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I need a new supply of business cards, so I went back to Vistaprint, a company I have used for at least ten years and maybe twice as long, I don’t remember, but I also don’t remember ever using anyone else.

Anyway, the last ten years, I have been living in Thailand and so have been ordering from the USA to avoid UK VAT as I am entitled to living abroad, and everything always worked well.

Today, I am in Europe and so ordered through their Spanish website. Well, actually, I designed the card on the US site and was quoted $9.99 for 250 business cards, but their software detected that I am in Spain and asked whether I would like to switch to ‘their Spanish company’ (presumably in order to save postage). I agreed.

Exactly the same order suddenly became £14.99 (not even 14.99€), so I contacted their support desk to ask why.

VAT and postage, she explained.

However, £14.99 is about $22 and 20% of $9.99 is only $2, and postage hadn’t been applied to either order since I hadn’t told them where to send it to yet.

She could not explain why there was the price hike, so I cancelled my account. I soon found a European firm that was doing the same 250 cards with free lacquering and a free card case (first order only) for 3.99€, which is less than $5.

I will give you the name of the company after I have seen the quality of my cards.

This double pricing by American companies ripping off the Europeans by charging them higher prices goes on too much and we should not put up with it. Microsoft does it all the time. In Thailand, I wanted to take up MS’s offer of the online Office Suite for, I think, $4.95 per month, but when I pushed the Order Now button, their software recognised me and changed the price to £4.95 or 4.95€, if I wanted to pay in Euros. However, both European rates are far higher than the dollar rate.

Again, I cancelled the order and told MS never to contact me again.

All the best,

Owen

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