A win... but with a partial (82%) sour after-taste!
October 24, 2013
So today I finally got my hands on what I came to call my "DAGU loot", a selection of DAGU items that I acquired using the credit I won from participating and winning 1st prize on the Doodle Bot Art Competition with my Little Stella and her artistic talents.
First off, kudos for OddBot for issuing yet another Challenge and overall being a pillar of this community and DAGU for sponsoring it.
So, after going through the DAGU website and some questioning and pondering I've made choices, and placed my order. Paid for about €30 in shipping (which as OddBot usually warns us it's expensive but fast, so it might pay off to try distributors first) and then got a DHL tracking number.
So all is going as expected when...
( And now let the crescendo of angry rant commence... ) [A.K.A. warning to Portugal residents and all those that apply.]
...a couple days later DHL calling me that I had an incoming package from China... and that they wanted more money to process it it through Customs, €25 + VAT = ~€30 ... so efectively doubling the shipping costs... alternatively they would be "nice enough" to let me handle customs myself for "just" an admistrative fee of €18.5, I choose the latter not only to try and save about €12... but to deny them to DHL (yes I find this fee stupid and abusive, and yes I know (since have found out) that other express shipping companies charge it too, at least around this parts).
More fun at DHL, yesterday they finally told me I could go pick up the documents (and pay the fee) so that I could go to the Customs Office afterwards. It was 3 PM when they called and even warned me that the Customs Office closed at 4 PM... but failed to provide me a proper address... so I drive across town to their headquarters... where they told me I had to drive elsewhere to pick up the documents, and I sighed and I did. By the time I had the papers and coughed up yet more money... it was past 4 PM...
...so by yesterday only related to shipping my tally was about €50 \o/ :|
Well finally today I went to the Customs Office, right in the morning, took a couple of LMR prints (the challenge and my profile) and email prints, and the paypal transfer receipt as proof... after explaining everything at Customs, the lady there told ok, very well... except I still need to provide something that linked the paypal receipt with my package.... so I had to go away an print more emails and returned on the afternoon. Finally it was everything ok... I just had to write a declaration that summarily described the circumstances in which I received that package. The lady went back in, did all the calculation... and some time later... another ~€56 for me to pay.... it was about ~€10 than my rough estimate.... but hey these were taxes, I thought... well it's the last of it and payed. She handed me a paper and said that now I could go to the warehouse and and pick up my order.... I get there, and surprise surprise... it will be ~€12... to which I asked "Excuse me, what is this payment for?" and get answered "Storage"... so yeah, 2 days storage... ~€12... so there went the savings by handling Customs myself (not counting the diesel and time I spent driving back and forwards and waiting around).
So in the end, I paid nearly €120 just to get my hands on my prize, and that amounts to ~82% of its value. ouchie. ;_;
Well... on the bright side... if I had not won that credit in the contest... I would have to pay that in addition to the actually product prices... so, anyone wants to move in to sunny Portugal? :D (btw... today was one of the lousiest rainy days I've see so far this year)
In summary, who am I mad at?
- DHL, I had no say in its choice but I sure as well I find their pricing scheme extorsionist... it's ok for who's in a hurry and has the munnies... I rather wait for slow mail. I mean, I should have an Honorary Masters in waiting given that I'm waiting for a certain package for over an year (as many of you know). So DHL (or any other express company), no thanks.
- Portway, that's the company that manages storage at the Customs office... €12 for a couple of days? ripoff.
So, to the actual loot... here it is below after the first round of unpacking...
... but uh oh, overall it's all that I ordered... with the exception... of:
- instead of 2x Little Black Duck continuous rotation servo... I just got 1... so I guess now I can only make a lame duck :(
- instead of 2x [wheel + angled bracket + motor] ... I got 1x that.... so that I was supposed to use on a balancer attempt... so there goes that :,(
on the other I received a pair of of yellow box geared motors + wheels that I did not order... so I can only imagine it was "compensation" for not having enough stock to fill the two items above.... but I'd rather wait and pick something different... given that those items in single units are not much fun..., so I'm a little sad about that, more so because I was hoping that I could start dabbling with a balancer as my next project.
Anyhow, given time the sour tast these last couple of days will vanish from my mouth, mostly replaced by all the tuna sandwiches I'll have henceforth to eat as dinner to offset this unforeseen extra spending. hurrah \o/ :-|
Well, rant is over... now off to finish the unboxing and open the rover 5 chassis box :D
UPDATE: rover 5 unboxed... but I'm thinking I'll take a stab first at making a Balancer Bot using the yellow box geared motors... and with a bit of luck... and accidental skill they might just be enough to pull it off :P