February 22, 2012

Conspiracy and Anomaly: Post Office Experience

At last the time has come. I've been dreading for this day to come when I could pour out my emotions. My last two post were visible evidences how I was so into Snail Mail. But no matter how perfect a thing is, sometimes there are hindrances that can never be avoided.

Before I start, please brace yourself. As much as I wanted to let this pass, I couldn't because I know actions should be taken at least, on the least thing that I can do and that is to turn on my blog for help. This is a long story

February 9, 2011, Thursday, the landlady knocked on my door to give me another notice from the post office. I'm already expecting it and I was so happy because this time the parcel arrived immediately. The said notice includes the days and time you can claim your parcel (Monday and Wednesday, 8:00 am - 12:00 p.m.) and the amount you have to pay for the custom fee which is Php40. Though there was another print on the notice which states M-W instead of M and W only, so I assume I can still claim it on Tuesday because the schedule wasn't clear. If you're wondering why I have to claim it on the post office instead of it being delivered directly, well that is because every parcel should be inspected in the presence of the customs representative, which is I think a good point to avoid illegal products. 

Came Monday I wasn't able to claim it because the rain poured so hard. On Valentines Day I immediately went to the post office. The post office personnel assigned on window 5 of Alabang psot office informed me that the customs representative wasn't there. I told her that I took my chances because of the two schedules printed on the notice. Afterwards she told me to wait for a while and she will call the customs representative if she can release the parcel. She made the call and then she described the product I received to the customs representative and before that, she handed me the card that comes with the gadget case and told me to handle it.

Post Office personnel: Maam Happy Valentines, someone is claiming a parcel here. May I give it to her? (She had to describe the parcel so the rep can decide) It's from the United Kingdom, it's a Gadget case, Cath Kidston ltd, London. It's beautiful. A gadget case which looks fit for a Samsung Galaxy Y cellphone, the trending phone today. There's 16.96 British Pound on the outside.

After that she put down the phone. And she told me:

Post Office personnel: she said you have to pay a tax because the product was from the United Kingdom and it's expensive. She will call again (which I think by that time the rep was doing her calculations) and if she told you the amount you have to pay, for example she told you it's Php700, tell her you only had Php 300 in your pocket. (Nice advice from a public servant).

Right there and then, my guts told me there was something going on. The customs representative called again and she talked to me saying I have to pay the taxes and duties for the product which is Php1361.00. Below is the picture of the notice they gave me where the post office personnel wrote the amount I have to pay. I asked her why it's so expensive and she explained that is due to the fact that the product I received is expensive (OMG, insert deep breath here, when I breathe deeply that means I am already losing my temper and my patience). 
I told her that I'll just go back because I don't bring that much money knowing that I just have to pay Php40 for the customs fee. Then she asked me to hand the phone to the post office personnel.  They talked for like 5 minutes and as long as the post office personnel put down the phone, this is what she told me:

Post Office Personnel: Maam said she can lower down the cost to Php700.00 (OMG again) If you will not claim your parcel they will send it for auction. You should claim it, it's beautiful.

Needless to say I decided not to claim my parcel. First I would like to talk to the customs representative and make my research before paying the amount. While walking outside the office, I sent a message to Mommy Razz and I asked her if she was required to pay a certain amount of tax. At night I sent a DM to Kris which I was so hesitant to do at first. I asked her if the other recipient of the gift paid too, but unfortunately one is from Spain. It's clearer than water that I was the only one obliged by the customs representative to pay. I also did my research.

Wednesday

I went back to the post office and I was glad that the customs representative, Ms. Carlota C. Caberto was there.  I approached the post office personnel again and this time she's not friendly as the other day. She said that I took the card and didn't returned it when in fact she's the one who gave it to me. I said I came back to claim my parcel and that the sender told me that wasn't very expensive like what they're telling me. They almost yelled at me telling me that they cannot take my word and I have to present them the receipt of the gift. Ms. Carlota Caberto asked for the parcel and she told me if I want to, she'll value the product (that is to compute for the tax I have to pay) and I agreed. When the post office personnel hand her down the gadget case, she was somehow shocked that the product she wants me to pay an expensive amount is a piece of gadget case even marked as gift.

Without computing for the value, she handed me the case and didn't made me pay for Php1361.00 she mentioned on the phone the other day.

Why am I telling this?

Eventhough I didn't paid for the said taxes and duties in the end, there is somehow an anomaly and conspiracy going on. It's not a problem to pay for what is due. No matter how high the tax was if they were able to present me with the computation and didn't offered me for a discounted tax, I might have paid for it. But the moment they did it, I had second thoughts.

