Thursday, December 17, 2009

W**-M*** Cheats Soldiers

Stars and Stripes

WIESBADEN, Germany — Overseas military customers ordering gifts online from certain retailers might get an unpleasant surprise when shipping and handling fees are tacked on at the end of the purchase.

Those same customers might be most surprised to find that retail giant Walmart had the biggest markup.

On a $120 purchase, charged $10.35 to ship to an APO address, compared with $2.10 to a stateside address. For most items, charged the same to ship to an APO address as a stateside address. And Target offered shipping on a $120 purchase to an APO address for less than to a stateside address.

But Earl Small, the postmaster at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, said that the shipping and handling charges have nothing to do with the military postal system or the U.S. Postal Service.

According to Small, when companies ship to APO addresses in Europe, the order is shipped to New York, after which the Department of Defense picks up the tab to get the package to an APO address.

On, the company says shipping costs will be higher to APO addresses due to higher transportation costs.

“There is no higher transportation costs,” Small said. “Companies are abusing the system and making a killing.”

Charging deployed service people for costs the taxpayers actually pay. Pretty similar to their stance on health care for their lowest-paid employees.

W**-M*** has a consistent M.O., in the absolute criminal sense, in the pursuit of profit. 'Support the Troops!' by cheating them. It's the American Way.

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