Made in Canada conundrum

We all know that some of the very best audio equipment is made in Canada. Some of these legendary companies don't have service facilities in the USA, so if it breaks,like mine did, you send it back to Canada. I just experienced this: Promised about 2 weeks turn-around time, but we're going on 2 months and it's still at Customs in Canada, who are waiting to clear it, having charged me tax, duty, broker fees (FedEx) and a fourth charge for some technicality that I've forgotten. What do US purchasers feel about paying tax, duty and broker fees when they buy Canadian and then pay the same fees again to have the original repaired? Annoyed, like I am, or did you know that? And would you have bought Canadian if you knew this before-hand - like I didn't, because nobody told me. Should I have known this? Opinions, please. (I will keep the Manufacturer's name confidential while I wait for resolution)
Paying those fees to have something repaired would annoy me, too. Frankly, it's something I never considered until you brought it up. I will likely not purchase Canadian made electronics if the company has no US service facility.
its not our boarder,it is your own,HOMELAND SEC.,
Canada? Oh yeah- Those unfriendly neighbors to the North! I'm certainly glad that my excellent BAT, TacT, Cary, Magnepan, Nestorovic, Hafler, Kimber, Silver Audio, Synergistic Research and Wireworld products were ALL manufactured down here. The VERY isolated times that I've needed service(twice in the last ten years), it was handled with great expedience. They don't like America, I don't need anything they have to offer.

The last time I had dealings with a Canadian firm for returns & or repairs, I was told to mark the container "return for repairs" "Damaged". I experienced no duties, fees, taxes, or the like.

I'd look into that were I you.

given my return across the border, I did get hit by a change in the dollar's value from point of purchase to the point of return time frame however.

The very notion of fees taxes, and duties is the primary reason why I seldom buy from our northern neighbors. Those additions subtract from the overall value, and timelyness of the products receipt... then there too is the possiblity of service related and hence shipping incidents. Not to mention added fees even while using Paypal for international transactions, and the restrictions inherent to those sorts of dealings..

As for the "we all know... best made" aspect, I'd say that's highly debateable.

I prefer as much as is possible to keep buying from the good old USA.... first... though not religiously, or without exception. Value and service are important items in my buying decisions.

Sonic Frontiers/Anthem and I believe some other Canadian makers offer a US address in upstate NY for their returns/service related items. So no border entanglements. Their service too is exemplary. Friendly, professional, and speedy.
Rodman99999, I can only assume you're joking.
Those unfriendly neighbors to the North!

They don't like America

Otherwise I would write comments questioning your intelligence.

Regarding the original post -- that sucks! Although it looks like it might be a golden opportunity for some U.S. based electronic service firms.
As I go back and forth with customs, waiting for forms, repeatedly giving my SSN, credit card numbers, swearing at the fax machine because nothing promised arrives, I certainly make this generalised statement of advice to all US residents: Never buy any foreign-made equipment with out a (written) guarantee of an authorised USA service facility. It should be included unambiguously in the Manufacturer's warranty. The Canadians blame the US for the delays, but that is irrelevant. Aside from customs, even shipping costs and inconvenience should preclude repairs outside of the USA for any product bought here. Once bitten.
Denis, it's too late now, but FedEX has a box to check for "Repair & Return" when the shipment is created that addresses the absolute hell you're going through now. In addition to checking that whenever I was involved in these situations, I always wrote it out in great big letters so that hopefully no one would miss it.

That being said, I've had people send stuff down to me via UPS, and no matter what (the box could be in neon colors, with "REPAIR & RETURN" flashing in lights), and they ALWAYS soaked both parties.
onhwy61- Obviously you are unconcious to the realities of the Canadian attitude toward America. You would do well to keep up with current(and past) events: ( ( ( I really don't expect you to educate your self by accessing this info(even if you CAN read), but what the heck. I'm certain you'll find it necessary to get the "last word" in. Enjoy yourself! =8^)
Joe, in your experience, what percentage of foreign manufacturers do NOT have a US-based repair facility? Appropos the Repair & Return box, I certainly was unaware of it and Customer Service at the manufacturer in Canada certainly didn't mention it. All I got was a RA number. Period.
Well Yanks and Canucks, now is the time for us all to sit around on the rug and say just what it is we don't like about each other. Get it all off our chests, spit it out and see what we feel like when it's all over.

