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Thread: Johannesburg international customs

  1. #1

    Default Johannesburg international customs

    I ordered something from eBay from a guy in China.

    Basically minSAS -> SATA cables. However the tracking number this guy gave me shows the package as still being in Johannesburg (that is all it says: "Arrived at destination: Johannesburg").

    That has been the status now for 9 business days. Is that normal? Does that mean it got stuck in customs or WTF?

    Anyone have experience with this sort of thing and know whom I can contact to find out WTF happened to my stuff?

    I can get my money back (eBay money back thing), so it isn't about money, but I really want those cables. They are seriously expensive here in SA (R400 a cable VS R70 from eBay).

    I only have a tracking number and its last reported location.

    Any advice/input... please?

  2. #2

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    Call the carriers and ask them.

    A parcel can get stuck in customs - normally as a result of something like missing/inadequate documentation - but a tracking status that doesn't change is frequently due to the carrier's staff not updating the status.

    I once had a parcel in my postbox for nearly a week - i.e. waiting for me to collect - whilst the status was unchanged at 'Arrived Johannesburg international post office' (or similar)

  3. #3
    Grandmaster nakedpeanut's Avatar
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    You can also call the sapo track and trace and ask them for the South African tracking number, this is obviously dependent on what shipping method they used.
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  4. #4

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    They possibly don't have a contact phone number or email address marked on the parcel/documentation (do the customs dudes even do email?) so they can query whatever it is they want to. Had that happen to me, it was the incorrect telephone number reflected.

  5. #5

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    Yeah I wanted to call them but their web-site is in Chingrish and they are based in Hong-Kong. R100 says they don't speak a word of English

    It was sent with international post. Nakedpeanut: Have you done the SA tracking number thing before? I think I should give it a try.

    Tried emailing the shipping company, no response... And I have NO idea what they put on my parcel.

  6. #6
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    I have had great service from SAPO on the email front, try emailing Mr Benjamen Blignaut customer.services(at)postoffice.co.za and he will track it down.

    A USB device from Lightake.com took about 3weeks to get to me so it will come through.

  7. #7
    Grandmaster nakedpeanut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
    Yeah I wanted to call them but their web-site is in Chingrish and they are based in Hong-Kong. R100 says they don't speak a word of English

    It was sent with international post. Nakedpeanut: Have you done the SA tracking number thing before? I think I should give it a try.

    Tried emailing the shipping company, no response... And I have NO idea what they put on my parcel.
    Yes did it when i brought my phone, phone cases, and water cooling in from the uk, Hongkong and USA respectfully.
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  8. #8

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    Thanks guys, this is good info should seriously sticky a thread with this info in.

  9. #9
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    Try phone the international mail center, google for there number, they usually give you a local tracking number if you can provide international one!
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  10. #10
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    OHANNESBURG INTERNATIONAL MAIL CENTRE
    Phone: 011 961 6000
    Fax: 011 961 6116
    Email: baldwin.n@sapo.co.za
    Physical Address:
    Jones Rd, Jet Park, Boksburg, 1459
    Postal Address:
    PO Box 5599, Jet Park, Boksburg, 1469
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  11. #11
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    Had a similar problem. Ordered something from China and I was waiting about a month...nothing. Emailed the seller and he told me it must have arrived in South Africa already. Phoned Jhb International Mail Center about 3 times a week for 2 weeks long and everytime they told me that it hasn't arrived in South Africa yet. Another week later I phoned them again and was told by a very friendly lady ( and 1 that knows her job) that the package arrived in SA about 3 weeks ago. She gave me the SA tracking no and told me I should have the parcel the next day. So the package was in SA already while the others told me for 2 weeks it hasn't arrived !

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowInternet View Post
    So the package was in SA already while the others told me for 2 weeks it hasn't arrived !
    wtf took so long?

  13. #13

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    Thanks for all the help from everyone.

    Just to finish up the thread with useful info: I called 0860 111 502 (Track & Trace), gave the person on the other end my international tracking number and deftly got my domestic tracking number.

    Found out my package was sent to Pretoria North (I live in Pretoria East). Sigh...

  14. #14
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    It's standard practice that when an international parcel comes into SA with a tracking number, the international tracking stops and the SAPO assign a domestic tracking number to it instead. (This is not the case with parcels sent through courier companies.)

    When the international tracking says it's in JHB, you call the SAPO track & Trace number (as in the previous post) and give them the international tracking number. They will then give you the domestic tracking number which you can look up using the SAPO site. Alternatively you can keep track of your domestic movements by calling and asking them to tell you where the parcel is.

    Be advised that SAPO only holds parcels such as these for 30 days at the local branch nearest to the delivery address before they return to sender. (At least, they're supposed to.) They are also supposed to dispatch at least 3 notifications to you informing you that the parcel is there. I have yet to experience this though.

    SAPO automatically charges a handling/processing fee on parcels. In my experience (with smallish parcels though) this fee is somewhere between R20 and R40. The moronic import agents, SARS customs, also levies tax on the item based on what it is, according to the publically available customs tax schedules. Of course, they're corrupt morons, so often a parcel is classified incorrectly and the tax is wrong. I have imported multiple items that were supposed to be tax free, and because they put the wrong classification on the parcel upon arrival, I was forced to fork out. Since when is a Kindle Light a CD/DVD/Digital Media? Gmphf. Trying to get your money back is a nightmare.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AniV View Post
    It's standard practice that when an international parcel comes into SA with a tracking number, the international tracking stops and the SAPO assign a domestic tracking number to it instead.
    Good to know. I had no idea how international post works. Was a bit afraid to use it but they do seem to actually have a system that works quite well.

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