Friday, November 20, 2009

Ukrainian officials theft

(Warning, this post contains swearing.)

As an exchange of favors, I sent a valuable camera by UPS, a Canon 5D Mark 1 with an expensive zoom lens (collectively worth maybe $2000), to a friend in the Ukraine. I included a letter which made it clear that she had not paid anything for it.

When it arrived, Ukrainian customs told her that they needed an invoice to give her the camera. So I wrote one for her.

Later they told her that the invoice was wrong, it was a different camera, and a 18-55mm kit zoom lens. She told me to write an invoice which did not mention the specifics so much.

And today she got the parcel, after over a month... it contained an old, super-cheap Canon camera, with a cheap kit zoom lens. [Update: and it's even broken, I am told now. And they made her pay $200 in import tax for a broken camera!] It did not contain the camera I sent her. They fucking stole the fucking camera and the lens! I can't fucking believe it.

And I don't even think there's anything she can do, in practice. Even if she can, it will surely be a lengthy and exhausting battle which ain't worth it.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, November 20, 2009   17 comments links to this post

17 Comments:

At 20 Nov 2009, 20:04:00, Anonymous George Georgiev said...

As someone coming from same part of the world, I would say that this is still "a norm" rather than an exception. The blame is on UPS as well, for not delivering "door-to-door".

The least I could do is to report camera as stolen (to Canon at least), so that nobody can register it. I would not be surprised for this camera to appear as a "gift" to someone high in the political ladder, or even as "brand new" in some Kiev shop.

 
At 20 Nov 2009, 20:10:00, Blogger eolake said...

"The blame is on UPS as well, for not delivering "door-to-door"."

I think they would if they were allowed. It would be the easiest.


"The least I could do is to report camera as stolen (to Canon at least)"

I was not foresighted enough to note down the serial numbers.

 
At 20 Nov 2009, 21:39:00, Blogger Ray said...

With the advantage of hindsight, it might have been cheaper to invite your friend for a visit, and then the camera could have gone back with your friend watching it.

Apparently, there's a lot of corruption in Russia, and they will have to clean up their act if they ever expect the rest of us to treat them as trusted friends.

 
At 20 Nov 2009, 22:16:00, Blogger Kent McManigal said...

Theft is (along with murder) the basis of all government. It doesn't surprise me, although I do sympathize with you.

(I'll wait for the hate to be heaped on me now for pointing out the obvious truth.)

 
At 20 Nov 2009, 23:11:00, Anonymous Philocalist said...

"The least I could do is to report camera as stolen (to Canon at least)"

I was not foresighted enough to note down the serial numbers.


I'm assuming that you came by this camera via a 'normal' retail transaction? :-)

If so, you may be in luck, as many / most / all retailers will have a record of the serial numbers of cameras they sell, particularly the more up-market stuff .. it's a step commonly taken by most of them to prevent fraudulent returns / refunds etc.
IF you bought this on plastic (depending on your issuer) you may also have temporary cover from them for any article purchased using the card .. one of mine gives me 90 days such cover FOC on any and all puchases I make on the card.

Good luck!

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 01:41:00, Anonymous hank jones said...

Theft is (along with murder) the basis of all government. It doesn't surprise me, although I do sympathize with you.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

(I'll wait for the hate to be heaped on me now for pointing out the obvious truth.)

Not hate, just pity. You're amazingly ignorant.

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 10:02:00, Blogger ttl said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, Eolake. Like Ray, I immediately thought the gifting should have been done face to face.

Kent said: Theft is (along with murder) the basis of all government. It doesn't surprise me, although I do sympathize with you.

Actually the basis or all government is violence, and the threat of violence. This then provides the opportunity and the means for theft and murder.

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 16:37:00, Anonymous hank jones said...

Actually the basis or all government is violence, and the threat of violence. This then provides the opportunity and the means for theft and murder.

Wrong as well. No one likes having other people tell them what to do, but without some organization we'd be back to the time when life was "solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short." Only someone ignorant of human nature could think that an absence of government would be a good thing.

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 16:59:00, Blogger eolake said...

Hate to admit it, but in recent years I've started to lean toward hank's position here.

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 17:46:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Kent McManigal. Name a time in recorded history when the life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" wasn't overseen by a government. Of course when life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" the people of the government enjoyed a lovely existence. Hank Jones calls people ignorant when a simple test of reason proves his own.

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 17:54:00, Blogger Bert said...

"Hank Jones calls people ignorant when a simple test of reason proves his own."

Probably is one of the parasites, simply preaches for his parish...

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 17:55:00, Blogger Bert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 21 Nov 2009, 19:07:00, Blogger Ray said...

Strange how the topic of 'theft' turns our minds to 'government'...
Or maybe not so strange, considering the taxes.

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for any public office." - H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

 
At 22 Nov 2009, 00:48:00, Blogger Bruce said...

We have friends and relatives in another, but similar, x-soviet state. Similar problems. There are only a couple of 'work-arounds.'

1) find a trusted traveler to personally deliver the gift.

2) Use one of the delivery companies that specialize in deliveries to people in that country. These are not the well known international delivery companies, but small and local. They know, um, how to get around the problems you had and actually hand deliver it. Can be pricey though, but not as much as you lost. We had one here (eastern U.S.) that specialized in getting stuff safely to people in the Ukraine.

 
At 22 Nov 2009, 00:54:00, Blogger eolake said...

Are they fully above-board?

How do I find them?

 
At 22 Nov 2009, 01:38:00, Blogger Bruce said...

The ones we used based here in the U.S. were 100% honest. As for finding them locally in your area, see if you can find a local 'Russian' (usually catering to much of the former soviet folks) or similar store or community; if England is like the U.S., foreign ethnic/language groups tend to live in the same small area, and then someone opens a small store or shop selling food from back home. They will probably be able to give you some leads to find a reliable shipping company. These communities tend to be small, and if the company rips someone off, it will become quickly known by everyone.

good luck

 
At 22 Nov 2009, 11:02:00, Blogger ttl said...

If you live in the U.K. and your Internet connection is important to you, you might want to sign this petition against government violence:

petitions.number10.gov.uk/dontdisconnectus/

 

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