View Full Version : VAT, buying Iphone in UK, reclaiming VAT when going back to Thailand?

7th Sep 2011, 20:44
Has anyone had experience of reclaiming VAT when buying something in the UK and then going (back) to Thailand? I've done it the other way, getting 7% back in Thailand. It would be nice for my gf to get 20% back when going the other way! Imagine, an Iphone, say, 20% cheaper...

(Apologies if this has been asked before. I tried to search for it but 'VAT' was too short a word so the search didn't work. :()

7th Sep 2011, 21:02

5th Jan 2012, 13:23
Hi, just to answer my own question, I've had some experience ... and it's ❇❇❇❇!

My wife bought some clothes, got VAT receipts. Not much but we did all the stuff at Heathrow, where it's not at all clear what to do at first. I thought it'd be like Thailand, that you had to do it before going through immigration. Found where to go, went down there. It was chaos, full of angry/confused Indians and Africans, big queues. Then I found out that they only dealt with electrical goods there or something like that and that clothes were AFTER immigration. ❇❇❇?

Anyway, we passed through immigration, found another place where we had to display goods (in Thailand they don't usually bother to ask), got some sort of stamp and got told to queue up at another place just outside. There again were quite big queues, going slowly. When we got to the front, I was told that to get cash, there would be a fee that would almost wipe out the refund but if I opted for a card refund, there would be no fee. Well, what would you choose? I gave them my card details and forgot about it.

Many weeks later (about 2 months later), back in Thailand, we received a letter from the Czech Republic, from Global Blue (the agency that deals with all this). It was addressed to my wife but it had
1) Her first name and last name spelt wrong!
2) Our address wrong in almost every line, including the postcode. Not sure how it got to us!
3) The cheque inside had another misspelling so we can't cash it.
4) The cheque was in US dollars! And it had a huge fee taken out of it too.

So I wasn't too impressed! The Thai way is much better.

5th Jan 2012, 13:28
Well, at least you've found something that's better in Thailand ;)

Good luck getting tax money back from the UK government! :lol:

Historically speaking, it's always been an uphill struggle at best! That's why we have unions, and your friend Bob Crow batting for us :p

5th Jan 2012, 20:18
Had a VAT refund from Suvarnabhumi and was a very efficient service.

I've seen the queues for VAT refunds at LHR T3 and looks like a complete nightmare and a distinct possibility of missing your flight.

5th Jan 2012, 22:33
Never bothered as small amounts and too much hassle as the above poster has experienced.

colin 244