Written on: 31/03/2010
I will never order from Net-a-porter.com again. I ordered a dress for $1945 from net-a-porter.com. My invoice reported a charge of $1945. Upon delivery, I was assessed $647 in additional charges that Net-a-porter never informed me of and now refuses to refund despite my return of the article.
After placing an order, Net-a-porter required me to change my shipping address to my physical international address in Belgium rather than a tax/duty-free diplomatic address. They failed to inform me that this change would incur an additional $647 in taxes and duties. When I inquired, they said I had authorized "shipping" and therefore owed the charge (Note: taxes and duties are paid to governments; shipping is paid to companies like UPS or DHL). The item did not fit, so I returned it. Net-a-porter has refused to refund the tax/duty, even though by sending the item back to the USA, I am longer importing the item, and thus not liable for duties. Net-a-porter requires that they, the vendor, pay international duties/taxes on the client's behalf, rather than the client paying directly to the country of import. This leaves the client with no redress to reclaim duties or taxes if an item is returned, given Net-a-porter's intransigence. Net-a-porter's website says nothing of the company retaining taxes or duties on international orders, or refusing to remit these to the client in the case of a return. Twice, I have called to resolve this and requested to speak with a manager. Twice, I have been told no one was available but they would call me back. I have not received a call. The capstone: today, I received a "late payment of duties" notice from the Government of Belgium on the import of the Net-a-porter dress. This means that Net-a-porter never handed over the $647 in duties and taxes they assessed against me, the client, to the country of import -- there is no reason, given that Net-a-porter has acknowledged receipt of the returned item, that they cannot now refund this amount. There are no grounds for this company sitting on or retaining the $647 in charges.