I recently placed a telephone order for some copies of “Why Me ?–a memoir” from Create Space who print the books for me as needed. I paid in advance as usual using my credit card for the cost of the books and for the cost of handling and delivery. The books are sent from the U.S. The following week I received a notice in my mail box that a parcel was waiting for me at our local postoffice and that money was owing on it. What? Usually the books are delivered to my place of residence, with no additional cost.
I took the notice and braved the wind and the cold and walked to my local postal station. It was understaffed and there were long line ups, short tempers and long waits. When it was my turn, I handed the clerk the notice and said “What’s this all about?” He informed me that the charge was for taxes collected by Canadian customs. I informed him that I never had to pay it before. He informed me that every parcel valued at over $20 is subject to be taxed. Apparently this is a time consuming task and there are a multitude of packages that pass through customs daily. Therefore they just randomly choose the occasional package to tax. Mine was the random occasional package chosen. Why Me?