Peter Johnston is one of many readers who reported being charged more to receive a parcel from the UK than the contents were worth.
With just one difference: Mr Johnston, 85, is expecting to receive a refund cheque in the post any day now.
Daughter in France wasn’t charged
When his sister sent him a copy of a book she had written from the UK, worth £3.50, the postman, whom he had known for years, seemed “very embarrassed” as he asked Mr Johnston for €37 in postage fees, which he grudgingly handed over.
The postman was unable to explain why he owed so much money.
“My daughter in France received the same book and didn’t have to pay anything at all,” Mr Johnston, of Quimper, said.
“I wasn’t very happy, so I went to the local post office, where they said ‘We don’t know what it’s for, and can’t tell you anything more’.”
Receipt showed error
Mr Johnston believes he must have given his email address to the postman along with the cheque, because he later received an email with a receipt (incidentally, addressed to Pole Jokiston).
According to the receipt, he had paid €29 in VAT and €8 in handling fees.
Thus followed an email exchange with La Poste’s customer service team, where he explained that low-value gifts were exempt from VAT.
Finally, Mr Johnston was informed he would soon receive a full refund.