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  1. #1
    Member safety_match's Avatar
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    Default Canadians Beware Corvette America

    I want to warn Canadians to be careful on ordering from Corvette America and what the consequences can be. I recently bought a passenger side power seat track and both side window outside seals from Corvette America.

    1. The power seat track has a core charge (meaning they charge you $125 U.S. for the return of your old rebuildable track). This is included on your invoice and the broker (UPS) they use to ship it to you charges brokerage fees and all GST and import taxes on all listed items including the core charge. As you know, a core charge is not an item; it is just a surety that you will return your old one back to them...why should it be taxed and brokered like it was a real item? Even the broker (UPS) agreed and was willing to give credit if Corvette America would send them a "rerate". I asked Corvette America for this and they couldn't seem to be bothered.

    2. When I returned the seat track due to defect, I got hit a second time with another set of brokerage, import and GST taxes.

    3. If your window seal (like mine) is defective (or any other item that you order) and you return it to them for an exchange, again they charge you brokerage, import and GST all over again on the exchanged item. Why do they invoice it this way? It is an exchange on an item that has already been fully brokered and imported the first time.

    The strange part is that when I shipped their defective items back to them, I put on the customs forms that the items had $0 value as they were defective and being returned for exchange. If I can do this, why can't Corvette America?

    Oh yes, I have had multiple communications with Corvette America trying to get satisfaction but their customer service does not respond to most e-mails. When you finally get through to them, you are told that it is just company policy and not their fault. Something to do with that is just the way their computer invoicing has been set up. It's not their fault so the customer should try and get satisfaction from Canada Customs on their own. Hogwash! Why should the customer have to fix the mistakes that Corvette America makes?

    If Corvette America wants to sell their products to the foreign market then they should research import/export regulations and take care of their foreign customers. Failing that, then they should sell to their domestic market only.

    I will grant that they willingly exchanged the faulty parts and seemed sincere when I finally got their attention, but will I deal with them again? Not likely, after returning a faulty power seat track and one of my window seals and getting hit twice for brokerage, import fees and taxes, then being charged for a non-existent item their products become too expensive.

    I am sending a copy of this post to their customer service and if they can give me satisfaction I will publicly post a retraction on this forum. I hope that they see the value of good customer relations especially when 14,663 Corvette owners are watching.

    thank you, Safety

  2. #2
    Member WhalePirot's Avatar
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    Wow. Sorry, that really sucks.

  3. #3
    Member Greg Gore's Avatar
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    Default Defective Seat Track

    I bought new left and right power seat tracks from GM for my 96; I guess after 9 years the plastic parts inside (bushings or something) give up and they just stop working. I have seen the rebuilt power seat tracks advertised and although I did not go this route I have always wondered if they were a suitable option. The advertising says they are rebuilt with new steel parts to replace the OEM plastic originals. What ended up being wrong with the Corvette America seat tracks, what was the defect? There are probably just a few shops in the country that specialize in rebuilding these seat tracks and Corvette America along with the other restoration vendors most likely just sell them. Sorry to hear about your customer service grief. Corvette America has been in business a long time and it makes you wonder if perhaps they are a little less zealous for their customers these days? Vendors certainly should be concerned about poor customer service though if they want to remain successful as almost the entire Corvette community is tuned in here and sentiment running against them will affect their bottom line. I had an unpleasant experience with a prominent repro interior/ seat cover vendor recently. I did receive a refund but only after almost two months and countless phone calls to their accounts manager. He was successfully delaying me by promising to post a credit the next day and saying it should show up on my account in a few days. It was a disappointing experience at the time because I had my hopes up that the repro covers were going to make my seats like new again. I was assured the reproduction covers were exactly like the originals but that turned out not to be the case. The foam was molded incorrectly (not like the original) and they just did not fit into place properly on the seat frames. I bought some Zaino Leather reconditioner and now have my originals looking good enough that I can at least live with them while I try to find some good low mileage used seats if possible. Interestingly enough I talked with a Mid-America replacement interior representative at the recent Bloomington Gold show about seat covers and she told me there was some pretty sophisticated engineering involved in making those particular covers. She said Mid America bought their covers from this vendor and was aware of the problem with the covers I mentioned to her. She also said she had her doubts that a small company like them had the resources to successfully pull that design off.

