Schaller Customer Service Failure

#1
It is really upsetting to see your favorite guitar hardware company accusing you of trying to do something illegal, just because you asked them whether they are using the Global Blue Tax Free or not, and this response belongs to the owner of the company.
 
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#4
Dunno mate. Could just be a misunderstanding given they are probably using a 2nd language?
I am also using a 2nd language. Let's assume he has no idea about what tax free shopping is, he still shouldn't accuse a customer of doing illegal stuff. A proper reply would be just "no". Even after I stated my annoyance, he preferred not to apologize, and has been even more rude.

Can't see it from the correspondence, but tax free shopping are when you travel - not ordering and getting things shipped from other countries.
I am going to travel there in November, and wanted to buy the items when i am there and get my refund on my way back.

The saddest thing of all, i really like those machine heads and bridges, and other accessories they build, but feel like a proper respond would be not buying their stuff. Stuck in between =/ (his statement "we don't deliver to you" is a void one, i don't need him to buy their stuff)
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#7
Forgive my bluntness, but I don't see any rudeness here. It's probably a vicious cycle now, you're annoyed by it so can't help but read it in a negative way but that's not what I read and it really isn't fitting of the thread title in my opinion. I can't help but see misunderstanding on both sides.
 
#9
Forgive my bluntness, but I don't see any rudeness here. It's probably a vicious cycle now, you're annoyed by it so can't help but read it in a negative way but that's not what I read and it really isn't fitting of the thread title in my opinion. I can't help but see misunderstanding on both sides.
you might be right, i considered that as well but even then i am the customer
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#10
you might be right, i considered that as well but even then i am the customer
Contrary to popular belief, being the customer doesn't always make you right. You got an answer you don't like in a way that I don't think is rude. The company is just unable to help you with what you want. The text does read like a terrible translation though. I'm thinking that a very normal way of saying something in german got translated a bit literal.

A quick google turned up the EU rules for VAT returns in case you bought something while traveling and how to get it returned.
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_custo...rs-leaving-eu/guide-vat-refund-visitors-eu_en
As I understand it, you need to pay the VAT normally at the store and you're then able to get it refunded on (among other places) the airport. I would think you're still owed VAT for your own country though?
I need to figure this out the next time I'm traveling. I didn't buy a coat on my last vacation because it was so expensive but this would've sweetened the deal.
 
#11
For Turkey, custom regulations state:

Goods in accompanied baggages (carried by the traveller), which are for personal use and/or are non-commercial in terms of quantity and nature, valued up to 430 EUR are exempt from taxes.

There is also an appendix-9 for other tax-exempt goods, which states "musical instruments carried by the traveller (up to 3 items)"

so i think tuning heads would be tax-exempt as long as i carry them. If they were shipped as cargo, there would be 18% tax.
 
#12
Being a customer doesn't make me always right, it wasn't what i meant, but at least it should buy me more patience and understanding from the seller.
In my opinion there is nothing wrong in my query. I am not forcing him to provide me the documentation required for the tax-returns, i am just investigating my options.
I definetly am not trying to do something illegal, on the contrary i'm acting well within my legal rights. I'm not complaining about his goods are being expensive either. I already have M6 locking tuners in my Warmoth, which i bought from USA, and paid their cargo and their custom fees.
With all that said, i think getting offended by his comments should be quite understandable.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#13
With all that said, i think getting offended by his comments should be quite understandable.
I can see that you're offended by the comments and that's not a good thing to get from interacting with customer services.

On the other hand, there are a number of us here, with zero interest in defending Schaller, that feel that it's a misunderstanding and that offence shouldn't be taken.

It's a matter of perception. You perceive that that taking offence is reasonable. I (and others) perceive it to be a misunderstanding and that no offence should be taken. Neither of which should be dismissed as wrong.
 
#15
I can see that you're offended by the comments and that's not a good thing to get from interacting with customer services.

On the other hand, there are a number of us here, with zero interest in defending Schaller, that feel that it's a misunderstanding and that offence shouldn't be taken.