Springbok10, I'm really sorry for your experience. I have been soaked at my own border often enough by carriers and by Customs. I think I know now how to avoid it. The Canadian manufacturer of your product needs to know how to help their customers avoid it too, and I hope you will tell them very clearly.

I peeked at your links. Interesting, but I would take this stuff with a grain of salt. When locals are polled, America gets bad marks from just about everywhere in the world (except maybe Israel).

We're the guys with the big stick and people resent the guy with the big stick (particularly liberals everywhere, who don't like big sticks, even in their own hands.) This IS NOT a statement about liberal vs conservative politics, merely an observation that Canadian attitutdes about the USA look a lot like, say, European attitudes.

I only mention this because I worked with a Canadian bank (in its New York office) for more than a decade and spent considerable time in the great white North. I came away with enormous affection for the place. No one ever gave me a hard time about being American, although lots of folks hated Bush. Even if you are a staunch Bush supporter, he didn't win many popularity contests abroad - Canada is no different than most places in that respect.

However, if you prefer to "Buy USA", I certainly won't argue with you.

Whoa! Where did this thread go wrong! Down boys!

The same problems with duties, taxes, tariffs, delays can be had from both sides of the 49th. American made products are just as difficult to repair and return for Canadian owners, to the USA. This is not just a one way problem.

Yes, do make VERY clear on your import forms that your product is a Warranty/Return. This process seems to be hit and miss as sometimes I'm charged high fees, and sometimes not. I find FedEx, UPS et al are the least sympathetic when it comes to border fees. Surprisingly, USPS/Can Post are the best way to ship if your item is not over 60lbs.

I don't know if there is any clear answer to avoid paying moneys when your item crosses the border. I do however, think this is a two-way problem. Please don't make this thread political people. Put some Bob Marley on the platter and chill-out.

Happy listening.
Just don't buy, it is that simple. When I have brought/sold used I require carrier pick up and delivery be in the US at a UPS store or I don't do the transaction.
I agree that this topic has nothing to do with Canada vs. USA, or Canadians vs. Americans.

The reason for the taxes and duties doesn't matter. The only important fact under consideration is that they exist.

As Springbok10 pointed out, buyers should take the taxes and duties into consideration when purchasing new products made in other countries.

It's be great to leave the knee jerk politics out of this discussion.
My sole experience w/shipping gear to Cananda for repair was completely uneventful (ie smooth as silk). Contacted this very reputable audio manufacturer (headquartered in the Montreal area). Put the unit in it's original box, shipped via UPS. Received the unit with no fees, taxes, etc. Not sure why others have had dificulties, could it be that this manufacturer simply handled everything unknown to me?
Correct, Tvad. Spot-on. As some have stated, I guess different manufacturers go to significant lengths to help their US customers over the hurdles, whereas others do not.
People should remember that there are domestic manufacturers who stiff their customers on service, too. The "export for service" issues add a layer of risk, however, no matter which foreign country the company you're dealing with calls home.

In my experience both Fedex and particularly UPS exploit customs situations to their advantage - whenever they are involved I have paid 90 % handling/brokerage fees to Fedex/UPS and 10% or less of the fee is actually in tax. (Yes a I have paid bills for over $100 for $5 in excise tax)

However, for a repair you should not pay ANY taxes.
In my experience, no matter how perfectly the proper procedures are written down and how good is the training for people at their work, there is always incompetent people on the job.

If it works out fine for some and badly for others, for the same concern, it is my immediate opinion it was somebody not caring or making a mistake about his job somewhere in the line, period. I doesn't have anything to do with being Canadian, American nor Martian !

Hey,come on ! How do you really think a business can remain viable exporting to other countries and bringing in repairs if it has no knowledge of how to do so in the customer's best interest.
Touche, Andr.
I thought NAFTA was supposed to "open" the borders to the south and north and make shipping and movement of goods in general much easier and quicker, though not necessarily cheaper. Sorry to hear of the OP's frustrations.
Perhaps the simplest solution is to encourage our politicians on both sides of the border to plump for the FREE exchange of goods, services, and people across the borders. No customs fes no taxes. Letting the economic benefits of such activity make up for any losses in revenue by the present hasselling, taxing, and bureaucracy(bureau crazy?) on or over the citizens of either country.

Homeland Security Act has much to do w/ this issue...
I have sent literally ton’s of audio gear across the border and have never encountered any problem at all whatsoever. Generally speaking border issues most often arise only if the proper paperwork has not been prepared and presented.

