This is what happens after one indiscriminate online purchase…
First, my DVDs don’t arrive. Then I have to pay more delivery charges to get it re-shipped via DHL. Now, I get a call from FedEx telling me that my DVDs require an LPF permit from the Malaysian Censorship Office before customs will clear my DVDs. While the parcel arrived in Malaysia very quickly after being sent by FedEx, I have no idea how long it’s going to take to apply for an LPF permit or how difficult it’s going to be. Since the Censorship Office is in Putrajaya, I’m not sure I relish the thought of having to go through this process. I don’t suppose they’ll let me do all this by remote?
Since the DVDs are for personal use, it appears that I can apply for a letter of exemption. Whether this is the same or different from an LPF or if it is a simpler process, I don’t know either. Regardless, I’m not sure why the Censorship Office is even involved since my DVDs are purely educational and for children. There’s nothing at all questionable about the content in them.
The funny thing is that I’ve ordered DVDs before and they arrived without a problem. Okay, so that order was a smaller one – a lot smaller – 3 DVDs versus the whole Signing Time collection that I purchased this time around. I’ve also ready on forums that a lot of people don’t seem to have problems receiving DVDs from online purchases.
After what has happened, my stance on ordering online DVDs is this: don’t. Just don’t. I definitely won’t be ordering any more online DVDs. It’s not worth the hassle or the pain. However, if you must order online DVDs, here are a few things I learned based on what I’ve read on the forums:
The key to purchasing online DVDs, apparently, is to make small orders. Nothing too high value and definitely nothing that will be delivered in a big box. As far as I’ve read – box sets get noticed. I think it also helps if the sender can make a note on the parcel that the items sent have no commercial value. Alternatively, the best bet is either to buy it yourself when you go overseas or to ship it to a friend or family member in a country that doesn’t a problem with international shipping of DVDs.
And if you do choose to pursue the online ordering of DVDs, good luck to you…