-Dollar.

@joao.azevedo it is the best, he never gaming.

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