I go agree that cross border shipping is more time consuming than domestic however any informed shipper/receiver can seamlessly ship back and forth if things are done correctly.

I feel badly for the OP; however to be in that situation as the OP is would have required things to go very wrong at every level. To an extent one would think that any Canadian manufacturer would offer shipping advice and instructions to assist US customers with warranty returns and it is odd that did not occur here.
I just purchased a piece of gear from the product NA distributor, who is in Alberta. Paid via PayPal, sent via CanadaPost. No problems at all.

I sold and shipped a pair of Magnepan MGIIIA from Philadelphia to Toronto a couple of years ago. No problems going in that direction either. I shipped using BAXGlobal.
Just keep sending the Tragically Hip across the border and no one gets hurt!!!!!!!!

How can you not LOVE Canada. Awesome country and people.
Rodman99999 is right.
I've only been an Audiogon member for 5yrs,have made 18 cross border transactions without any problems. Some of them made it across over night.
I'll probably have more problems getting across the border in person this summer, as i travel on a British passport but live in Canada .

...and that impression has been going on for decades. We don't get a very objective view of ourselves if we only subscribe to our hometown news.

Listen to the BBC for a less biased opinion now and then and you'll understand.

Dopwn here there's a lot of Canadians whom I call friends. I've never heard any negative discourse about us, from them... ever. Not even from strangers I have met from there.

A general rule of thumb in retail is to tax everything... maybe that's the ticket at the crossing... when in doubt "apply all fees".

Crossing over or not... just shipping bothers me... and i've had reasonably good experiences there.

ASk for a schematic or buy something else... actually, regardless, ask for a schematic... they may take a powder or have to just fold up shop at some point.
Thanks for the heads up. I did pay the mentioned $s when i purchased a table from C.
A reminder is good.
Hope you're doing well, Denis.

I think the percentage of foreign companies without a US repair facility is well over 50%. Based on the experiences I've had in the past few years, I've more or less come to the conclusion that a company not based in North America that is unable/unwilling to pay someone in the USA to support their margue and all that's involved in doing so is a company not worth patronizing.

By the way, this is definitely not something between the people or governments of Canada and the USA. The problem is the shipping companies who have folks working for them enforcing draconian, onerous, and outrageously priced policies. NAFTA sure didn't benefit the high-end audio customer. Most will find this difficult to believe, but my shipments from China were far, far, far faster and less complicated than those I was involved with in Canada. To the point where we finally went to having the gear I imported directly into Canada from China, as opposed to coming to me first.
RODMAN smoke very good suff ( from the north)............
How many of the PARTS involved in any electronic device do either Canada or the US actually make? Probably not many. I work for a company that makes power devices...power supply or power output. We even make our own class 'd' amplifier module. But, we make (mainly) 1 part, the power transistors / FREDs (Fast Recovery Epitaxial Diode) and some other minor stuff. The boards have dozens of components, most Asian and some European.
For that matter, how much of ANYthing is made in only 1 country. I'll bet that even the glass needed for a vacuum tube's envelope is imported by most of the countries that still make tubes, let alone the specialty wire/ feedthru.

No single country actually makes or fabricates anything, but rather ASSEMBLES others parts.

I agree with Peterayer.........what ever happened to NAFTA??? Yet another bill of political goods?
A friend who married a Canadian and migrated there [from Australia] has a theory that Britain deported its convicts to Australia and its beauracrats to Canada-which was far worse!
Man,this thread just keeps reeling in a few gearboxes.
So much for audio RELATED.
Bryston, a Canadian company, has a repair facility in Vermont. When I stupidly blew up the output transistors on my old 4B-ST due to a speaker wiring short, I sent the amp out to them on a Monday and received it back on Thursday of the same week - no charge. Bryston has the best customer service of any audio manufacture I've experienced, so prospective buyers should not avoid them because of their Canadian location.

