Last weekend I found a really great online shop called Boot Barn. They also have retail locations across the states. The reason I came across them was because I was interested in buying a pair of Ariat Fuse sneakers and was doing a search for retailers that sold them.
I’m an Ariat fan. Check out my post on looking like a cowgirl with Ariat Fatbaby boots.
I found two different colors I loved and they were a really good price, on sale at $67. With the exchange rate that’s around $100 Canadian. That’s better than prices I found online with a Canadian retailer around $150 and $220 on Amazon. Are you kidding me Amazon Canada? Wow that’s a rip off! I actually used the feature on Amazon to inform them of a lower price, but so far no adjustment has been done.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted the pink
Or the purple
(Disclosure: this post contains no affiliate links and the images were not taken from any of the retailers named in this post. I saved them from the company where I made the purchase.)
I decided to buy both and added them to my shopping cart. Then I added two really cute sweaters I liked. Total sale around $200 plus shipping. I had my credit card in hand ready to plug the numbers into the purchase.
Shipping? How were my cute sneakers and sweaters going to get to me?
I had a bad feeling the Boot Barn might be using UPS courier.
I do NOT use UPS. Let me tell you why. A couple of times in the early 2000’s I bought things from companies in the states and they shipped them UPS. I ended up with a nasty surprise when the driver knocked on my door and I had to pay even more money. UPS has to write up paperwork for items coming into Canada from the USA and then charges the receiver of the package an extra $50, $60, $100. So I’m paying UPS to write up their own paperwork! Outrageous! And often makes the purchase not worth while. Once you add in the cost of the item, the exchange rate, and then add on UPS ridiculous fee for writing up their own paperwork to cross customs, it’s not worthwhile to buy from a US retailer because now it costs as much as if I’d bought it locally.
The icing on the cake was the second and last time I got a package from the states delivered by UPS. I paid their stupid fee on my credit card. The driver has a machine that he runs the card through at time of delivery.
About a month later UPS Canada administration calls and tells me I owe them $60 for their paperwork fee. I tell them I already paid it with my credit card at the time of delivery and I have the credit card slip their driver issued me plus I have my credit card statement as proof of the UPS charge.
Basically UPS called me a liar and basically I told them to stuff it.
I’m a liar because UPS Canada accounting and administration SUCKS? Wow!
Two weeks after that call, I receive a letter in the mail from a collection agency that UPS Canada hired to collect the $60 for their paperwork.
Outrageous. I phoned the collection agency. They were closed so I left them a message on their machine. I informed them that the $60 fee had been paid to UPS and I had the proof. I also informed them that it’s a violation of the debt collection act to try to collect on a fully paid account and that I was reporting them to the Department of Justice and to the Better Business Bureau.
And I did.
Sucks to be that collection agency taking business from a disreputable company like UPS Canada.
UPS Canada broke the law when they hired the collection agency to collect on a fully paid account. And even if I hadn’t paid the bill at time of the UPS driver delivering the package, can you imagine the NERVE of UPS Canada to call a collection agency for an amount under $100 and to bring in a collection agency that fast. That was inside two months of the package being delivered.
From that day on, I’ve avoided using any company that uses UPS to ship their goods.
Here’s another story. I used to work for a financial institution about 10 years ago. My desk was in the mail room and I did back up for the mail room clerk, answering the door and accepting deliveries when she was out of the room. One day she’s trying to ship a package and using UPS. It’s been a few years since UPS Canada tried to screw me over into paying them twice but the memory is fresh.
“Don’t use UPS,” I tell her. “They’re the shits.”
UPS Canada refused to pick up a package anyway, telling the mail room lady our company had an overdue account. She followed up with our accounting department and they provided her with a copy front and back of the cheque that UPS had cashed. The one UPS Canada claimed our company hadn’t paid. LOL!
And the mail room lady used a different courier to ship whatever it was she had going out.
About a month later the mail room lady tried again to get UPS to pick up a parcel and they again refused, claiming we had an overdue account.
UPS Canada administration and accounting are in such bad shape that they refuse to acknowledge they’ve received payment even when the customer provides them with proof. And then they end up getting some collection agency in trouble by passing the account over to them.
Back to the purchase I was making from the Boot Barn.
I phoned to see how my products would be shipped.
I tried to talk the clerk into shipping my order with the US Postal Service, but no luck.
Shipping UPS was the deal breaker for the Boot Barn. I put my credit card back in my wallet and deleted the order.
I have bought many things over the years from American retailers as long as they’re using the postal service. There are no problems with paying duty, customs, or brokerage or other fees as long as a customer is getting the product shipping by post instead of UPS courier. I have never ever paid a fee when receiving something that’s mailed by the post office.
I have no idea if that has something to do with postal employees have enough work to do that they don’t want to fill out extra paperwork.
Or is UPS just out for a money grab and charging customers to fill out paperwork.
Let that be a lesson to everyone who is shopping online from American retailers. Always check to see how the item is being shipped. If the item is coming by UPS, be aware you’ll have to pay big bucks when the driver shows up.
As for those really cute Ariat Fuse sneakers, I ended up buying them from a company in Alberta. Their price was close to $150 but I got them to price match Boot Barn and paid $100 for them, about the same price as the Boot Barn once you add in the exchange. And they’re shipping them by Canada Post.
Words of wisdom – do NOT use UPS or you’ll get ripped off by their administrative fees. If you check out UPS Canada on the Better Business Bureau’s web page, you’ll see they have a failing grade. F = UPS Canada according to the complaints the BBB has received.
Save your money. Shop online from companies that do NOT use UPS to deliver the packages.
And if you’re a company in the states with Canadian customers, always ship their packages using the postal service. Nothing kills your business faster than using a courier company that’s out to rip off your customers.