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General => Direct Service/Parts Queries => Topic started by: GrahamB on March 15, 2021, 14:34:37

Title: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on March 15, 2021, 14:34:37
I made a parts order today and when I rang to pay for it, I was told there were issues shipping parts from Germany to the UK, as a result of Brexit. This probably won't be sorted out until mid-April. So I have to wait....  :'(

I didn't vote for it. 8}
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: playmofire on March 15, 2021, 16:17:42
Don't worry, Graham, they are, to quote someone, "teething troubles".  ;)  (This is satire, btw, everyone.)

Seriously, Playmobil is not the only German company (and I should imagine not the only EU country) to cease exporting to the UK.  The G scale train forum I am a member of reports the same problem with German suppliers.

The problem is, and this is a factual statement not a political viewpoint, unnecessary deadlines were set which meant procedures and processes could not be worked out and discussed with those affected by them in advance.

Like you, I didn't vote for it.  I even checked to see if the fact that my father had been born in Ireland would allow me to take Irish citizenship (which wouldn't have avoided these problems but would have had other benefits), but unfortunately the answer was in the negative.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: Hadoque on March 16, 2021, 20:53:31
I made a parts order today and when I rang to pay for it, I was told there were issues shipping parts from Germany to the UK, as a result of Brexit. This probably won't be sorted out until mid-April. So I have to wait....  :'(

I didn't vote for it. 8}

They even have issues shipping parts (and sets) to their neighbours next door  ::)
Concerning Brexit, the conspirators made the dissatisfied part of the British public (which had/still has good reasons to be dissatisfied) believe they were part of a conspiracy. Seems to be trendy these days.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on March 18, 2021, 09:32:48
The Find Spare Parts service on the Playmobil UK website has been suspended.

"Due to technical reasons we are currently unable to process spare parts orders. Sorry for any inconvenience"

You can still look up parts on the German website to establish availability.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: tahra on March 18, 2021, 09:38:18
The Find Spare Parts service on the Playmobil UK website has been suspended.

"Due to technical reasons we are currently unable to process spare parts orders. Sorry for any inconvenience"

:o  :'(

I wonder what "currently" means...

I am so afraid they remove that service completely...
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: mike1003 on March 21, 2021, 11:45:31
it will be fixed. dont worry. They fixed the TAX problem and now they will fix the other issues too.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on April 15, 2021, 15:30:17
As it is now the middle of April, I contacted Playmobil UK to ask them to fulfill my DS order. The response I got was
"Unfortunately the spare parts service is still unavailable. Sorry, but we do not yet have an estimated date for it's return."

I'm disappointed with geobra Brandstätter. I am going to ask them if they will ship my order to a friend in Germany!

Due to Brexit, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: tahra on April 15, 2021, 17:08:32
Due to Brexit, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

That could be funny... but isn't :(
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on April 16, 2021, 09:18:46
Latest:
"We do apologise that our spare parts service is temporarily not available this is due to Brexit regulations as we are not able to ship them via UPS Logic Mail which is the service we have previously used.

Items ordered from the UK website and over the phone including spare parts can only be shipped to a UK address.

We do hope to have the service available again very soon we advise you check the Website for updated information"

Some shipping companies have made the effort to continue to provide a service to customers in post-Brexit Europe. Others haven't.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: tahra on April 16, 2021, 12:06:57
Items ordered from the UK website and over the phone including spare parts can only be shipped to a UK address.

WHY? Ah, I forgot... money. How horrid. 

They DO know there are other shipping companies, right?  Oh, wait... maybe not. After all, it's such a problem writing a foreign address... Sorry, pet peeve.  :-[

Some shipping companies have made the effort to continue to provide a service to customers in post-Brexit Europe. Others haven't.

Being a tiny country on the... uhm... end of Europe, I've been used to the "does not ship to your country" basically everywhere.  :(


Hope it gets sorted - sooner rather than later :(


Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: Oliver on April 16, 2021, 15:43:40
If you have a German address there's nothing to stop you ordering through playmobil.de - I've certainly done it, and I you don't even need to use a different e-mail address AFAIK.

Some shipping companies have made the effort to continue to provide a service to customers in post-Brexit Europe. Others haven't.

I don't really think it's up to the rest of the world to pander to the curious decisions of the UK.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on April 16, 2021, 16:20:53
They do charge for it!
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: drbatesy on May 18, 2021, 22:23:05
Just a little update. I have had an email exchange with a contact at customer service in the UK - I'm waiting on some missing parts. He replied:

We do plan on continuing the service as soon as we can. The issue is the shipping service we were previously using, now creates VAT issues when entering the UK from Germany, as a result of brexit. All of the spare parts orders were held in customs for a few weeks, then eventually returned back to Germany, with no tracking info. Therefore, we cannot ship using this service.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on May 20, 2021, 09:07:25
Geobra may have to charge VAT on items sent to the UK (though its interesting they aren't doing this for sets purchased through Playmobil (UK) when these sets are also supplied from Germany). They are clearly reluctant to charge British customers VAT, but I would rather pay 20% extra than have no service.

'As soon as we can.' It has been two months now!
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: drbatesy on May 20, 2021, 15:33:51
Surely they were doing that anyway? Or does it mean that Brandstätter aren't registered for VAT in the UK?

