I recently had to mail a small parcel to a neighboring province. I went to our local post office and asked the lady at the counter how much it would cost to mail this package to it’s destination. She asked for the postal code, which I provided, and after clacking a few keys on the keyboard, she announced that by Xpresspost it would get there in 3 business days and would cost $17.20. “Perfect, let’s do that,” I say and present my debit card. After a few more clacks of the keyboard, she replies, “Ok, that’ll be $21.23.”
“Did you not just say that it would cost $17.20?” I turned around to check with the person standing behind me to make sure I was not crazy. “Did you not hear her say that?” “Yes,” the lady at the counter replied, “but that does not include the fuel surcharge, taxes and other fees.” Feeling my blood pressure starting to increase, I took a deep breath and asked “When I asked you how much it would cost me to mail this package, why did you say $17.20 when you really meant that it’s going to cost me $21.23? ” “I’m sorry sir, that’s just what the computer says.”
I know I’ve had rants on this topic before, but this one really does get me hot under the collar. I get that there are taxes to be paid, although on this particular transaction I was shocked to see a line item on the receipt claiming $2.44 HST. Since when did we have a Harmonized Sales Tax? And a fuel surcharge? The price of oil is at a 20 year low and you’re still brazen enough to charge a fuel surcharge? I have no sympathy for the fate of Canada Post, and it’s transactions like these that make me a little bit more understanding when I hear stories of people going postal.