A WOMAN who was wrongfully charged £191 VAT for an oil delivery from Italy was inspired to challenge the invoice following a business’ success story.

Sue Bell, 79, from Micheldever Station, was waiting for 12 three-litre bags of olive oil to be delivered from her son and daughter-in-law’s olive groves in southern Italy when she was hit with a “horrifying” invoice from FedEx.

Mrs Bell was told that her delivery would be returned to the sender if she didn’t pay an extra £191.

After reading of Winchester restaurant La Gastronomia’s similar experience with UPS in the Chronicle, Mrs Bell decided to query the charge. The courier told her on the phone that it was a mistake as olive oil has a commodity code of zero meaning there should have been no VAT charge.

READ MORE: UPS apologises for wrongfully charging Winchester restaurant £100

Hampshire Chronicle: Sue BellSue Bell (Image: Sue Bell)

Mrs Bell said: “Good heavens I had never had a charge like that before. I was absolutely horrified. My delivery was held up in Holland and they wouldn’t deliver it without me paying the invoice.

“Having read the article about Sergio from La Gastronomia who managed to get refunded I thought no we’re not having this. It was so good to read of the solution to the problem and not just the problem so people like me know how to progress and help themselves. It’s not all doom and gloom.

“I started contacting them with vengeance on the Monday and it was delivered by Thursday morning.

“I can’t for one moment believe that it only happens to us. It must be their way of dealing with it and just assume that VAT is chargeable on everything.”