I know that the majority of you are US citizens, so you will not be affected by this new case (for me) of "better service... greater headaches", but I wanted to relate it here. Maybe another non-US gaugers have suffered similar 'banditries'. Until now, as an european citizen, when I made my 'rolling stock' purchases (and other items like video tapes, dvd, books, and so on) in north-american shops, the only fees to be payed to the seller (apart the items itself) were the mail shipping fees. The hobby shop (the sender) payed the USPS fees and charged them to me (the customer) in advance. These fees payed for the shipment itself until my home, including the clearance thru the spanish customs. The custom taxes were always to be paid additionally by me, but as usually it were none (due to the nature and small value of items), all paying ended at the USPS fees. Until now. Today, I have been contacted for a private courier that have noticed me that they have my package (sent to me for an U.S. hobby shop by plain USPS mail), and I'm required to pay an additional fee of 9.5€ (around 10 US $) for "customs clearance duties" plus "any custom taxes to be due". After some investigation, it appears that the USPS mail have reached an agreement "in order to give better service to our (their) customers" with an european private carrier/courier. The USPS hands to this courier ALL the european mail, and this guys are in charge of manage this mail until their final addresses (me included, I'm afraid). Until here, no claims but, surprise! -"DING, DONG! We are Super-Duper Courier, and we have your package on hold. You must pay us a 10$ ransom, er, I mean, 'custom clearance duties' (plus any taxes to be decided), if you want it". Better customer service? I only see a way for having the customers (us) paying twice for the same old work. The sender pay -not less than before- to USPS for the mail shipping, and the adressee pay additional charges to private enterprises for doing things that until now were included in the shipping fees. Maybe I'm only an old dog barking to the moon, but this don't seem any correct to me. 10$ is an small ransom for my new Kato SD45, but I feel like the 'stupid-with-big-wallet' that every 'wise guy' dreams to have business with.