delirium happy

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amazon.co.uk
delirium pissed off
rho
Dear amazon.co.uk,

No, I do not want to order from Amazon Jersey. Yes, I am well aware that if I did so I'd be exploiting tax laws and therefore not have to pay VAT and would therefore save a couple of quid. However, I am equally as aware that doing so will mean that the dispatch will take longer, the delivery will take longer, and the package would have to go through customs, with all the (admittedly unlikely but still possible) potential pain in the rear that that entails. And quite frankly, that isn't worth it to me. So I do not appreciate that when I try to order something from you, you just say "Items for dispatch to UK will be sold by Amazon Jersey" without giving me any option to change this, nor any indication as to why you're doing this other than a link to your "You don't have to pay VAT!!!11" page. Furthermore, I also do not appreciate that your support system is so byzantine and impenetrable that I can't figure out who I can email to bitch about this particular stupidity. That's at least one order from me that you've lost, and I'm sufficiently pissed off that I might also consider buying elsewhere in the future.

No love,
Me.

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*hands over the rusty spork* I need a break from causing them pain, and it sounds like you need the stress relief.

Actually, I've found post from Jersey tends to get to me faster than Amazon deliveries, but yeah, seems crap they won't give you the choice.

Never had any customs issues either.

(Deleted comment)
(btw, I actually work for Amazon -- in the US office, but still)

It *looks* like the location you want is

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/contact-us/placing-order.html/?ie=UTF8&browse%5Fnode%5Fid=10293911&protocol=https&returnURI=%2Fgp%2Fhelp%2Fcontact-us%2Fplacing-order.html

and then choose 'Other Assistance' from the drop down.

Personally, I know Amazon (all orgs) cares about it's customers and while I don't know what's going on in this case -- I work for a different part of Amazon than the bit that deals with ordering or the retail website -- I will try and help :)

I can imagine that it must be frustrating for the people who are behind the system in place at amazon as well. For one thing, with a site of that size, there must be an ungodly number of queries coming in, so you have to have the extra layers of abstraction on the site. There's also the problem that if you're working with the site day in and day out you become so familiar with it that it becomes intuitive, and you can't see how it could be confusing for users. I try to remember these things, but I still get frustrated anyway.

Thanks for the help, though. I will try that link and see where it gets me.

Actually, since I work in software dev, I don't have to deal with most of those queries coming in either :) But yeah, it is a complex and complicated system and no matter how hard we try, we cannot make everyone happy. We do still try though :)

I don't understand. 'Splain to the lefty?

Jersey is a small island in the English Channel. It's been subject of the same monarch as England ever since William the Bastard came over from Normandy in 1066. Its current status is as a British crown dependency, which means that it isn't an independent sovereign state, but that it isn't subject to British laws, regulations, and so on. One of the oddities about it, compared to the UK, is that it doesn't have VAT (value added tax; I think the closest US equivalent is sales tax).

As such, amazon has set up a big warehouse in Jersey, so you can order from Amazon Jersey instead of amazon.co.uk, and not have to pay the 17.5% VAT. It counts as you buying in Jersey, where you pay no tax, and then the buyer is counted as the importer, and you don't have to pay import duty if you're importing something below a given value.

It's a reasonable system, and I have no problems with them offering it. I just wish I had an option.

As a general rule, but especially in December, anything that adds another layer of complexity to a Royal Snail delivery is a Bad Thing, and this is certainly one.

See also play.com and the (laughably named, see above) 7dayshop.com for examples of other retailers exploting this loophole.

Play have an excuse in that they actually are a Jersey business based in Jersey etc etc...

Ow, my head. That makes sense as legal tax evasion, I take your word for it.


Here, you can only get away with not paying sales tax in a couple ways.
a) You're buying something online and having it shipped to a state without sales tax.
b) You're buying something online and the seller doesn't have a store in your state, and is therefore not paying tax to your state.
c) You're buying something IRL and the purchase is made in a tax-free state.
d) You're buying something and taking delivery in your home, tax-free, state (I bought my car in Massachusetts but took delivery to my New Hampshire address. Saved $700 that way anyway.)
Sales tax varies so damn much here. In New York State, it varies from 7% to 9.5%, depending on location. I legally reside in New Hampshire, which has no sales tax, but spend a lot of time in Massachusetts, which has an easy-to-calculate 5% sales tax. Of course, meals tax in the States is another story....

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