Stuck In Customs Rant
I have just gone through an 8+ day epic journey to get a simple piece of $1,000 computer equipment through New Zealand customs. It’s just crazy… I’ll go on a little rant here about how useless and archaic the entire process is.
First, let me offer New Zealand Customs a Very Simple Solution. I ordered something off Amazon. Amazon is very smart. If NZ Customs worked with Amazon, Amazon could simply add the Import Fee at checkout, and then the money would go right to the appropriate account. I know this would be very easy for Amazon to code, and it would be much more efficient. Also, NZ would not have to employ so many people who do unneeded jobs that slow everything down.
The problem was my package was being shipped to “Trey Ratcliff” but my Official New Zealand Importer’s Code says, “Raymond Ratcliff.” I told them I’m the same person, but they refused to send me the package until the invoice was updated. I was like, come on guys, just send it to me, how many Ratcliffs are in New Zealand. I also sent them a copy of my passport that shows I am Raymond Franklin Ratcliff III, and Trey is a common name for the III. They wouldn’t budge.
So they started contacting the shipper to see if they could get it changed. That was a dry hole.
Then I called Amazon and spent HOURS on the phone with them and all their supervisors. I finally had to go into my settings and change my name on Amazon to Raymond Ratcliff, but that did not update the P.O. So they suggested that I send back the computer equipment, have it refunded, then I re-order with my new Amazon Account. I was like… you gotta be kidding me.
And if you think I’m complaining about the Customs process, you should have heard the Amazon people. They were ripping all Customs processes a new one.
The thing is, that the entire purpose of the New Zealand Customs is supposed to HELP New Zealand, but, in fact, it ends up hindering New Zealand. Me NOT getting this computer equipment is slowing down business. I have an international business I run out of Queenstown, and if I can’t easily get the tools of the trade, then it’s ultimately bad for New Zealand. Plus, it frustrates tens of thousands of people per day and employs a bunch of people whose entire job it is to collect money in an antiquated manner.
There’s a larger economic policy that all import and export duties are ultimately bad for both the consumer and the worker. But I won’t get into all that “Free to Choose” Milton Friedman stuff.
I feel bad for these poor people that work in Customs that are stuck in a system not of their own making. The whole thing needs to be torn apart and brought into 2018.
Daily Photo – A Fully Clothed Dip in the Pool
This was my personal pool at my room in Koh Samui at the Ritz-Carlton there. Pretty fancy, eh? Well it got to be so hot in the daytime, and I was often just drenched in sweat, so I would come back and jump in the pool with all my clothes on. Man, it felt good, and it was a pretty effective way of washing my clothes. I would get undressed in the water, then lay out my clothes on the deck to dry off. That only took about an hour before they were bone dry again. Note this is something that only a guy would do.