A warning about returning stuff to Thomann and hi from a newbie

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Hi all,

I'm normally just a background stalker but wanted to share my experience dealing with Thomann post Brexit as there seems to be some conflicting information out there and it might save someone some money.

I sent a guitar back for warranty repair. Just a faulty switch but it was brand new and I thought why not.

The switch was replaced under warranty and the guitar returned today by UPS who refused to hand it over without the payment of £112 in VAT and fees.

Spoke to Thomann who gave me a seemingly scripted response of "Its because of Brexit", told me it was out of their hands and offered no kind of resolution, apology or goodwill gesture. To be honest it seemed the lady on the phone had taken our departure from the EU personally, or was just sick of dealing with people like me complaining about this I don't know.

If they had  informed me prior to sending it back I would of course have just ordered a switch. I (maybe foolishly) assumed that as I had already paid the duty on the product I would not have to do it again. 

I'm not saying I wouldn't deal with Thomann again, but I will be treating the sale like I'm buying second-hand off ebay so that price will have to be exceptional.

Apologies for my first post being a whinge but I felt like I'd want to know if I was considering buying something.

I look forward to being a more active contributor although as a newcomer to the joys of guitars I'll probably have lots of questions and very few answers

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Comments

  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 2082
    Welcome @StumpyFingers. You'll find members here very willing to answer your questions so ask away.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Thomann issue too. It might be worth phoning Hans directly as he is a very approachable guy.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 7291
    I would send UPS copies of everything you have to do with the return... you’ve already paid “duty” on it and vat and every other charge...

    it was a repair...

    tell them if they don’t return your goods you will be taking it further with trading standards and the police as a theft case...

    UPS are at fault here not the retailer!...
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 3775
    Returned items should not be re-charged tax/duty.
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  • m_cm_c Frets: 765
    The issue is an item sent out of the country for repair, should have been issued a carnet before it was sent.
    The carnet is the prove that the item has already had tax paid, and without it, you need to pay duty/vat each time the item passes through customs.

    I think the only way around this will be to pay the duty/VAT again, then reclaim the original duty/VAT as you re-exported the original item (even though it is still the same item..)
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  • m_c said:
    The issue is an item sent out of the country for repair, should have been issued a carnet before it was sent.
    The carnet is the prove that the item has already had tax paid, and without it, you need to pay duty/vat each time the item passes through customs.

    I think the only way around this will be to pay the duty/VAT again, then reclaim the original duty/VAT as you re-exported the original item (even though it is still the same item..)
    I've done a bit of research and it seems @m_c is quite right and this is my only option now, although in reality it will probably just turn into an expensive lesson as I'm not a big form filler. This definitely isn't the fault of UPS (although the 3 hours trying to get through to them on the phone won't win them any endorsements from me).

    If I had arranged the export it would have been my fault. I didn't, it was all arranged by Thomann who you would hope having years of experience doing this to other parts of the world would know the documentation this needed to be exported with to avoid such an issue.  Being a grumpy git who holds a grudge like only a true ginger can I'll probably stick to my excellent local store A-Strings and Andertons in future. With the serious GAS I suffer from I'll be giving the British economy a healthy kick start!

    Thanks all for the responses and advice. If @Jimbro66 or anyone else can tell me how I contact Hans I'd be interested to hear what he had to say on the matter.
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  • FlipFlip Frets: 5
    I'm afraid my feelings towards Thomann have changed greatly since Brexit. They, of all the DEuropean retailers, seem to be holding a sort of corporate grudge against the UK for leaving the EU. Not only have I, like the OP, reverted to local dealers, but I now actively avoid Thomann. Considering that most of Thomann's less expensive products appear to be importas, it'll soon become apparent to the original manufacturer that they need a UK distributor to serve the mrket Thomann seem determined to penalise.
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