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Does anyone here have VAT refund experience with Global Blue in Europe?

Does anyone here have VAT refund experience with Global Blue in Europe?

Old Jan 20, 15, 10:19 pm
  #1  
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Does anyone here have VAT refund experience with Global Blue in Europe?

Does anyone here have experience purchasing goods in an EU/Euro using nation AND used Global Blue for their tax refund?

I ended up purchasing a new watch for about $10,000 while I was in Paris, and I submitted my global blue paperwork from here in the States back to Europe on 1/6/15. I used the Global Blue labeled envelope that I was given by the shop owner, and it was addressed to Global Blue's office in Slovakia. At the airport before I left Paris, I tried scanning my paperwork on the PABLO machine, but it would not scan. According to the tenant who was at the machines, I was forwarded along to the next line where two officers operated a desk. I showed them my paperwork and explained my issue, and they placed my paperwork in a machine and stamped the copies I returned to Global Blue. I'm assuming this was the customs stamp.

According to some things I have read (and what I assumed at time of purchase), the commission that Global Blue takes is the difference between the VAT and the return that is listed on the tax paperwork. On the watch I purchased, the refund was 12%, so GB's commission is 8% since the VAT is 20%. Why are there people out there receiving less than 12%??

For instance, my sister was with me on my trip and she ended up purchasing a scarf for about $304 U.S, or $250 Euro at the time of purchase with a 1.21 exchange rate. She just received her refund back, and it was only $29. That's a bit less than the 12% we were promised even with the further weakening of the Euro to 1.15.

Does anyone else have any experience with Global Blue purchasing goods overseas, and not receiving the proper amount back? Today is 1/20/15, and I still haven't seen my refund hit my AMEX, but my sister received hers back on 1/15/14.
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Old Jan 20, 15, 10:58 pm
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Does anyone here have VAT refund experience with Global Blue in Europe?

The vat component of at price if vat is charged at 20% is not 20% of the sale price but 16.67%

A product with a value of 100 € will have vat of 20€ added total sales price 120€ the refund is 20/120 = 16.67%

Normally the global blue paper work States very clearly the vat component in the sales price and shows their huge commission and the final refund you will receive.

Never had an issue getting a refund from the uk.. Just the form stamped by customs and place in letter box at T5
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Old Jan 26, 15, 4:11 pm
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Update: My frustration is beginning to grow.

Today is 1/26/15, and Global Blue still does not have record of my tax form, and it's now been 20 days since I mailed it off. I emailed customer service and sent along a copy of the stamp tax form, but they are telling me there is no record it in the system.
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Old Jan 26, 15, 5:15 pm
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Global Blue are thieves. Have been ripped off by them before, similar to what you are experiencing.
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Old Jan 26, 15, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by BSBD View Post
Global Blue are thieves. Have been ripped off by them before, similar to what you are experiencing.
What ended up happening in your case?

I'm literally followed every rule to the T. What's funny is my sister and I mailed off four global blue forms the same day. She received a refund for the cheapest item we purchased, yet the three more expensive items haven't been paid out. So what.....the other three envelopes magically disappeared?

I called AMEX, and there is no recourse I can complete on my end. Global Blue is smart because the transaction that is relevant to the VAT refund wasn't charged on the card. I can only start a claim or chargeback with the vendor, which will lead me nowhere.

Last edited by jtm893; Jan 26, 15 at 8:59 pm
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Old Jan 26, 15, 8:50 pm
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For more discussion, please follow the thread on its move to the Europe forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Jan 26, 15, 10:12 pm
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Too late now, but ever heard of registered mail?
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Old Jan 27, 15, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by jtm893 View Post
Does anyone here have experience purchasing goods in an EU/Euro using nation AND used Global Blue for their tax refund?
Yes.

For furture reference: At the very least, I'd always take a picture of the stamped refund form with its refernece number and stamp visible. But if valuable, I would either post using registered post, or take to a refund processing desk, and get the receipt for the refund being credited back. (I wouldn't take cash, due to the fee charged, but get the receipt for a credit back to card).

According to some things I have read (and what I assumed at time of purchase), the commission that Global Blue takes is the difference between the VAT and the return that is listed on the tax paperwork. On the watch I purchased, the refund was 12%, so GB's commission is 8% since the VAT is 20%. Why are there people out there receiving less than 12%??
Firstly, as other have said, VAT is (generally) added at 20% to the price without, so the VAT makes up 16.6% of the VAT inclusive price.

However, not every country applies the same rate of VAT, and some items attract VAT at differnet rates, or are zero rated. When such items are included on a refund form at differnet rates, it sometimes confuses people.

Far more importantly there is the question of the fee.

Obviously not all shops use GlobalBlue as their processing partner, some do it themselves, others use other third party companies. However, even with companies that use global blue, I've seen some variaiton in the fees charged.

