The importance of filling in forms correctly

When we went to Rhinebeck I brought my raincoat. I hung it up in the hotel room and then promptly forgot it. It was sunny all weekend and although it might have helped with the wind, I forgot to take it with me to the festival. When we left, I forgot to even check the closet. I remembered it when we got home.

I phoned the hotel, who were very helpful and sent it to me. I received it about 10 days ago. Today I received an envelope from the courier containing a bill for duty, sales tax and their brokerage fee. Since this is a coat I brought into the US, I am not keen to pay it. I phoned. Basically I have to pay them and then submit an “informal adjustment request” (form B2G) to the Canadian Border Services Agency for a rebate. Which probably means that I’ll be out the brokerage fee.

I think the reason is that the shipping label didn’t make it clear that this was my property being returned to me. It just said “jacket” and had a value (presumably estimated by the hotel staff since I didn’t give them one). I think they put the value for insurance purposes though I haven’t phoned them to ask or anything.

I don’t suppose hotels have to ship things over an international border that often, even if people forget stuff in hotel rooms pretty regularly so I am not surprised that they didn’t know to give more detail. But now I know (and so do you) that if this happens again I will give specific instructions to the hotel about how to describe the item on the shipping label.


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