Uncivil service?
January 2, 2008 7:55 PM   Subscribe

What options does a Canadian have to report a negative experience with a Customs Canada officer?

Here's the deal; my wife and I purchased a vehicle in the US, and while picking it up, we also did some shopping prior to her driving the truck back by herself. Coming back across the border, my wife had all the paperwork for the truck, and all was good until the customs officer handling the truck paperwork asked her what she was declaring. She requested clarification if he meant for her to include the value of the items we had shopped for. The officer repeated the question with out clarification. When my wife answered with the truck price, he demanded that she show all receipts for the shopped items plus the truck - as that was the answer he was actually looking for. Now she is on a watch list and has been issued a citation.

Admittedly, she mis-reported her purchases due to the confusion, but she did ask for clarification from the officer - who provided none and attempted to browbeat her through rudeness and obfustication.

Basically, the officer was a dick, and as paid civil servants, I feel that he has done a disservice to an otherwise reputable citizen. Not irrepairable damage, but certainly uncalled for.

So, what are my options? I have the officer's number, and I would like to follow up either to clear her citation, or to generally report extenuating circumstances to his superior.

As a citizen, I believe I have this right. Right?
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation around Canada (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can contact Customs (link provides details about making complaints). However, someone here may chime in about how that affects future dealings.
posted by acoutu at 8:12 PM on January 2, 2008

Your local Member of Parliament would be a good place to start, I think.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:13 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd try your MP and MPP first. I'm not saying it's right, but since the rise of the dollar, CC has been given the green light to make cross-border shopping less attractive. I'm not sure you're going to get much support.

I don't know how well they track us, and if you are entering into dangerous territory, but I'll be checking back to see other answers.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:15 AM on January 3, 2008

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