UPS has a nice little scam rigged up with COD fees for customs handling.  Check out this bill:


For reasons unknown, Canada customs decided that I should have to pay 11 cents on items I’d been sent after loaning them to a US resident.

Observe that because UPS paid that 11 cents fee at the border, they tacked on their own $30 brokerage fee (plus GST).

I can’t imagine that this is legal.  If it is legal, I’d recommend people boycott UPS as a shipping company when sending from the USA to Canada.  They basically have found a way to double charge for the package, once explicitly to the sender, and once to the receiver.  However, this isn’t the first time I’ve been charged handling fees of this sort.  I think the previous time it was FedEx, and they charged something like $15-$20 for paying a couple dollar customs fee.

If all the big shipping companies are playing this sort of dirty game, there are not many possibilities for boycotting them.  I’d not be surprised at all if somebody in Canada customs management is getting a kickback from UPS and friends to facilitate addition of trivial fees that these companies can use to justify their brokerage fees.