It is not always a pure percentage model. Some have fix fee (rare), others have fixed fee + percentage element.
(the pure percentage model does usualy have a minimum value, which achieves the effect of making it a fixed minimum fee, however fixed fee + percentage sometimes has a lower percentage fee rate on the remainder of the balance)

For instance, my sister was with me on my trip and she ended up purchasing a scarf for about $304 U.S, or $250 Euro at the time of purchase with a 1.21 exchange rate. She just received her refund back, and it was only $29. That's a bit less than the 12% we were promised even with the further weakening of the Euro to 1.15.
250 price, would have included 41 of VAT.

The 29 USD you quote is currently 25.62.
That's probably about as much as I would expect, given minimums, etc. They have taken 15 for processing.

Did globalblue charge you any admin fees for doing a currency conversion? Did you elect for posted check or credit back to credit card?

Does anyone else have any experience with Global Blue purchasing goods overseas, and not receiving the proper amount back? Today is 1/20/15, and I still haven't seen my refund hit my AMEX, but my sister received hers back on 1/15/14.
I your assume 1/6/15 is really 6/1/15 - as we are not in June yet. As such, I've had many sucessfull postal (i.e. forms submitted by post) refunds take far longer than that to process.
And I've had some go fast, others go slow.

I wouldn't be panicing yet. I wouldn't even have done a reconciliation yet. Not for another few weeks. It could eaisly have been quicker, but penty have taken a bit longer than this.
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Old May 14, 16, 7:47 am
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Global Blue is a ripoff.

Global Blue is ripping me off as well. Bought a purse for my mom and an owed119.40 which today is about $134.99. Bought item March 1st, 2016, got it customs stamped on March 8 and placed it in the GB mailbox on that date at AMS. GB claims they never received it.
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Old Jul 2, 16, 6:08 pm
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Update. I finally received my VAT refund with the help of consumer advocate Elliott. One of his advocates assisted me and I am greatful.
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Old Jul 4, 16, 3:40 am
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If you want full VAT refund, do the paperwork yourself (export documentation, custom's clearance, VAT refund request to the national tax office(s), etc). Complicated? That's why you use GB and such and that's why they take their cut in between.
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Old Jul 4, 16, 8:09 am
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You can ask for cash, they charge an additional fee, but I have found Global Blue to be unreliable.

At least I would get a photocopy of the forms and receipts.
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Old Aug 3, 17, 7:50 am
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Global Blue tried to charge me, Credit Card blocked charge

Never had an issue with global blue in the past until my recent trip to Italy.

I received my refund in Venice, got my forms stamped at the airport and mailed them as usual.

This time, customer service says they never received my form and tried to charge my credit card back for the refund and their admin charges (almost $600).

Chase blocked the charges automatically and closed the associate card number down. Their fraud department is supposed to call me to discuss the matter.

Now, global blue has no way of proving they didn't "lose" my forms and receipts. I have no way of proving I mailed them.

I feel I am in the right to tell Chase that I followed the instructions as printed on the form, therefore the charges should not be authorized. Global Blue can fight it out with chase if they want in my view

Anyone else have similar experience with this? Most of the posts I see are about people who had charges from global blue actually post to their credit card. I can't find any where someone had the charges declined, then had to duke it out with Global Blue afterwards.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 12:25 am
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Originally Posted by TommyC80 View Post
Never had an issue with global blue in the past until my recent trip to Italy.

I received my refund in Venice, got my forms stamped at the airport and mailed them as usual.

This time, customer service says they never received my form and tried to charge my credit card back for the refund and their admin charges (almost $600).

Chase blocked the charges automatically and closed the associate card number down. Their fraud department is supposed to call me to discuss the matter.

Now, global blue has no way of proving they didn't "lose" my forms and receipts. I have no way of proving I mailed them.

I feel I am in the right to tell Chase that I followed the instructions as printed on the form, therefore the charges should not be authorized. Global Blue can fight it out with chase if they want in my view

Anyone else have similar experience with this? Most of the posts I see are about people who had charges from global blue actually post to their credit card. I can't find any where someone had the charges declined, then had to duke it out with Global Blue afterwards.

Dear ,
I had a similar experience . My Credit Card company called me and asked if I want to allow this transaction from Global Blue and I refused ad Global Blue was trying to charge me the refund amount on my credit card . I'd completed everything that was required by Global Blue starting from stamping to dropping .

now that I've refused I was wondering what will happen the next time we go shopping and try to get a refund from Global Blue ? Would they be able to see this record by our Passport number or Credit Card number ? Hope we face no problem getting a refund from Global Blue again ??

Regards
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Old Jul 5, 19, 10:50 am
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If you get your tax refund in cash, there is no "fee". You get the entire VAT back. BUT if you don't submit the stamped custom form, they will recharge your credit card. If you return the fee to the card, there is a processing fee. I believe it is not different from merchants charging you a transaction fee for using your credit card (If you are american, you can thank Obama for that, prior to him merchants were not allowed to charge the fee to you)
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