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EU allows postal rip-off, why?

Connexion reader Martin Phillips questions the fact that the EU allows this postal rip-off.

THE EUROPEAN Union is a mighty machine and, although many rules and aims have changed since it started, the free trade ethos has prevailed.
In general big businesses benefit from relatively unrestricted, and surcharge-free importing and exporting. But what of individual expats in France buying, and effectively importing, from UK-based companies?

I am quite prepared to pay fair and reasonable shipping costs when buying from the likes of M&S, Boots etc, but individ- ual traders operating on Amazon UK, or eBay UK often levy a disproportionate cost for posting outside the UK, often so high I choose not to buy. My most extreme example was an eBay dealer who charged £2.50 p/p in the UK, but £100 for packs of greetings cards to France.

I sometimes use a UK address to over- come high charges, but it would be much
easier if postage charges were realistic and fair, after all Royal Mail charges only 30% to 40% more for European postage.

I recently left some positive feedback for an eBay seller, but my comment was, “Too high p/p to France, so I have to have them sent to a UK address”.
Well, what a furore, as straight away the seller contacted eBay and had my comment removed – no arbitration, no dialogue, nothing.

It seems eBay encourages or turns a blind eye to high postal charges. I do not have any in-depth knowledge of EU legislation, but I wonder if some of these excessive charges are legal.
I feel they are immoral and unjustified.

On the other hand, I appreciate and praise the many enterprising individuals and firms who encourage cross-Channel trading by not exploiting us expats.

Martin PHILLIPS, by email

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