To the customs representative and post office personnel

I don't know if it's legal for you to offer a discount on air parcel taxes. If yes, I guess you should explain to the claimant why and how did you arrive to that computation. 

Instead of showing and explaining to us why and how did you compute for the tax and what is it for, you always serve us with burning head, ( i take it you don't want to answer our questions.)

You should also refrain from computing the tax via phone when you haven't seen the product yet and don't know the real value of the item. It's prone to mistakes like what had happened to me. I almost gave you an amount which is more worthy to be spent on street children.

You as public servants chose to be on that position should always serve with kindness but instead whenever we approach your office, you always have that grin face.

When I said I take it seriously, I did. That is the reason why I've written the whole story. By now, you already guess what I am intending to do. I don't want other people to be trap on that kind of situation again. 

For additional reference you can read Taxes sa Air Parcels na Kinukuha sa Post Office written by Ms. Ruth Floresca only it was written in Filipino.

Please be careful not to be carried away with the wrong doings of this society. We should serve and protect our country from the corrupt and malpractices. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". Let's all be vigilant.

52 comments:

  1. It's a good thing you didn't pay anything.

    A blog friend from Greece sent me gifts twice, the first one was for Christmas 2010 and my birthday 2011. And guess what? I didn't receive any. Not even the claim form.

    Post offices suck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have let your friend check it but there are really cases when parcel were lost. I was wondering where were they right now.

      Delete
  2. Holy. Moly. For anyone reading in the US, that tax was equal to $31 USD. That is CRAZY, especially considering that the sender probably spent an exorbitant amount of money to send it to you in the first place. I highly doubt that the phone case was worth anywhere near that amount of money to begin with!

    I hope that you went to this woman's superior and reported her. What she's doing is wrong, and it's illegal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, they want me to pay a tax higher than the cost of the gift I received. people like them spoil the fun of sending snail mails. That is really CRAZY.

      I will do my best to make some actions regarding this matter. I am really serious in finding a solution for this illegal matters.

      Delete
  3. OMG! i hate those bunch of crooks. seriously? Php 1,300+ for a gadget case?? they're nuts. that's the one thing i'm not proud of this country - government. haaay, don't make me rant about it, tsk...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are the kind of people who destroy the integrity of our country.

      Delete
  4. I know most of the story but not as detailed as this. My God twin sis, the effect is the same. Kumukulo pa rin ang dugo ko sa kanila. You should've noted the name of that bitch who called the custom rep. Obviously she was conspiring with the other bitch Carlota during your first visit. And no I'm not sorry for the bad words. They deserve it. Sorry to you though, I write such thing on your blog comment. wink

    Carlota was the person she called on Tuesday right? She haven't seen the content of the package and there she goes calculating taxes- worth for a few days of family meals. The way i see it, they tried to rob you. And you are a fellow Filipino for crying out loud. Shame on them.

    anyway, I hope things like this will never happen again to any of us. Unfortunately, we can only hope because I'm sure you're not the only one who experienced such thing. The sad part about it, is that you don't know where to complain after. If you go to government offices, there is no guarantee they'll listen to you. And it's not easy to turn to media unless you work for them.

    Hopefully (again), someone who can do something about this will reach your blog and take proper action. Oh I hope those bitches will read this, para mahiya naman sila sa balat nila.

    Okay, ang haba na.. mistulang blog post na din ang comment ko. kaasar lang because it can happen to any of us. Buti na lang di ka nagpadala sa mga pinagsasabi nila nung una. Good thinking twin sis. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's okay twin sis, I understand where you're coming from. I was all furious too that is why I decided to breathe deep and leave them the first day I went there because I'm afraid I might lost my long patience. I am thinking of getting her name but I'm sure she won't give it to me. But the customs rep's name was displayed on a big plate on her window.

      Yes, Carlota is the one. That is exactly my point why I didn't claim it on the spot. How could she foretell the value of the product just by listening on it's description over the phone.

      I asked Ms. Ruth if she was able to get a response when she sent an email to the media but unfortunately she as well was ignored. I will definitely write to the government kahit pa iwasan nila ako ng paulit ulit. Action should be taken and I don't want this to happen to anyone again.

      Delete
  5. im proud of being a filipino and i really love the philippines pero kapag ganito nawawalan talaga ako ng gana. bulok talaga ang gobyerno ng pilipinas.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I am proud to be a Filipino too and I love our country that's why I want to make a move against this illegal doings.

