Service fees are standard in the market. We'll explain how fees came about. To do that, we need to take a little dive into the history of shopping tax-free!
Once upon a time, tax authorities gave stores the following choice; 'either you refund the VAT to your customer, or you pay the VAT to us, like you normally do’. In order to process VAT refund claims submitted by consumers, stores need to carry out administrative procedures that are more complicated than usual. They also need secure (digital) environments to store customer's data and ID documents. Most stores don’t know how to do this themselves and don't want to invest time and money to internalise the required know-how. Back in the day, this lack of knowledge gave birth to (you guessed it); tax-free providers like vatfree.com. To help as many customers as possible, all stores had to join the movement. To convince as many stores as possible to cooperate, providers offered stores the following solution: ‘outsource your administration to us, free of charge. Let your customers pay the fees'. Most stores thought that was a good idea. For customers, it was better than nothing. Rather some VAT returns, than none at all. This fee structure has remained a standard in the current tax-free market of today.
One of vatfree.coms' top goals is to lower service fee's dramatically and get them close to zero. We know you have the right to receive a full refund and we aim to offer our customers close to full refunds in the future. We plan to do that through digitalisation so manual administrative checks are no longer needed. Developing the tech requires funds and getting all stores and customs departments on board takes time. We're working on it!
In the mean time, we try to offer the lowest service fee's as possible and we're proud of that. If you find a lower fee somewhere else, please let us know. We'll adjust our service fee's for you.