First off, apologies in advance for the rant to follow.
I've heard good things about King Arthur Flour's gluten-free pizza crust mix, so I went to order a box of it from their website the other day. A small box of the mix is $6.95, and their website says "Ships to Canada" where I live. Excellent! Here's the mix in question:http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/gluten-free-pizza-crust-mix
I went to checkout, and was shocked to see that they were charging $24.50 for shipping. That's almost FOUR TIMES the cost of the mix itself! So I wrote to customer service and asked if this was really what they're charging.
I got a reply. To my surprise, I was wrong--they don't charge $24.50, they charge even MORE!.....:
"For an order delivered to your Canadian address, you'll be charged our regular ground shipping rate, plus an $18.00 flat fee to cover the higher Canadian shipping costs, customs brokerage fees, and Canadian duty (where applicable). Since this is a flat fee, we suggest you maximize your (American) dollars by placing fewer but larger orders; getting together with baking friends to place a group order is a good option. So the grand total for your one item would be $31.45."
$31.45 for a one-pound bag of flour mix?? Are they insane?? Am I insane??
The first question that popped into my mind is: Why would they charge a "regular ground shipping rate" (which I assume is their normal shipping rate within the US), PLUS "an $18 flat fee to cover the higher Canadian shipping costs, brokerage fees, etc."? Shouldn't that $18 fee be INSTEAD OF the regular ground shipping rate, not IN ADDITION TO?
Not to mention, I looked on USPS's website, and it shows that a small package weighing 2 pounds can be shipped from the US to Canada for just under $9.00. Not to mention that USPS does not charge brokerage fees; and there is no import duty on flour, as far as I'm aware. Certainly no duty that would be charged to KAF that would necessitate them passing it along to the customer.
I'm in an ongoing conversation with one of KAF's customer service reps over this. I'm used to things costing a little more to get up here to Canada from the States, but this seems way out of line. I could understand if it were a solid piece of metal weighing 50 pounds, but it's a small 1-lb. box of mix for crying out loud.