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Old 10-04-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
grosbeak
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RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)


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I recently placed an order with RTL Fasteners. After shipping, Canadian customs fees and exchange it came to a lot more than I had bargained for. I knew this was not RTL's fault, but I sent them an email I titled A Canadian Customer's Perspective.
Are you experiencing a decline in Canadian customers? Here's my story.

I recently took advantage of your offer to receive a free metric assortment with a 75.00 purchase. Sounded like a great deal. Of course, USD 75.00 is about CAD 99 right now, but still, not bad. So I pick and choose and I soon have USD 81.75 (CAD 107.57) in fasteners selected. I look at the shipping rate... I think it was a little over USD 20 (CAD 26.32). So far so good.

I add the metric assortment and suddenly the shipping rate is USD 38.48 (CAD 50.63) . Whoa! I had to think for a minute... was this still worth it? I decided to go ahead anyway.

When I picked up the package at the post office today, imagine my surprise at being assessed over CAD 42 in customs fees - first time THAT's happened on an order from you!

So what looked like $75 at first has turned into just over CAD 200.

- - -

Now... I realize you have no say over the value of the Canadian dollar or the amount customs will assess (unless these good were produced in the US and you neglected to mention that in the documentation). I don't know if you make a profit on shipping or not - I know it can be expensive to ship to Canada from the US.

We camp in NY once or twice a year and I have an arrangement with a company that receives shipments on my behalf - no hefty shipping charges and usually no customs fees because we are in-country long enough to qualify for a sizable exemption.

Given the current situation, I am going to start looking for my fasteners locally. If I can't find them in town, I'll look online for a Canadian supplier. And if that doesn't work, I'll order from you... if the timing coincides with a trip to the US and a visit to our receivers.

I am more than happy with your products and service... but circumstances have, for the most part, made your prices unreasonably high.

Thought you should know.

Thank you,

John Rest Sale No. M46926
I heard back on Monday morning.
Hello John,

Thank you kindly for your thoughts and perspective on shipping charges to Canada. The actual cost to ship your order, if we were to use USPS directly and not our software program, would be $40.70. As a small business, we are unfortunately, not privy to larger shipping discounts as a larger company would be. UPS and the postal service do offer discounts for large volume orders but we do not qualify. We do, as you see, receive a small discount which we try to pass on to the customer. We do not price our shipping fees with the intention to make money.

Due to the weight of packages, we have a policy that the shipping charge is pre-discount. So, your order was assessed at $211.70. We have this policy on our website under shipping charges so customers can make a decision if they want to order. Since declared value is technically our insurance claim if the package is lost or stolen, we claim the value of the order( pre-shipping and pre-discount).

Every year USPS and UPS have increased their prices and we try to keep prices reasonable for customers while also offering weekly merchandise discounts.

We appreciate your business and we do understand your concern about shipping charges. I hope I have been able to shed some light on our shipping policies.

Sincerely,

Tamara
I thanked Tamara for the explanation and considered the matter closed. Until I received this email today.
Hi John,

We are in the mist of revamping our International shipping policies
which will result in customers being charged actual shipping costs and
customs ( declared value) will reflect the discounted price. In the
meantime , we will reimburse you for 60% of your customs fee of $42.00.
Please expect a reimbursement of $25.20 to your account shortly. Thank
you for your valuable input .

Sincerely,

Tamara, RTL Fasteners
I responded quickly to express my appreciation and to point out that (a) the customs fees I paid were in Canadian dollars, (b) 60% of the US equivalent was just a little over USD 19, and (c) I'd like to pay back the difference.

Tamara politely declined, adding "We are very glad you are pleased."

Definitely a class organization with a dedication to customer service.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

That's great John. You never know how a politely worded email might just work out.

I've wandered around RTL's website lots of times, but the cost for shipping and exchange means a lot of little packages at my local hobby store. I haven't factored in the extra duty charge. Sometimes Bolts Plus has worked out for me as well.

Great read, thanks again. Daren
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:45 AM   #3
grosbeak
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

Hey Daren, glad you liked it. I first dealt with them several years ago when my wife got me the master builder's assortments in both metric and imperial. At the time they were offering 30% off orders over a certain amount and I way very happy with the purchase.

Two weeks later, 40% off! What gives? As now I sent a politely worded email and, although they didn't have to do a thing they sent me some free stuff.

There's a reason why they're still in business in the presence of giants like McMaster-Carr, who refused to ship to me out of hand because I was in Canada.

Long live RTL!
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

I see two class acts: RTL for giving you the refund and working on their international shipping, and you for offering to reimburse them back on the conversion difference.

Good on you both!
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:38 PM   #5
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

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Originally Posted by CF105 View Post
I see two class acts: RTL for giving you the refund and working on their international shipping, and you for offering to reimburse them back on the conversion difference.

Good on you both!
Agree!! I really liked the way you wrote them John, and great reply as well!!
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:56 PM   #6
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

I have been dealing with Brafasco for years, they have all those sizes. You have to make it worth their while and buy some epoxy or something. I think they have a $15.00 minimum. There was a place in Peterborough called "Mini Bolt". When getting stuff shipped in from USA you can go to usps.com and click on first class and find out the actual cost. You have to know the size of the parcel and the weight.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:18 PM   #7
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

I've never ordered from RTL, Fastenal has locations all over Canada and if you buy bulk they're just as cheap. I can get a box of 100 4-40 bolts from them for like $18. They have every fastener I can think of. Used them for my hobby and my business. Only thing that pisses me off about them is the local one here no longer accepts cash if you are in the store. It's not a fastenal thing but open to each individual stores discretion. I don't understand a business not accepting cash but so be it.

https://www.fastenal.com/
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:04 PM   #8
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

Unfortunately Fastenal no longer sells to the public.
You must have a business name and, presumably, a tax #
Too bad, as there is one just down the road from me.

I have dealt with RTL in the past and had no issues with them.
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

Quote:
Originally Posted by grosbeak View Post
There's a reason why they're still in business in the presence of giants like McMaster-Carr, who refused to ship to me out of hand because I was in Canada.

Long live RTL!
Great story Grosbeak!
Try McMaster Carr again, they now ship to Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquila View Post
I've never ordered from RTL, Fastenal has locations all over Canada and if you buy bulk they're just as cheap. I can get a box of 100 4-40 bolts from them for like $18. They have every fastener I can think of. Used them for my hobby and my business. Only thing that pisses me off about them is the local one here no longer accepts cash if you are in the store. It's not a fastenal thing but open to each individual stores discretion. I don't understand a business not accepting cash but so be it.

https://www.fastenal.com/
I'm not real happy with the Fastenal store here.
Try Spaenaur, I think you'll like them.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:48 PM   #10
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Re: RTL Fasteners... a class act (longish)

I like rtl bought 300$ worth 4 years ago and still havnt replaced anything lol
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