      Delete
  6. grabe nakakaloka naman ung mga tao sa post office. I hope there is a way na ma.spread tong article na to. di tlga maka.tarungan. ano nlng mang.yayari sa bansa natin kung puro ganito nalang?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. tama, and I will do my best to make an action about this.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. I know we're on this together. Thanks.

      Delete
  8. Nakakahiya ang pinanagawa ng mga ito. Dapat dito isumbong kay Tulfo.Pinapahirapan nila ang tumatangap ng padala alam nilang walang choice kundi magbayad kasi pinaghirapan ng nagpadala.Papano nalang kung walang pambayad sa tax ang tatangap panakot nila i papa auction.

    Pastela yawa!

    Corruption kahit saan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oo nga eh, kaya ako naiinis. Marami akong nabasang stories about the same incident and talagang halos umusok ang ilong ko sa galit at inis. Pinaghirapan na ng nagpadala tapos pahiirapan pa yung recipient. Pastela talaga silang lahat.

      Delete
  9. It's good you didn't immediately pay the custom duties and that you researched first before paying. I hope a lot of people do that instead of negotiating with the employee. Everyone should be vigilant, know your right and you can never be duped by those corrupt employee.

    BTW, serenitea has a branch in Alabang Town Center, in case your interested and this is their website: http://iloveserenitea.com :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tama, as of now all we can do is be on guard always. Be vigilant. Thanks for sending me the link. Malapit lang sakin ang Alabang Town Center, isang sakay lang.

      Delete
  10. I'm glad you were able to get your package without paying that 'tax' (bribe).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes. It's a relief for me not to pay anything at all.

      Delete
  11. Aww. Going to government offices always frustrates me. Laging nakasimangot mga tao. Walang gana magtrabaho. Nakakainis tuloy. It was smart of you not to give them that amount. Grabe, ang kakapal ng mukha. Hay.

    On a lighter note, I tagged you: http://beforeiturn25.blogspot.com/2012/02/curious-tag-game.html

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    Replies
    1. Tama ka sis, ewan ko ba bakit parang wala na sa vocabulary nila ang word na tawa.

      Thanks for the tag, I'll answer them asap.

      Delete
  12. I am so sorry sis that you have to go through this. They almost ruined our Snail Mail for you.
    I don't know what it is with your local post office, kasi wala namang naging hassle yung kay Mommy Razz, nadeliver pa directly sa kanya. Same value lang lahat ng gifts ko sa inyong tatlo ni Spanish Pinay.
    I am angry and disgusted at how they treated you and how the whole thing was handled. I am so glad you told me about it coz I would not let you pay a cent for it. Again Im sorry you had to go through that.
    Buti na lang you liked the gadget case kundi all that trouble would be for nothing.
    I shall help you spread the word sis. In our small way hopefully someone would hear us and something would be done to put an end to this corruption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No apologies needed. Ako nga nahihiya sayo kasi na stress ka din when I told you, sorry :)

      I think there are certain places na may mga ganito. Buti na lang yung kay mommy Razz walang hassle, kaya tinext ko din agad siya. Thanks for helping me spread the word sis. I am doing my best to take an action about this one. Naku sana wag nang maulit.

      I really love the gadget case. Thanks and my friends love it too.

      Delete
  13. Sorry about this experience, Sey. Tatlong tao na malapit sa puso ko, including the one who gave birth to me, used to work with Philippine postal Corporation ;) I think na-privatize na ang post office at di na 100 per cent GOC. Anyway, regardless, confusing nga kung paano sila mag-compute ng tax ng padala sa 'yo. Sana, maglagay sila ng guidelines kung paano mag-compute ng tax for each parcel that their clients receive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oo nga po Ms. N. I was very sad and disappointed that time and sayang talaga lahat nadadamay sa maling gawain ng iba. Kung pwede lang sana yung mga matino na lang ang manatili sa pwesto.

      Delete
  14. Talaga? You're so happy because you received a gift from abroad, and by the time that you'll claim it, our post office is gonna make you pay for taxes. Tss. They made a fool out of you.

    Hmm.. It's a good thing that you had second thoughts on paying the "tax". It's a big amount, yet it isn't reasonable for you to pay for it.

    What if you paid the amount that they charged you? I'm sure after you'll leave the post office they'll immediately call Jollibee and order a take-out for 10! hehehe.. hmm.. just kidding!

