I have been using e-junkie for my sales of BlueGriffon add-ons and BlueGriffon EPUB Edition for years. Quite happily until recently. But this changed and I am now extremely upset by the way e-junkie dealt with the recent changes in VAT in the European Union.

Until the 31st of december 2014, using them to sell a downloadable product world-wide from a business inside the EU was easy. You only had to set your price without VAT and check a checkbox to apply VAT to your sales to european customers. One single price, one single sales button and shopping basket, e-junkie handled your VAT rate based on your business's country.

Since the 1st of january 2015, the EU rules have changed. A bit painful but certainly not unbearable: the VAT rate to apply to european customers is not based on the business's location any more but based now on the customer's location.

In short, it means that in 2014 e-junkie was determining the VAT rate to apply from an array of 27 values looking for the business's country. In 2015, the value should be retrieved from the customer's value, something that is perfectly doable for e-junkie since it can, at the shopping basket level, require the user to enter his/her country of residence and even the zipcode.

But no, e-junkie declined to do so and completely changed its behaviour overnight. Starting 01-jan-2015, the unique price you set in e-junkie for a product INCLUDES VAT for european customers...

E-junkie leaves a few ugly options to european businesses: have one sales button for EU customers and one for others (urgghhh...), offer a discount code to non-EU customers and other ugly solutions of that kind. E-junkie say they must validate the address and that can be done only after the bank/paypal has accepted the sale or something like that. That argument is not acceptable, since all european users of e-junkie perfectly know some european users cheat and give for instance a US address for downloadable purchases, to avoid paying VAT. It cannot be worse. And the argument that e-junkie had to do this or that does not stand, e-junkie is not a european company and does not have to comply with European Directives, they're outside of the European jurisdiction.

E-junkie has left all its european customers in limbos with respect to EU VAT. It really looks like they did not want to touch their code and UI - that have not changed in years. They already had the array of 27 VAT rates in the EU, and the VAT was  added only after the shopping basket had verified both the customer and the business were in the EU. Their refusal to tweak their code - and as a programmer I cannot believe the change was complex - is a true shame.

Let me state it clearly: this is a failure of a rarely seen magnitude and I am now looking for an alternative to e-junkie dealing better - dealing at all should I say - with EU VAT rates. I have recommended e-junkie to a gazillion of EU businesses. I am now recommending them to flee and find another shopping basket manager.

If you have a suggestion for an alternative to e-junkie, please leave a comment? Thanks!