I read Mr Alan Fords article (April 22 issue) concerning the Customs Clearance problems he experienced with a parcel through CTT.
I had a similar experience and would strongly agree that the process is frustrating and very confusing.
My parcel from the UK was delayed for three weeks at Customs in Lisbon.
The CTT website gives three 24-hour telephone contact numbers. Two of these were unable to accept calls and the third was only attended by Portuguese-speaking operators who have to pass on your telephone number for another operator to call you back.
As Mr Ford said, I had to register with CTT and go through a process of providing them with information. As I had never received their Customs Clearance letter, I could not provide their vital reference (A.D.) number. Several telephone calls later, I obtained my parcels reference number. I am now awaiting their investigation of my submission.
My parcel had a Customs Declaration form attached, obtained from the UK Royal Mail website containing all the information legally required. If an official Customs document provided by Royal Mail is not sufficient to allow smooth clearance through customs, everyone needs to know exactly what documentation is required before posting from the UK. Not after posting.
This whole process needs investigating, simplifying, clarifying and made public.
Also, to obtain free instant translations of whole documents from Portuguese to English, try using an App called “Microsoft Translator”. By simply taking a photograph using the app, you can obtain whole page translations.
Or, using a scanner, scan the document, open using “Word”, click the “Review” then “Translate” options at the top of the screen. Set the language on the right-hand side. Click “Translate” and there you have it.
With reference to the letter in the April 22 Resident, Alan Ford was quite lucky! I have been waiting since the beginning of February for my birthday present from my daughter and son-in-law. It is an iPad, obviously bought by them, posted, tracked and insured.
I could not get an answer on the phone from CTT in English and going to the Portuguese line, I found someone who transferred me to it. The message on the line was ‘sorry we cannot help at this moment’.
It is now April 22 and I still have received nothing. I am having help, otherwise it would have had to be returned to sender. I did not buy the iPad, it was accompanied by all the necessary details, so where is it and what is the problem? We have told all UK contacts to send nothing other than letters to us which is very sad.
How many other people are having the same problem?