    But I'm glad you really didn't fall for their ploy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pag s post office lang siguro ito nangyayarai how about kung LBC or tipong yong balikibayan box may mga custom custom pa kayang silang nalalaman? Maganda dahil napaguusapan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think Post office lang.

      Kapag LBC, UPS and FEDEX wala na, pero in some cases like for imported products meron ding customs fee. Pero for balikbayan boxes excepted na and for those marked as gifts.

      Kapag private courier walang customs fee and delivered directly sa recipient.

      Delete
  16. Sey, you're not the only one, I have a friend na ganyan din ang experience. And sad to say na nakaka disappoint talaga services ng postal office here in PI di ko naman nilalahat pero halos ganyan sis, even customs. And from what I've heard they check the items muna kung maganda or mamahalin...if they find it na maganda as in tataasan daw nila yung papabayad nila sayo. I have a friend who bought a baking item and it was only worth 1.5 php and yet ang pinapabayad sa knya is almost 3k, ginawa nya is di nalang nya binayaran, let them have it daw hehe...I hope our government can do something about this. Or they could at least show us how they compute the taxes and other fees.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is what exactly happened to me. Tinignan then sbi galing daw ng UK mahal daw yun and maganda kay aalaki ang tax. Muntik na akong maloka sis. Kawawa naman yung friend mo sis, san naman kaya napunta yung items na yun.

      Delete
  17. Hay naku. Ganyan talaga dear. May mga taong sila na nga yung mali, sila pa yung nakasimangot at akala mo kung sino. Anomalies like this really happen a lot. Public servants who take advantage of people. Buti na lang in the end,you managed to claim your package w/o paying that huge amount.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oo sis naku talagang nakakalimot silang ngumiti. I will never pay that huge amount cause I know the item shouldn't be taxed. Hay grabe, sana magbago na sila.

      Delete
  18. buti na lang at hindi mo binayaran Sey. napakalaking amount yun. corruption talaga! btw, sey I've tagged you on this post. http://mr837.blogspot.com/2012/02/11-questions.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hindi ko talaga babayaran yun kasi hindi naman nila pinakita sakin how did they arrived to the amount and through phone, nakakaloka.

      Thanks for the tag Albert. I'll answer them soon.

      Delete
  19. Hi Sey,

    I'm the other one who got the gift from Kalokang Kristeta! We were tweeting about this before and talagang uminit ang ulo ko. Post office in the Philippines is VERY VERY VERY corrupt. Ang dami nilang nabibiktima. My mom had a similar situation with you... pagkatapos ng maraming panggagalaiti, in the end, talagang 40 pesos lang ang binayad nya kasi yun naman talga dapat. But the fact that they TRIED to charge my mom more than what is due, clear act of corruption ito. I really wish one day, these people WOULD pay for this dirty, dirty act. Hindi lang ito ang kalokohan nila eh, parcels get "lost" (in their pocket)... and then kahit greeting cards binubuksan nila in the "hope" na may nakaipit na pera :( wala talaga respect. Yes, magpost ba ako ng buong article sa comment section mo? Sorry ha, nakaka-init kasi talaga sila ng ulo. I am so proud to be pinay but this kind of pinoys talaga nakakahiya sa lahi natin hehe.

    I am so glad hindi ka nila nakotongan and you got your pretty present from Crissy :)

    Spanish Pinay

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    1. Hi Spanish Pinay,

      Thanks for dropping by. Okay lang kahit mahaba, I love long comments, mahaba din kasi akong mag-comment hehehe. Naku pag nagpadala ka talaga sa kanila at nagpasindak ka mapapabayad ka ng di oras, kaso alam mo naman na iba ang habol nila. nag-research ako marami pang ganyang kaso and maraming gamit na nawawala. One time pa nga gift na camera sa isang bata ng papa nyang OFW nawala, nadeliver yung box pero yung laman na camera wala. Naku kaiinis talaga.

      I really love Krissy's present.