My understanding is there are slightly different rules for goods located in the UK at the point of sale, which maybe explains the different treeatment between sets and spares.

Among other things, I bought set #6879 (Robber and Quadbike) in January and one of the wheel's was malformed, so I've been waiting for a replacement for four months and counting! And these aren't even sale items! :'(

It's hard not to get political (don't smite me Sylvia!)  ;D

Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on May 20, 2021, 18:04:22
In the past, any order I have placed with Playmobil (UK), whether it is an order from the website for sets and DS items, or a list of parts sent in by email, has been sent to me using UPS. I have always assumed (and I could be mistaken) all the shipments come from Germany. The parts orders certainly do. I thought the UK branch in Essex just processed web orders and parts orders which were filled from Germany. Now I think of it, that is probably wrong. Occasionally there are 'damaged box' sales by PM(UK). So there is perhaps a UK warehouse for current sets. Which destroys my argument that if Geobra can still supply sets without faffing around with customs duties, they should be able to sell spares. What I don't want to see is a UK-based spare parts depot, which is occasionally restocked from Germany, because this would lead to the same atrocious service experienced in North America!

About your 6879 malformed wheel, drbatesy, I have always found PM(UK) to be very good at supplying missing or defective parts free of charge. That would seem to fall outside the usual spare parts service, which is described as being for lost parts or for parts to complete secondhand sets. I don't see why you should have to wait. Perhaps you should ask for a complete replacement set?

I am a little uneasy with my own lack of restraint when describing the negative effects of Brexit on my Playmobil hobby, but I will say I have yet to find any positives.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: StJohn on May 20, 2021, 18:55:06
What I don't want to see is a UK-based spare parts depot, which is occasionally restocked from Germany, because this would lead to the same atrocious service experienced in North America!

That is exactly what you'll be getting, if you're lucky. The alternative is the Greek option: no spare part service, full stop, despite the existence of a playmobil.gr webshop.

I'm sorry, GrahamB and other friends in the UK.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: playmofire on May 20, 2021, 20:47:18
Sets are certainly sent from the UK so there must be stock somewhere here, and you can still buy from the shop, otherwise why the current 25% off sale?

Spares seem to be the problem and in part or in whole reading what has been said UPS is the source of it, presumably by adding VAT and/or customs duties to the parcel in the UK.  According to members of another model train forum, toys or parts thereof do not attract any custom duties.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: drbatesy on May 20, 2021, 21:53:58
Our discusion today was a bit of a epiphany for me too, Graham - I've written to UK customer services to point out this isn't a sale, and also to HMRC to ask them to explain what's going on. (I'm actually waiting on seven miscellaneous bits).

What I did take positively from that email is that they intend to restore the full service at some point. Let me have my straw StJohn! 8}

I do notice that the various Playmobil websites often have different products for different prices with different sales. Just by way of example, #6899 is not available at .co.uk, is currently €19.99 at .de but is 20% off, €13.99 at .be. That says to me that each has its own stock of sets.

Steve.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: GrahamB on May 21, 2021, 17:59:45
I think each country probably does have its own stock of sets for sale. I got that wrong before.

Drbatesy- I couldn't find 6899 at any of the playmobil online shops UK, Germany or Belgium. I'm a bit puzzled!

Playmofire- I checked the website  https://www.trade-tariff.service.gov.uk/headings/9503 where every commodity is listed and given a 10-digit code . Playmobil toys do attract import duty at 4% (as well as import VAT at 20%) because they come under the heading "Other construction sets and constructional toys of plastic" code 9503003500 or "Other toys put up in sets or outfits" code 9503007000. But "Electric trains, including tracks, signals and other accessories therefor; reduced-size (scale) model assembly kits" code 9503003000 are zero rated for import duty. Don't ask me why! Some toys are rated at 4%, others at 0%. The devil is in the detail!

But it also appears that a parcel of goods will only attract import duties if the value of the contents exceeds £135. That's a lot of spare parts! The problem I suspect is the 20% import VAT. Personally, I would like to be asked by Geobra if I am prepared to pay this (I am if it means I continue to get access to the Zirndorf Spare Parts service). Assuming they are prepared to collect it. I think it is an issue for Geobra, not UPS.
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: drbatesy on May 21, 2021, 21:58:57
Mea culpa. #6889
Title: Re: Brexit Blues
Post by: drbatesy on June 01, 2021, 07:56:16
I've had the following exchange on Twitter:

EMPlaymobil: Hey @playmobil, @UPS and @HMRCgovuk! It's been two months now since people could get replacement parts for their #Playmobil sets. Please can we get it sorted?
Playmobil: Thank you for your message. We're really sorry to hear that. Our colleagues at service_uk@playmobil.de will help you with your request. Thank you for your patience!
EMPlaymobil: Oh @playmobil! We think customer services @PlaymobilUK are brilliant, but they can't help us with VAT issues on your shipping service!
Playmobil: We are working on hopefully finding a solution very soon. Unfortunately, we currently don't have any more informations for you. Sorry for any inconveniences. We understand the frustration.

I'm again encouraged that they do intend to restore the service. Incidentally, HMRC have not replied to my enquiry.

I wonder if any of our European friends want to start operating as a shipping agent?