Leap Motion is one of very few products that we're genuinely excited to get our hands on. Early reports say that the Leap Motion takes motion control to the next level, and from the teaser video, you can see why. It's an incredible gadget, so you can imagine how disappointed we were when we saw that Leap were trying to charge the GST to Australians for an item under $1000. What gives? We spoke to the CEO of Leap Motion, who has an apology to make.
For the uninitiated, the 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) doesn't apply to items imported from overseas, unless the cost of the item is greater than $1000. In that case, the GST would be tacked onto the item and payable by the customer who ordered the goods.
The awesome Leap Motion only costs $US79.99 — a cost that isn't charged to your card until the device actually ships on May 13. Because it's well-under the $1000 GST threshold, we shouldn't be paying any GST, and yet, the GST of 10 per cent was tacked onto the cost of the Leap Motion whenever someone ordered it from Australia. A few got in touch with us to tip us off (thanks, guys!) and we chatted to Michael Buckwald, the CEO of Leap Motion about it.
He told us that the GST charge was added in error, and displayed on the site for two whole months before the company figured out it shouldn't have been happening:
For about two months we accidentally displayed a price to Australian customers that incorporated a 10% Australian GST. Recently, some of our Australian customers contacted us about the issue - pointing out that the 10% GST only applies to foreign purchases if they exceed $1,000. We immediately removed the GST from the page and if you visit leapmotion.com and try to place a pre-order today you will see orders to Australia costing the base $79.99 price with no GST.
The great news is that even though the Leap Motion ordering system tried to charge the GST, Aussies won't be hit with the tax when their cards are actually processed:
Since we are not actually charging any user's credit cards until we physically ship a Leap device to them (currently targeted for May 13th) - this correction also means that no Australian customers have been/will be charged the GST. We will email every pre-order customer a final confirmation email the week before we ship with a final price so they have an opportunity to confirm the order - that confirmation email will show no GST.
We definitely apologize for causing any Australian pre-order customers confusion. Making people that are enthusiastic enough to pre-order Leaps from the other side of the world happy is our top priority.
Have you pre-ordered your Leap Motion yet?