      Delete
  20. Oh and by the way, we just had another kurakot case from post office... I bought Hunger Games bookset from London for my sis in Parañaque. I bought it from ebay and the seller has confirmed napadala na and by 2 weeks ago, dapat na sa pinas na... but no, nawala ang parcel. As in the post office is trying to insist na wala silang natatanggap. Liars talaga. Sad thing is that it was just sent through Royal Mail so walang tracking number... hinihingan ng tracking number ang kapatid ko eh wala nga. They should know the merong postals na walang tracking number. Mabuti na lang mabait ang seller sa ebay and they refunded me... pero ang kawawa kong kapatid walang books. Nakakahiya ang post office natin... soon, wala nang international couriers or sellers ang magpapadala ng parcels sa atin sa pinas kung laging may ganitong anumalya :(

    Spanish Pinay

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    Replies
    1. OO nga sis, kasi the gift I got from Krissy dumating within 2 weeks. Nakakahiya naman dun sa seller sa ebay at kawawa ang sis mo, I know it got lost somewhere. Marami din ako ng nabasang posts na Foreigner ang nagrereklamo. I am really willing to do everything I can to put an halt on this one. I'll see what I can do, though I know mahirap pero kahit at least ipakita man lang and ipaliwanag how to compute for the tax.

      Delete
  21. Ang dami ko ng kinuhang parcel dito sa post office namin pero kahit minsan di ako nagbayad ng tax. Sabi nila pag lumagpas ng $50 yung padala e kailangan ng magbayad ng tax. kadalasan kasi sa ebay ako bumibili pero ang ginagawa nila pag malaki talaga yung presyo ng binili ko di nila nilalagay. Binababaan nila para di ako masingil sa tax. Yang nangyari sa iyo e obvious na kinukwartahan ka! Di namn ganuon kalaki ang presyo pero ang laki ng gusto nilang makuha sayo. Marami talaga gahaman sa mundo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oo nga, the time that the lady saw the gift sabi niya mahal daw. Natulala na lang ako. HIndi naman siguro lahat ganun pero mahirap pag natapat ka sa mga mahilig gumawa ng ilegal. Nakakapanlumo.

      Delete
  22. thank God you got it without any extra payment!

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  23. naku, ito pala yung story sey. it's good you didn't pay for that so called tax. you handled the situation very well. girl power! ;) i honestly have no idea with this customs thing. thanks much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I am sorry to hear about this, Sey. How frustrating.

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  25. Wow. Nakakalungkot naman to. They're giving the post office a bad name. Kokonti na nga lang ang nagpapadala ng mails/packages through this, tapos yun pa gagawin nila. Buti naman at hindi ka pa pinagbayad, pero ang mali dun, kung hindi ka nagreklamo, eh di pagkakwartahan ka nila? Hayz.. kakainis.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hindi na uso ang "walang manloloko, kung walang nagpapaloko" ang bago na ngayon "Maraming manloloko, kaya wag kang magpapaloko" Like what you said, be vigilant. Saludo ako sa ginawa mo sa post office, how you handle things... pero mas humanga ako sayo when you post your experience as warning to everyone. Salamat.

    ReplyDelete
  27. kaya nagdalawang isip din ko magjoin sa snail mail ni krissy kasi alam ko na may mga ganyan story sa post ofc natin. pero buti nakuha mo yung sayo without paying anything. kakalungkot lang na hanggang ngayon may ganyan pa rin issue. pero type ko talaga prizes ni krissy, hehe! ganda ng products ng cath kidston. =) btw, fb share ko itong post mo.

    ReplyDelete
  28. wow
    and now where guessing why there is a history of corruption in the Philippines, it's really more fun in the Philippines . . .

    ReplyDelete
  29. I heard of several similar experiences, including Daphne O. What she did was she tweeted it to BOC Sec Biazon. Better do the same next time. I ran into here bec I was looking for info about Alabang PO, Ive been waiting for a mail fr Canada over a month na wala pa. Haish.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lahat ng blog na nabasa ko pare pareho, iisa mga sinsbi ninyo, pero pinagtataka ko sa inyo bakit di kayo nagawa ng aksyon ang dami ng mga group sa media and adio na pede tumulong pra maimbestigahan yan, isa rin ako sa biktima nyan pero ngayun kumikilos ako pra maimbistigahan yan mga kagaguhan ng post office na yan. kung ako sa inyo kung nangyri na sa inyo din ito, mag complain kayo at magtulong tulong tyo.

    ReplyDelete
  31. puros kayo reklamo ayaw naman ninyong kumilos, napakrami na mga group na pede tumulong sa tin, isa rin ako sa mga biktima ng mga kagaguhan nitong post office na tio, pero sana magtulong utlong tyo pra mapuksa itong mga salot na ito, at maawa sila sa mga anak nila na pinapakain nila ng mga nakaw at panglalamang sa kapwa. sana magkaisa tyo ng mawala na itong mga salot na ito sa lipunan. kung may na encouter kyo ireklamo nyo na gaya ng gingwa ko pra mapatalsik yan babae na yan.

    ReplyDelete

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