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This is a question Screwed over by The Man

We once made a flash animation for a record company. They told us it was brilliant and 30 staff gave us a round of applause. They asked us to stick it out without their name on it. Then their legal department sent us a cease and desist for infringing their copyright. How have you been screwed over?

(, Fri 3 Aug 2012, 13:46)
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I once shipped all my stuff to Brazil
About 13 tea chests worth. The shipping company took their fee and gave me an address in the port of Santos where I could pick it up in 3 months time.
Three months later me and the pregnant missus were choofing down the mountains in our pissy little renault into the port of Santos with all our documents to pick things up. What follows is an exercise in beauracracy of the highest order. If you're bored by this kind of anecdote, I advise you to look away now.
I'll use a list to aid my memory:
1. We queue at the shipping company office for an hour, and are given a chit to pay an addtional fee.
2. We queue at the fee window, and are told we must clear the goods through customs ourselves.
3. We go to some government office where the woman says she can't do anything unless we have the minister for the exterior tax paid.
4. We go the minister of exterior office, wait 3 hours, and are then told that we need to have paid the state tax before they will see us.
5. Still deludely hopeful we can do this before the day is out, we go next door to the state ministry office. It is closing but my wife begs the doorman for them to see us, and he relents. We stop a man who was packing his briefcase, and he allows us to pay the fee.
6. We rush back to the ministry of the exterior. It is still within office hours but the officer who can help us has inexplicably gone home.
End of Day 1
7. We arrive first thing at the ministry for the exterior. We wait 4 hours. When we see the officer he tells us that they don't recognize the official copies we have, and they won't take the originals.
8. We search through town to find a registered office that can redo our documents, basically photocopying them and stamping them. the fourth address we go to has someone who does this for us, for a fee
9. We return to the ministry of the exterior and wait another 2 hours. this time he accepts the documents but says they are not enough. We had to prove my wife was overseas for the last year to avoid paying 100% import duty. I had about seven utilities bills, with a good spread. he says he needs a bill for every month, as if we were ducking back to Brazil between bills. I should add that he has copies of every page of our passports. We're fucked, but luckily my wife begs again, and it's hard to refuse a 7 month pregnant woman on a minor technicality. Howevere he says before we can pay the fee we need a signiture from the ministry of agriculture. there is no time
End of Day 2
10. We arrive at the ministry of agriculture, and get a signature certifying that we are not bringing in any agricultural produce and return to the ministry of the exterior. We are beginning to think we are in some sort of video game
11. After a pleasant 3 hour wait and reading brochures on why you shouldn't try to smuggle in motorcyle parts, we are allowed to pay the fee.
12. We return to the anonymous government office, staffed by three fat old women who eye us suspiciously. One looks particularly hostile, and my heart sinks when our number is called and it's her. She gets into an argument with my wife that my portuguese isn't fast enough to follow. There is some form that is missing, but my wife insists we don't need it. To my suprise, the woman eventually backs down, accepts our papers, and gives us the shipping company cargo terminal address.
13. We drive through the port along muddy roads amongst the lorries. Our shipping company has a queue of about 30 lorries waiting. We try and cut the queue but are refused. There is no more time
End of day 3. game saved
14. We arrive the next day early. there are less lorries. After 2 hours we get to the front gate. There is a problem. As a foreigner, my name is not on the car. Under the rules I am not allowed to drive the car into the cargo area if i am not the owner of the vehicle. my wife is seven month pregnant and can hardly sit behind the wheel. I offer to hire a car, but they say this is against the rules. I ask if they can deliver our goods to the gate and i can load it from there, but this is against the rules. We ask for the manager. Eventually he sees reason and relents. One of their staff will drive our car in.
15. We go into the shipping office. there is fee for them holding our stuff for the week that no-one told us about. it is twice as much everything else we've paid until now. We have no choice. we pay the fee.
16. There is a final inspection by the federal police. I wait for another 2 hours in a room full of shipping agents who spend there time cracking jokes. When my turn comes I walk with the policemen through huge warehouses, and there is my stuff, sitting on a pallet. I am nervous, there are some dodgy items including a turkish sheesha pipe that I never could get the bong-water smell completely out of. He makes me open one box: clothes on the top. He says that's all and leaves. I could have taken 200 ks of heroin into the country. How am i going to get the stuff on the car?
17. Some warehouse workers take pity on us, another benefit of having a pregnant wife. one loads the pallet with 8 boxes on my cheap roofrack with the forklift, then expertly ties it with rope he gifts us. I get the other 5 boxs crammed into the car. It is sitting low in the waterline, but still drivable.
18 We make it to the exit gate after getting lost in a maze of sea containers and almost crushed by a lorry. The official there asks for our papers. There is a problem, you cannot leave. I can see the open road and I scream on the inside. Maybe I should just drive off, who'd stop me? The problem turns out to be that I can't be the one driving the car to exit the place, as my name is not on the papers. Fuck it. My pregnant wife slides into the drivers seat, drives 5 meters through the gate and stops. We swap again and are free.
Game Complete. You have rescued the princess. Would you like to play again?
(, Tue 7 Aug 2012, 21:26, closed)
I feel your pain
This is worse than anything I experienced in the former eastern bloc (tried getting parts from Ukraine to Romania and then to Bulgaria - each country did some work to the goods so the descriptions were different from import to export paperwork - in the end I think the paperwork outweighed the goods).
To do what you did with a pregnant wife, well I take my hat off to you.
(, Tue 7 Aug 2012, 21:37, closed)
cryllic paperwork is nothing to be sneezed at, either

(, Tue 7 Aug 2012, 21:52, closed)
IIRC the paperwork was bilingual - except in Romania...
...Where the bribes were bigger :-)
(, Tue 7 Aug 2012, 22:10, closed)
Romania have one gold and one silver and one bronze
And some lead and some copper and anything else they can steal from the Olympic Park.
(, Wed 8 Aug 2012, 2:20, closed)
It's still the same
except the customs guys in Santos seem to be premanently on strike or on a go slow these days.

I guess you eventually learned of the joys of a 'despachante'? They bypass at least half of those steps with bribery.

I spent 10 years living in Brazil. Talking at the moment to a couple of companies about going back.
(, Wed 8 Aug 2012, 8:53, closed)
Pakistan is pretty horrendous

(, Wed 8 Aug 2012, 9:49, closed)
I once spent the day keeping a friend company as she tried to get a parking permit in Vienna
Much the same, except swap surly bribeworthyness for arrogant, officious disdain in SS-style uniforms. By the end of the day I felt like I'd spent the day in Brazilworld (the film, not the country).
(, Wed 8 Aug 2012, 13:48, closed)
I spent all morning getting one
for Richmond upon thames.
(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 8:58, closed)
That sounds horrible, and incredibly stressful
And yet simultaneously rather amusing.

Your pain is our gain.
(, Wed 8 Aug 2012, 14:06, closed)

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