It's a matter of perception. You perceive that that taking offence is reasonable. I (and others) perceive it to be a misunderstanding and that no offence should be taken. Neither of which should be dismissed as wrong.
thank you and fair enough.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#16
For Turkey, custom regulations state:

Goods in accompanied baggages (carried by the traveller), which are for personal use and/or are non-commercial in terms of quantity and nature, valued up to 430 EUR are exempt from taxes.

There is also an appendix-9 for other tax-exempt goods, which states "musical instruments carried by the traveller (up to 3 items)"

so i think tuning heads would be tax-exempt as long as i carry them. If they were shipped as cargo, there would be 18% tax.
I just looked it up for Dutch law. For the EU: I have to pay VAT to the store I buy something. After that I don't have to pay import taxes.
If I buy something in Turkey I can ask back the turkish VAT but I have to pay the dutch VAT.

The thing for Schaller in this case though is that they're required by law to charge you VAT. It's not up to them to judge if you're a traveler who should or shouldn't be paying VAT. All the VAT that they charge is paid directly to the tax office, it's not even their money. So you buy something from them, and then go to one of the office in the article I linked above to get VAT back. If you have to pay taxes in Turkey is up to Turkish law.

*I'm not an expert on this stuff so feel free to correct me or ignore me. This is just my understanding of what I just read.
 
#17
The thing for Schaller in this case though is that they're required by law to charge you VAT. It's not up to them to judge if you're a traveler who should or shouldn't be paying VAT. All the VAT that they charge is paid directly to the tax office, it's not even their money.
That i know, i just thought they might provide me some documentation to put to use in tax refund processes (Not have to, i just was trying to understand whether they may or not). I wasn't asking them not to charge me VAT.

All the VAT that they charge is paid directly to the tax office, it's not even their money. So you buy something from them, and then go to one of the office in the article I linked above to get VAT back. If you have to pay taxes in Turkey is up to Turkish law.
That i didn't know, so even without a tax-refund facilitator like global blue, you still can get your VAT back. I'll check that.
Thank you very much.
 
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#18
How do I go about this?

  • When you are in the shop, ask the shop assistant in advance whether they provide this service.
  • Ask the shop assistant what threshold applies to the purchase in order to be eligible for a refund.
  • At the check-out, the shop assistant will ask you to provide proof that you are a visitor to the EU. You will need to show your passport or other identity document proving your residence outside the EU.
  • The shop assistant will ask you to fill in a form with the necessary details. You may be asked to show your ticket as proof you are leaving the EU within the required time. The shop assistant will fill in the shop’s part of the form.
  • Make sure you understand exactly what you need to do and how you receive the refund. In some cases, the shop itself will refund you. In other cases, the shop will use a third party to organise the refunds on its behalf.
  • Make sure you understand whether the shop takes an administrative fee for this service (which will be later deducted from the refunded amount) and if so what is the fee.
  • You will receive an invoice for the goods. You must show the invoice, the refund form, the goods and any other necessary documents to the customs officers of the last EU country you leave. The customs officers must stamp the form as proof of export. Without the stamp, you will not obtain the refund.
  • You must then follow the steps explained at your refund document or by the shop assistant. You can claim your VAT refund in bigger airports immediately, otherwise you will have to send the refund form to the address given in the shop.
It states "the shop owner/assistant will ask you to fill a form", this was what i was asking.
 

ten-foot-tryptych

half rock, half gas
#19
Those instructions are for when you visit an actual 'bricks and mortar' shop.

In my experience, there will be a sign in the window saying 'Tax Free Shopping' -- you ask the staff and they will give you a document to fill in, it takes time and to be honest it's hardly worth doing as the middle man is a for profit company that takes a slice so you don't even get the full tax back.

On a trip to the UK a few years ago I bought a couple of suits, two or three pairs of shoes and a bunch of other things but the paperwork involved was a hassle and the actual pay back was so small that I vowed not to bother doing it again.

On the other hand, I have had bespoke items ordered from the UK (and sent to me) and paid with a Japanese credit card and they have waived the UK VAT.
 
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