‘Competition Protection Agency launches extensive probe’
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 7: The Competition Protection Agency recently discussed with major shipping companies accusations that some of them have received additional fees which are not in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions, for goods that were purchased electronically, explaining that the charges in this regard included that some of these companies received a fee paid by the customer in advance while completing the purchase process electronically, reports Al-Rai daily sources.
The sources said the agency launched an extensive investigation into whether some shipping companies have already received double fees from customers unlawfully, especially after the accusations were filed against them by some customers who confirmed that they paid to shipping companies and that these companies took advantage of their lack of knowledge of the nature of the fees paid, while some pointed out that after they refused to adhere to the claims of the company that transferred them their electronic reservation, they accepted to receive only about 25 percent of the value of the fee that was initially set on them.
The sources pointed out that the agency personnel met with the officials of the major shipping companies recently to learn from them on the mechanism they rely on in determining the list of shipping charges prescribed for the customer, and whether the shipping party pays the fee or the customer, or both at the same time.
The sources stated that the shipping companies confirmed at the meeting that they do not get from the customer any undue money, and that they always seek to provide very suitable prices for the customer, pointing out that in some cases the company bears a customs clearance fee on the same goods, which makes them raise the bill on the future customer by calculating the customs-related payments and taxes due to the customer on the basis of information provided about the product and its value, and that sometimes if an unexpected tax or customs change surfaces, the shipping company adds it on the customer’s invoice as responsible for it and not the carrier.
On the other hand, the accusations said the customer usually pays the price of the item he buys in full electronically including the shipping fee, and that some companies, despite collecting their fees from the sender, receive another fee from the receiving client, under the pretext of customs or tax charge, which is only a viewpoint. Some customers manipulate shipping companies in terms of calculating clearance fees.