Getting stuff INTO Canada is a pain. Getting stuff from there to the USA is simple.
Alan, I can say exactly the same about Magnum Dynalab, a Canadian company that has a repair facility somewhere south of the border. 4 day turn-around, superb service.
Trelja wrote:

>>I think the percentage of foreign companies without a US repair facility is well over 50%. Based on the experiences I've had in the past few years, I've more or less come to the conclusion that a company not based in North America that is unable/unwilling to pay someone in the USA to support their margue and all that's involved in doing so is a company not worth patronizing.<<

I, for one, will never ever again buy a foreign product that does not have a US-based repair/support facility.
What a coincidence this thread is. I have a Blue Circle audio piece sitting in Ontario now with a clearance delay. I sent mine for an upgrade rather than a repair. My delay has only been 9 days unlike yours Springbok10. My fault however because I didn't fully understand the process or all the paperwork I completed. If there's ever a next time however, I will know all about the paperwork. I really feel for you Springbok10. Your frustration must be through the roof. I'm hoping my shipment will clear customs and be moving tomorrow.
With NAFTA there is no duty if the item is made in North America. Taxes are sales taxes that you would have to pay if you bought local.
UPS brokerage fees are a crime at times. If one has the time (and it might be only at border towns) they can do the brokerage themselves and clear it through Customs themselves. I'm in Vancouver and do my own brokerage.

Rodman is wrong, 2 of the links are based out of Quebec, they don't like anyone including Canadians.
06-02-09: Benie
Rodman is wrong, 2 of the links are based out of Quebec, they don't like anyone including Canadians.

True or not, that's the funniest line in the thread :^).
UPS brokerage fees are a crime at times.

That is my experience. Definitely avoid UPS if you ant to avoid the risk of paying usury brokerage fees up to TEN TIMES the actual duties you are charged by the Government (for Canadians who import this is usually just sales tax but can also include additional taxes for non-US origin items, which are subject to country of origin specific trade agreements)

Example: A UK origin speaker (used or new) sold by an American to a Canadian would be subject to the usual Sales Tax AND an additional tax (as UK is outside of NAFTA)
Here is a recent video of Albert, Benie and the Dallas Audiophile Club visiting a Hi-Fi store in foreign land. Despite their finery they were unable to enter the store but they did take delivery of one Vache Monster Monoblock with four udderly fantastic tubes. - Just kidding ;-)
Albert,that Quebec line for the most part, is completely true :>) and I agree, hilarious.

Rodman,sorry you feel that way.

OK back to audio.
My experience with shipping electronics across the U.S. border for factory upgrades or other for the most part has been completely hassle free there and back....

Shipping Canadian made electronics for repair or upgrade should be equally hassle free.

Key wording on Customs documents is {warranty repair}
Anything other then that you will be subject to extra charges and taxes.
Company's should know this when shipping your repaired / updated component to other countries.

As for the other, buying electronics ect.there is no other way around taxes and other fee's only if you have the seller low ball the actual price payed, or have it written up as warranty repair.....

Look at Fed Ex, UPS and other courier's including both Canadian and U.S. governments as pirates with these taxes and extra fee's, this including the trade between our countries the money involved is huge.
Extra tax revenue for the government and extra gravy for the couriers.

I strongly suggest when in dought call U.S. Customs or if your anywhere else in the World call your countries customs office and ask a few questions.

As for customs flagging your parcel for inspection this can and will delay delivery, also there are over zealous customs agents that will find fault with anything they can, because they can.

Both our countries are fighting a war also both our countries have other unrelated problems with import and exported illegal goods.

On a differant note.
Just like most countries there are regional difference's, bias, be it north and south or east and west of any given country ,one extreme example is north and south of Ireland.
French speaking Quebec has and will always be a thorn in the side of the rest of English speaking Canada.

Rodman we both live in great countries, don't let a media source form your opinion of another nation.
Fuck you, Benie. Your sweeping generalization is total bullshit.... Also, I put it to you that you are, at least partly, aware of this...You`re just clicead conformist who loves riding the Quebec-bashing bandwagon: it`s safe and politically correct.
I just sold a Linn Basik tonearm, and gave a Linn K18 MM Cart, and a Nagaoka MP11 MM Cart, included the cable and an older armboard. It clearly stated Lower US only. So what happens? A Canadian that probably can't read AAAAAAAAAA puts in a bid and wins. Go figure. I spoke with him and shipped it anyway. Next time I'll add $500.00 shiping and handling fees. Rodman99999 is still right!
So you spoke with him and shipped the unit to Canada. Was there a problem? You don't mention this
To Polk 32 :

That's an interesting point and it raises a question : could you have refused the winning bid since you stated lower US only ? And if so, why did you accept the transaction ? Does your pocket always win over your principles ? What does that make you ?