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  1. #71
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    This morning I had an email from Sarah advising the watch is still in Memphis even though the Fed Ex rep said they were sending it back to Stowa last week.

    She then copied me on an email she sent to the Fed Ex rep asking as to the holdup.

    The Fed Ex rep replied that they are waiting for Fish & Wildlife to release it to back to Fed Ex. Once it's released, then Fed Ex can ship it. Apparently, only God knows--and she's not telling--when that might be.

    Jeez. This is like death by 1,000 cuts.

    Day 35.

  2. #72
    Member JacobC's Avatar
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by DowningB View Post

    Jeez. This is like death by 1,000 cuts.
    You have accurately described US bureaucracy.


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  3. #73
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    Yesterday Sarah copied me on an email she sent to the Fed Ex rep asking if there was anything she could do to speed up the process for F&W to release the watch back to Fed Ex so they can send it back to Germany.

    Today he advised she could contact the Memphis port and provided the link to their website.

    The credit card bill reflecting the charge for the watch was due next week, so I paid it today but not before considering stopping payment. But that wouldn't have been fair to Stowa.

    We're now hitting the weekend, so I anticipate this stalemate will go on for at least three more days before something happens but realistically probably more, a lot more. This watch is cursed.

    Day 38.
    Last edited by DowningB; January 18th, 2020 at 04:36.

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  5. #74
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    I thought it had nothing to do with the watch.

  6. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by DowningB View Post
    Yesterday Sarah copied me on an email she sent to the Fed Ex rep asking if there was anything she could do to speed up the process for F&W to release the watch back to Fed Ex so they can send it back to Germany.

    Today he advised she could contact the Memphis port and provided the link to their website.

    The credit card bill reflecting the charge for the watch was due next week, so I paid it today but not before considering stopping payment. But that wouldn't have been fair to Stowa.

    We're now hitting the weekend, so I anticipate this stalemate will go on for at least three more days before something happens but realistically probably more, a lot more. This watch is cursed.

    Day 38.
    Was there an option to return the watch back and then maybe split shipments to you? One with the watch (perhaps a leather strap so that you can wear it immediately) and the other just the croc strap?

  7. #76
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    I’m surprised Stowa didn’t send you another watch and just have that package returned to them.


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  8. #77
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    I’m surprised Stowa didn’t send you another watch and just have that package returned to them.


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    This, too. OP definitely has the tremendous patience and fortitude.

  9. #78
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zinzan View Post
    I thought it had nothing to do with the watch.
    Technically, you're right. It's not the watch, it's the crocodile strap. But they're in the same box and in fact attached to each other at my request--a request I've come to regret in a major way.

    Quote Originally Posted by osc View Post
    Was there an option to return the watch back and then maybe split shipments to you? One with the watch (perhaps a leather strap so that you can wear it immediately) and the other just the croc strap?
    Fed Ex gave me the option to throw away the strap and just send the watch. I didn't want a perfectly good crocodile strap for which I paid approximately $150 to go in the trash. Plus, I wasn't comfortable with having some Fed Ex or Customs Yahoo removing the strap. So I declined.

    I don't know how Stowa wants to handle it once they get the watch back but splitting shipments should be an option. Popular opinion here on the Forum is that splitting the watch and strap into two separate shipments would work, although I'm unclear as to why that should make any difference. Or I may opt for a refund on the crocodile strap and just buy one locally. But I paid $225 for my last alligator strap purchased locally, so the Stowa croc is a lot less expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacobC View Post
    I’m surprised Stowa didn’t send you another watch and just have that package returned to them. Instagram @open_escapement
    Sarah hasn't mentioned that as a possibility. Stowa may not be comfortable sending another watch to me just in case somehow the watch in Customs shakes free and is sent to me also. Plus technically once the watch leaves them it's no longer "new." But if they were willing to do this, I guess they could always just charge me again, then refund the $$ once I sent the second watch back. But having paid once already with no watch to show for it I'd really be unhappy if I paid twice and the same thing happened again. I'll see what she says.

    Quote Originally Posted by osc View Post
    This, too. OP definitely has the tremendous patience and fortitude.
    Lol, I don't know about that but thanks for the compliment. It's not like I've had a lot of choice in the matter. I never thought this would turn into an 8+ page thread.

    No news today. Some guy from Fish & Wildlife is probably out deer hunting with it and thinking, "This is a really cool watch."

    Day 41
    Last edited by DowningB; January 21st, 2020 at 15:45.

  10. #79
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    The other thing is for folks to remember it's just a toy and Stowa will get it there eventually for sure.


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  11. #80
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    Re: How long does US Customs get to play with my new watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by DowningB View Post
    Technically, you're right. It's not the watch, it's the crocodile strap. But they're in the same box and in fact attached to each other at my request--a request I've come to regret in a major way.

    Fed Ex gave me the option to throw away the strap and just send the watch. I didn't want a perfectly good crocodile strap for which I paid approximately $150 to go in the trash. Plus, I wasn't comfortable with having some Fed Ex or Customs Yahoo removing the strap. So I declined.

    I don't know how Stowa wants to handle it once they get the watch back but splitting shipments should be an option. Popular opinion here on the Forum is that splitting the watch and strap into two separate shipments would work, although I'm unclear as to why that should make any difference. Or I may opt for a refund on the crocodile strap and just buy one locally. But I paid $225 for my last alligator strap purchased locally, so the Stowa croc is a lot less expensive.

    Sarah hasn't mentioned that as a possibility. Stowa may not be comfortable sending another watch to me just in case somehow the watch in Customs shakes free and is sent to me also. Plus technically once the watch leaves them it's no longer "new." But if they were willing to do this, I guess they could always just charge me again, then refund the $$ once I sent the second watch back. But having paid once already with no watch to show for it I'd really be unhappy if I paid twice and the same thing happened again. I'll see what she says.

    Lol, I don't know about that but thanks for the compliment. It's not like I've had a lot of choice in the matter, lol. I never would have thought this would turn into an 8+ page thread.

    No news today. Some guy from Fish & Wildlife is probably out deer hunting with it and thinking, "This is a really cool watch."

    Day 41
    Hi @DowningB, I have been following your case closely and thought I would also chime in after all there’s 8 pages of people’s opinions here already.

    You are correct that it’s not the watch but the the crocodile strap which is subjected to customs control. I can see why you say you have come to regret it due to the issues you have faced. This wouldn’t have happened if you have understood the formalities because you as the importer need to fill out the import paperwork.

    You are right to reject Fed Ex’s offer to remove the strap and deliver the watch because that would mean your watch has been tampered with and may make it more difficult to deal with Stowa for any recourse.

    My suggestion for you is this:
    1) to get Fed Ex to return the watch to Stowa.
    2) speak to Sarah to see if they split the watch and strap and send you the watch with a leather or NATO strap.
    3) fill in the proper import paperwork with customs and get the import permit in place.
    4) next time, Fed Ex will contact you and you can provide them all the paperwork.

    I know it will take a lot more time but this will be the best course of action for you. Because customs will eventually destroy the goods of there is no resolution. I am based in Australia and have even imported ivory. All it takes is following the due process and all will go smoothly.

    However, I disagree with some posters to ask Stowa to send you another watch. The fault doesn’t lie with them and they shouldn’t have to carry the burden of costs. Internationally, it is the responsibility of the importer of goods to complete the customs documentation. Most of the time, Fed Ex charges a small fee to complete run of the mill documents.

    I applaud your sense of humour in this but encourage you to stay the course as the Stowa alligator strap is worth the effort. At least there’s a good story for the grand children.

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