    Regards, Greg

  4. #4
    Member safety_match's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support, but for your info I have had no further contact from Corvette America nor any hint of refund or credit.
    To your question of what problem I had with their rebuilt seat track...the one they sent me had 2 problems. The 3 electric motors that are mounted on the track frame flopped around and were barely secured, they wouldn't have lasted long. But even more importantly, the forward / back movement was so weak that it wouldn't even move with my 125 pound daughter in it let alone a big guy like me. It would only move back and forth if empty.
    I have to admit in all fairness that the 2nd unit they sent me worked ok. It doesn't seem as strong as the left side but it works.
    My main beef is the customer service and inept billing which cost me more $$ than necessary. I'm sure that Canada Customs and the broker appreciated it though!

    Safety

  5. #5
    Registered User CDN88's Avatar
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    Call me crazy, but.... One would think that after fifty odd years of production, by now there MUST be enough Corvette owners in Canada that SOMEONE could set up a CANADIAN operation (or at least a foreign-owned subsidiary) that could ship from INSIDE Canada charging in CANADIAN dollars...

    But... I've been wrong twice before... Both exes agree with me on that one

  6. #6
    Member motorman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDN88
    Call me crazy, but.... One would think that after fifty odd years of production, by now there MUST be enough Corvette owners in Canada that SOMEONE could set up a CANADIAN operation (or at least a foreign-owned subsidiary) that could ship from INSIDE Canada charging in CANADIAN dollars...

    But... I've been wrong twice before... Both exes agree with me on that one
    you guys should fight to get those liberals out of office and maybe some of those taxes would be removed. the taxes there are terrible and they say it is to support the free health care but i understand anyone with money comes to the states for medical care rather than wait up there,is this true and if it is you guys are being screwed not by corvette america but by your govt.
    retired race engine builder,former NASCAR tech inspector,corvette owner since 1959, new corvettes owned,59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99,02,05, 2008 is in my garage, 2008 sold and waiting for my C-7

  7. #7
    Gone but not forgotten Remo's Avatar
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    Default Mail Order Rip-Offs

    Their so called "policy" around brokerage fees falls into the same catagory as "handling charges". Both are scams designed to tack on some addition profits. Many of these large volume mail order companies even have "kick back" arrangements with the shipping vendors. Normally the retail company gets a 5 - 10% return of the total shipping charges every quarter. Imagine how much money that represents to a company like Corvette America.

    Remo

    2001 Quicksilver Lingenfelter Vert. 6 Spd, PFADT Coilovers & Sways, Kooks
    LT Headers, high flow cats, X-pipe, Borla Stingers - 469 RWHP, 455 RWTQ.

  8. #8
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    Default

    I too have been burned by Corvette America when it comes to taxes and brokerage fees, but part of the problem is with UPS and the high brokerage fees that they charge.

    If one of the parts that you ordered is not available, your shipment usually gets split into 2 and you will get dinged with 2 seperate brokerage fees. (I now insist that only full orders be shipped and that partial orders be held until all parts are available).

    If you are going to order parts for your Corvette from the US, I would suggest that you try Ecklers. They now act as the customs broker themselves, and charge you the sales taxes and brokerage fee up front. Ecklers also shipps with Fedex Ground (who deliver in the evening in my area).

  9. #9
    Canadians Beware Corvette America
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77-85
    If you are going to order parts for your Corvette from the US, I would suggest that you try Ecklers. They now act as the customs broker themselves, and charge you the sales taxes and brokerage fee up front.
    I understand that Corvette Central also has the same arrangement now, after two years of negotiations with Canada Customs and Revenue Canada.

  10. #10
    Member norms72's Avatar
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    Default

    safety_match, I hope I can clarify/help with a few things,

    2. When I returned the seat track due to defect, I got hit a second time with another set of brokerage, import and GST taxes.
    I think part of you problem may be with the outfit that is acting as your broker. Goods entering Canada as replacement/warranty parts are not subject GST/HST (refer to www.cbsa-afsc.gc.ca, Customs Notice N-346). Goods originating in (as in manufactured) the US or Canada are duty free. You should have received them duty and tax free if they qualified under NAFTA. The brokers will charge you their fees every time they act on your behalf to clear goods through the border. You can clear them yourself, but you pay for the convenience of having someone do it for you.

    1. The power seat track has a core charge (meaning they charge you $125 U.S. for the return of your old rebuildable track). This is included on your invoice and the broker (UPS) they use to ship it to you charges brokerage fees and all GST and import taxes on all listed items including the core charge. As you know, a core charge is not an item; it is just a surety that you will return your old one back to them...why should it be taxed and brokered like it was a real item? Even the broker (UPS) agreed and was willing to give credit if Corvette America would send them a "rerate". I asked Corvette America for this and they couldn't seem to be bothered.
    Sorry, but the core charge is part of the price paid or payable. Say the part is $400.00 with a $100.00 core charge. If you bought the part outright, it costs you $500.00. If you give them 400.00 and a part worth 100.00 it only appears to cost you 400.00. You are providing them with 400.00 plus a non-monetary item worth 100.00 to purchase the item. If you buy a car worth $10,000. and trade in a car worth 5,000 the transaction value for Customs purposes is still 10,000.

