Ontario Survey

Your comments are likely tongue in cheek, but the fact that this survey has received so little attention and is so obscurely hard to find (thank you Vinelouse!), makes me think every response matters. Every wine lover in Ontario who has an opinion about the LCBO should take the time to fill this out. And don't think for a second that the union hasn't instructed every single one of their members to complete the survey with glowing satisfaction ratings about the current system. Counteract those responses! 

Can someone on CT (and any other forums) please post the survey link there?

csm posted:
otw posted:

Seems like you can submit surveys as many times as you like.  It's quite an amateur effort.

or par for the course when dealing with the KGBO.  

LOL, I was going to say the same thing... LCBO's IT systems is ~15 years behind normal businesses of similar size.  However,  it's easy to know the IP address through which you connect unless you're hidden behind a corporate network, VPN or proxy, so they likely can do some basic "filtering" of results if they give a damn.

I'd say something about how anally strict they are at the Lewiston border (as compared, for example, to Pearson), but I suppose they won't care much about Customs strictly following the law...then again if I got a speeding ticket for going 101 in a 100 zone I'd be pretty pissed off.

Just crossed at Lewiston yesterday.  Away for 14 days.  Me and gf and her two kids.  Total goods of $2,000, with 12 bottles of wine accounting for $1,950 of that.  Everything honestly declared, receipts in hand.  The $800 per person duty limit applies to kids as well as adults, but kids can't bring back 2 bottles of wine because they can't legally use it.  Female customs officer...ugh, always bad luck with them.  Away for 2 weeks total duty-free limit of $3,200 for the four of us, two 7 year olds in the back seat half asleep, and not only does she tell me "you have to pay duty on 8 bottles" but she flags us for a search.  Zero break on paying duty, $650 paid.  Guards came to the car after I paid, asked to see the wine, looked at the sealed wine shipper, said jokingly to each other "well it doesn't look like he could have more than 12 bottles in there" and said have a nice day.  If I flew in through Pearson I likely would have been charged a tiny amount or just waved through.  Last two times through Pearson with many more bottles I was treated much differently and given huge breaks on duties payable...stupid expensive hobby lol

machine posted:

I'd say something about how anally strict they are at the Lewiston border (as compared, for example, to Pearson), but I suppose they won't care much about Customs strictly following the law...then again if I got a speeding ticket for going 101 in a 100 zone I'd be pretty pissed off.

Just crossed at Lewiston yesterday.  Away for 14 days.  Me and gf and her two kids.  Total goods of $2,000, with 12 bottles of wine accounting for $1,950 of that.  Everything honestly declared, receipts in hand.  The $800 per person duty limit applies to kids as well as adults, but kids can't bring back 2 bottles of wine because they can't legally use it.  Female customs officer...ugh, always bad luck with them.  Away for 2 weeks total duty-free limit of $3,200 for the four of us, two 7 year olds in the back seat half asleep, and not only does she tell me "you have to pay duty on 8 bottles" but she flags us for a search.  Zero break on paying duty, $650 paid.  Guards came to the car after I paid, asked to see the wine, looked at the sealed wine shipper, said jokingly to each other "well it doesn't look like he could have more than 12 bottles in there" and said have a nice day.  If I flew in through Pearson I likely would have been charged a tiny amount or just waved through.  Last two times through Pearson with many more bottles I was treated much differently and given huge breaks on duties payable...stupid expensive hobby lol

We cross back and forth a few times a year at thousand Islands or Ogdensburg, two of the sleepier crossings, and get referred to Secondary maybe half the time.  We rarely have more than 2 or 3 bottles over our limit and I try to ensure that those bottles are not as pricey as the others.  Rarely get waived through with even those few extra bottles at Lewiston or Fort Erie.  

machine posted:

I'd say something about how anally strict they are at the Lewiston border (as compared, for example, to Pearson), but I suppose they won't care much about Customs strictly following the law...then again if I got a speeding ticket for going 101 in a 100 zone I'd be pretty pissed off.

Just crossed at Lewiston yesterday.  Away for 14 days.  Me and gf and her two kids.  Total goods of $2,000, with 12 bottles of wine accounting for $1,950 of that.  Everything honestly declared, receipts in hand.  The $800 per person duty limit applies to kids as well as adults, but kids can't bring back 2 bottles of wine because they can't legally use it.  Female customs officer...ugh, always bad luck with them.  Away for 2 weeks total duty-free limit of $3,200 for the four of us, two 7 year olds in the back seat half asleep, and not only does she tell me "you have to pay duty on 8 bottles" but she flags us for a search.  Zero break on paying duty, $650 paid.  Guards came to the car after I paid, asked to see the wine, looked at the sealed wine shipper, said jokingly to each other "well it doesn't look like he could have more than 12 bottles in there" and said have a nice day.  If I flew in through Pearson I likely would have been charged a tiny amount or just waved through.  Last two times through Pearson with many more bottles I was treated much differently and given huge breaks on duties payable...stupid expensive hobby lol

I don't buy in the states anymore because of this..unless its under the allowance or I can get a friend to bring it back for me...

 

Machine work on your charm! It might come in handy at these crossings..

abryce posted:
machine posted:

I'd say something about how anally strict they are at the Lewiston border (as compared, for example, to Pearson), but I suppose they won't care much about Customs strictly following the law...then again if I got a speeding ticket for going 101 in a 100 zone I'd be pretty pissed off.

