Thursday, 7 February 2008
Globalisation And The Wonderful EU And Shoes
I reckon I need to walk more to get fitter. I researched the subject in depth on the interweb. I discovered I had flat feet (over-pronation) and measured my feet (size US14 EEEE) properly for the first time (stand on an A4 sheet of paper and draw around it then measure the longest and widest dimensions and convert into shoe sizes.
Armed with this knowledge and an e-sheaf of reviews and customer comments I bought a pair of Brooks Addiction Walker 2 motion control shoes (above) for $87.95 from Shoebuy in the United States.
Now, buying untried shoes 3,000 miles away might be considered a risk (no more than not being able to vote for a new Prime Minister or an EU Constitution/Treaty) but in fact the service from Shoebuy was exemplary. Really good packing and emailed progress reports from Massachusetts. The shoebox was then passed on to DHL who promised to deliver the box to my door in a few days for only $30. They did. The shoes feel great and are the best I have ever owned. Thank you Shoebuy, thank you DHL.
So why didn't I buy these in the UK? Well, I couldn't find anywhere on the web in the UK that sold them in US14 EEEE and even for smaller sizes the £ price was similar to the $ price.
Unfortunately, today I received an invoice for £10.30 VAT + £1.25 admin charge from DHL for importing these shoes. I paid up immediately because I'm not a carousel fraud sort of person. But what on earth was the justification for charging VAT in a supposed free trade globalised world other than to pay danegeld to the European Union. Now I know Peter Mandelson has the candlemakers on his back at the moment but to paraphrase the People's Front For The Liberation Of Judea or whatever, "What has the EU ever done for me?" OK, so it's given jobs to Kinnock and Mandelson and paid for Hamas terrorism against israel, but can anyone give me audited proof of my money well spent by the EU to help me so I can think that my £10.30 wasn't just thrown in the Trevi Fountain?