    Contact your broker about the charges for the replacement parts. I don't think Corvette America is the source of your aggrivation.

    Regards,
    Norm.

  11. #11
    Member safety_match's Avatar
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    Thanks for a well thought out response Norms72 and it sounds like you certainly know your information but it still doesn't satisfy me. The reasons are as follows...

    You say that, "Goods entering Canada as replacement/warranty parts are not subject GST/HST". But I was charged for GST, and I expect that Corvette America and their preferred broker UPS would have that knowledge and invoice appropriately. And certainly not charge brokerage and GST again and again on every exchanged faulty part. I can't blame UPS here because they are only following instructions based on the information they receive from Corvette America.

    "Sorry, but the core charge is part of the price paid or payable." I see your point here, but it should have no bearing on Canada Customs, because neither the returned core nor it's trade-in value have any bearing on the new item that has physically entered Canada. All that should matter to Canada is $xxx left the country and purchased partxxx returned. You see, the core is really just an exported item to Canada Customs, not an imported item and should have no bearing from their viewpoint. If any Customs should be concerned it should be the American not the Canadian. In truth, the American Customs should have some concerns that a core worth $125 has just entered their country?
    Even Corvette America's rep admitted that they needed to find a way in their accounting system that could handle this. For example, they would apply two VISA charges. One for the item only and another for the core (which would be held and then cancelled when the core arrived...or applied if the core did not arrive within 30 days).

    And I did contact UPS as you suggest. My first posting quoted, "Even the broker (UPS) agreed and was willing to give credit if Corvette America would send them a "rerate". I asked Corvette America for this and they couldn't seem to be bothered."

    I believe that if Corvette America had put a $0 valuation on the returned items (like I did) with a note that they were replacements for previously purchased faulty items on which duty had been paid none of this would have occurred. UPS would then have charged their shipping fee only.

    So, you can see why I'm still not happy with my purchases?

    But thanks for your response; I appreciate it. And I'm with CDN88, "by now there MUST be enough Corvette owners in Canada that SOMEONE could set up a CANADIAN operation (or at least a foreign-owned subsidiary) that could ship from INSIDE Canada charging in CANADIAN dollars..."


    Safety

  12. #12
    Member invinceablevett's Avatar
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    I deal with Corvette plus P.V.

    Paul is up here in Quebec taking care of us Canadian Citizens who understand the value of Thee Greatest American Sports Car.

    I calculated all the fees and exchange when ordering my convertible top and the cheapest way was going through him.I looked on Ebay and found some but it was way too complicated and they couldn't guarantee delivery.
    He gets a rebate with most American vendors and passes some of it on to us.I'm sure he takes a cut but at least you get what you order and if you don't(as was the case with a gas-tank badge)....simply bring it back and you get the right one at no extra shipping cost.I've never done a "core" exchange transaction but I'm sure it would be safer and cheaper through him........and he speaks English too...although with an accent...

  13. #13
    Member safety_match's Avatar
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    We have local Corvette shops here in the Vancouver area too. One in particular is Coast Corvettes and they do good reliable work. What CDN88 and I are referring to is a Canadian equivalent to Ecklers, Corvette America, etc. Someone that stocks all the parts that owners need and are looking for on their own without going through a middle-man.
    But there is merit in what you say...I may also do all my "buying" through the local guys too.

  14. #14
    Rennie
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    Default It's not the Liberals that tax the heck out of everything. Live in Virginia Motorman.

    Quote Originally Posted by motorman View Post
    you guys should fight to get those liberals out of office and maybe some of those taxes would be removed. the taxes there are terrible and they say it is to support the free health care but i understand anyone with money comes to the states for medical care rather than wait up there,is this true and if it is you guys are being screwed not by corvette america but by your govt.
    I notice that you're not doing too bad. As a middle class Corvette Junkie, (I can only do one at a time then sell it to get another) I was told as I was redoing a 1969 Corvette completely. I was told by a seller for Corvette America, "buy all at once you will get a great deal". Ok I did. Installed my NEW door panels. They have since warped both ways. Think anyone will try to send me new ones because I had so many operations on my body it has taken me since 09 to get the panels on. They were in a climate controlled environment. They went on and then started to warp. Think any of those guys will help me now? Let's hear the "hey buddy thanks for buying but you're just to late, we only have a 30 day warranty! Got a smily face for all the money I spent.

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