Just crossed at Lewiston yesterday.  Away for 14 days.  Me and gf and her two kids.  Total goods of $2,000, with 12 bottles of wine accounting for $1,950 of that.  Everything honestly declared, receipts in hand.  The $800 per person duty limit applies to kids as well as adults, but kids can't bring back 2 bottles of wine because they can't legally use it.  Female customs officer...ugh, always bad luck with them.  Away for 2 weeks total duty-free limit of $3,200 for the four of us, two 7 year olds in the back seat half asleep, and not only does she tell me "you have to pay duty on 8 bottles" but she flags us for a search.  Zero break on paying duty, $650 paid.  Guards came to the car after I paid, asked to see the wine, looked at the sealed wine shipper, said jokingly to each other "well it doesn't look like he could have more than 12 bottles in there" and said have a nice day.  If I flew in through Pearson I likely would have been charged a tiny amount or just waved through.  Last two times through Pearson with many more bottles I was treated much differently and given huge breaks on duties payable...stupid expensive hobby lol

I don't buy in the states anymore because of this..unless its under the allowance or I can get a friend to bring it back for me...

 

Machine work on your charm! It might come in handy at these crossings..

(in my best Chandler Bing voice.......)

""could he BE more charming??!!" 

ha...at least I saved duty on 4 bottles, and flying to Toronto instead of to Buffalo would have probably cost me $650 more in any event.  Still annoying; either Customs at Pearson isn't following policy or customs at Lewiston isn't; if there is no discretion than so be it; if there is discretion, then F U to Lewiston customs, and biotch crossing guard who flagged us for search in these circumstances; at least the officers who came to the car realized immediately that their time was being wasted.

Think about this:

Sure you got dinged for duty since you were over your exemption. Also think about all the times customs agents DID waive extra bottles and how overall, you're way, way ahead of the game.

Have your receipts and expect to pay duty on everything you're over on. Regardless of whether you do or not, say thanks and have a nice day. Pissing off a customs officer is a surefire way to get pulled into secondary and makes that person more likely to pull people into secondary in the future. You're making it worse for everyone.

And finally ... the sex of the customs officer doesn't matter.

machine posted:

ha...at least I saved duty on 4 bottles, and flying to Toronto instead of to Buffalo would have probably cost me $650 more in any event.  Still annoying; either Customs at Pearson isn't following policy or customs at Lewiston isn't; if there is no discretion than so be it; if there is discretion, then F U to Lewiston customs, and biotch crossing guard who flagged us for search in these circumstances; at least the officers who came to the car realized immediately that their time was being wasted.

According to my brother-in-law, who works at various ports-of-entry in Windsor, the policy is to refer significant overages of bottles to secondary, meaning the tax and duty would be worth the cost of processing the transactions.  But they all have full discretion to make decisions to refer or not as they think best.  For example, if there are long lines, or they are short-staffed, they are inclined to refer fewer people.  But if they have any reason to suspect someone is up to no good, they can refer them even if they have no extra bottles, as their prime directive (so to speak!) is public safety not revenue generation.

futronic posted:

 

And finally ... the sex of the customs officer doesn't matter.

I don't know fut.  It's anecdotal I know, but my experience is that female border guards tend to afford less leeway than their male counterparts.  Similarly, the folks at Pearson are more lenient than they are at the Island.

Regardless though, I am always prepared to pay the duty on what I'm over, and view it as a pleasant surprise rather than an expectation if i'm waved through or am charged less than what I owe per the official rules. 

futronic posted:

Think about this:

Sure you got dinged for duty since you were over your exemption. Also think about all the times customs agents DID waive extra bottles and how overall, you're way, way ahead of the game.

Have your receipts and expect to pay duty on everything you're over on. Regardless of whether you do or not, say thanks and have a nice day. Pissing off a customs officer is a surefire way to get pulled into secondary and makes that person more likely to pull people into secondary in the future. You're making it worse for everyone.

And finally ... the sex of the customs officer doesn't matter.

I always have my receipts and always expect to (at worst) pay full duties, but when customs agents at Pearson have expressly told me that their mandate is not tax collection but rather is enforcement of the rules relating to import and declarations (and this was when I was bringing back USD$5K worth of wine after being out of the country one night by myself, and he cut me a huge break) , I would hope that I won't be dinged like I was this time especially when the total dollar value of goods that we brought back after two weeks away was half of what we were legally entitled to bring back if we had only been gone for two days.  Point was that discretion seems to exist at some crossings, for reasons explained by customs officers, but not at others.  And that discretion has always been after I was referred to secondary.  As for making it worse for everyone, nothing that I did, or have ever done when crossing the border, even suggested pissing off a customs officer, and despite being consistently polite and honest every time I cross I consistently get treated as if I'm doing something illegal by bringing back and honestly declaring more than two bottles when I can legally bring back 45 litres.  They are unnecessarily dickish at least half the time I've crossed for no reason, and I certainly gave them zero reason this time to refer me to a quasi-search by customs officers after I paid duty.  If anyone is making crossing difficult for everyone its the loudmouthed boneheads here who far-too-openly blah blah blah about manipulating receipts and mis-declaring bottles that have most certainly resulted in recently noted problems and scrutiny particularly at Lewiston.

csm posted:
futronic posted:

 

And finally ... the sex of the customs officer doesn't matter.

I don't know fut.  It's anecdotal I know, but my experience is that female border guards tend to afford less leeway than their male counterparts.  Similarly, the folks at Pearson are more lenient than they are at the Island.

My experience also, and also the apparent experience of others that I've spoke to, none of whom (including Mr. CSM) are known for being unduly swayed by anecdotal events.

I’ve never seen any conversation here about manipulating receipts and mis-declaring bottles. Seems like a foolish thing: both talking about it AND doing it.

As for my experience: I’ve never been treated poorly at any of the Lewiston/NIagara Falls/Buffalo border crossings. At worst, I’ve been treated indifferently. 

And the only two times I’ve been waived through (without having to go to secondary) after declaring more than my duty-free limit in wine, it was by a female agent. So go figure.

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