Thursday, 10 May 2012

Paints, Plastics & The UK Boarder Agency

Had a long awaited delivery from Reaper yesterday afternoon, and have spent the rest of the day packing it ready to dispatch it this morning. It also brought in extra stock, so I now have more Reaper plastic bones, including the ever popular purple worms.

I’m also fairly flush with Reaper MSP Triads too, so if you haven’t tried these excellent paints before, not is a good time.

So that sorts out the plus side, now for a bit of a rant.

I’ve been waiting for this package from Reaper with more anticipation than usual as it was a big order. Lots of European buyers had trusted me with some quite impressive orders, and naturally I wanted to complete these as quickly as possible.

Reaper packed and dispatched the order within 24 hours of me placing it, and they usually do. It then gets flown over and awaits the attention of the UK Boarder Agency, and HM Customs & Excise. This is a slow business, and can take 2 weeks, sometimes more at busy times like Christmas. Finally, once they have satisfied themselves I’m not importing something nasty, they work out the customs charge, and pass everything to Parcelforce. Parcelforce then contact me via post so I can pay the charge. Once paid the package is delivered, usually within the next couple of days. As you can see this isn’t the quickest system.

However this time the charge that was levied on the package was wrong. So I had to ring HM Customs to query it. They in turn had to contact the UK boarder agency to see what they thought. The UK boarder agency got back in touch with me to say they needed a copy of the customs importing certificate faxed back to them. The certificate currently being stuck on the box sitting the the parcelforce depot. The boarder agency will contact parcelforce, but it may take a day. Strangely enough it did, and they rang me back to say they had got the charge wrong, and would instruct parcelforce to charge me the new amount. This would take a few days to process.

After repeated called to the parcelforce depot, the new charge finally appeared on their system and I was able to pay it. I was promised a next day delivery, which never happened. Back onto the depot I was told that as the parcels certificate had been faxed back to the boarder agency, it had been taken out of their delivery system, hence it not being delivered. Once put back into the system it was finally delivered yesterday, 9th May 2012.

I write all this for two reasons. Firstly to try and explain that I have little influence over the delay it takes to get Reaper products in stock. Sometimes it goes wrong and the time it takes to put it straight is both depressing and frustrating.

The second is for those planning on visiting the UK for the Diamond Jubilee and more likely, the Olympics. If it takes this long to get a box of metal and plastic miniatures through the system, you’d all better bring rations packs and camp beds!

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