Why are Canadian customs officers so rude and mean?

They asked me a dozen of questions like I am a criminal. When I reminded them that I have answered their certain questions already they threatened to detain me. This is the worst country you can travel to. If you have to, you should not buy anything in Canada to support their economy. Their border officers are the shame of this nation. Do you think they are just a bunch of low people working there and the power they have just intoxicates them? It is very pitiful.

20 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    They're rude, because you are, or they just dealt with a right royal sphincter before they met you (your bad luck).

    Most of the Customs Officers I've met are polite and professional. You don't make their life hard, they won't make your life hard.

    As for the questions...be glad you weren't dealing with US Customs...the only group in the US more obnoxious (although I've met many that were polite and even friendly[!]) than US Customs is the IRS...and from the stories you can find, *they* are almost terroristic in some of their tactics!

    If you feel you've been unjustly singled out, submit a formal complaint...just make sure that it isn't a rant, and that it is better written than this question.

    Good Luck!

    PS: If you thought your experience with Canada Customs was bad...do NOT ever fly El-Al...it is the SAFEST airline in the world, but that safety comes at the expense of intrusive searches and invasive questioning of passengers...random passengers have even had their baggage pulled and searched to the point of near destruction, and then were relaesed with less than 15 minutes before their flight to re-pack, return to the front to have their luggage put on the plane, and then back to the gate before their plane left...and all without an apology or a new ticket if they couldn't make their flight.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Really? I've found quite the opposite. Most are friendly, more so than in other countries I have visited. By their job, to promote security, generally they get right to the meat of the matter with little emotion at all. But, atleast Canadian customs officers seem human, compared to how other ones are. Don't take it personally. It's their job. They are simply following protocall.

    They are forced by their job to ask everyone questions upon leaving or entering the country. Just be pleasant, and answer their question without being rude or disrespecting, and you will get the same treatment in return.

    Perhaps you came into the country with a biased opinion, and treated the officers with disrespect. They are only people. If you are rude to someone, they are less likely to be friendly and pleasant back.

    It's really such a small thing in the subject of travel. Just answer the questions you have to , be honest, and try to be friendly and polite. Then you'll be through in no time.

  • 4 years ago

    Canada Customs Questions

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Really? All of them?

    You wrote, "...you should not buy anything in Canada to support their economy..." Do you think customs officers are the entire national economy?

    In case you didn't know, Canada is a sovereign nation and, as such, has every right to limit who can cross its borders and who cannot. We do not owe you any kind of explanation nor do we need to apologize to you for having those policies.

    My own experiences with customs officers is that they're pretty much like anyone else. I've crossed into the US many times and have been questioned like everyone else. Never was I ever treated unkindly.

    If you don't like travelling in Canada, then do yourself a huge favour and stay home.

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  • SteveN
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You obviously have never dealt with too many customs officers have you?

    Whenever I have dealt with ANY customs agents, they rarely smile or show emotion. They ask you many questions, and often ask you the same question in different ways to see if you are giving them the same answer all the time, or lying to them.

    First, you should NOT take it personally. This is done for your own safety. Think of it this way...If they do their job right, they may catch criminals like murderers, terrorists, and smugglers from trying to get out of the USA. The same as US customs is trying to stop them from ever getting INTO the States.

    Second, always give the agents a straight honest answer. If they ask you where you are going, you just have to say the city. If they ask why, it's to find out if you will be trying to work illegally in Canada, so they want to make sure you are on vacation or if you are working that you have the right paperwork to do so.

    Third, you are not entitled to come into Canada. It is a privilege to enter another country. It's like going to a neighbor's house and knocking on the door. When they answer, you say "Can I come in?" but what if they don't want you over that day? Is your neighbor required to let you into their home? No. If you try to force your way in, they call the cops or shoot you. If you argue with them and get into a fight at the door, odds are you won't be invited back in ever again.

    As for the officers being rude and mean, I have never seen that. I did have a US border agent get a little testy with me and ask me several questions because he thought I was going down to USA to work, saying he did not want me to "steal any jobs from Americans".

    You can get jerks working at any place that are given a little power and like to use it. But if you are polite and respectful, not arrogant and confrontational, you generally get through no problem.

    But if you don't like Canada's agents, you should try South Africa. In Capetown, I had two guards in the security area holding automatic weapons aimed towards me as I was coming in. I had to press a button and if the light turns green, I go through no problem. If it turned red, I would be escorted under armed guard to a security checkpoint for a more detailed inspection and screening process.

    Source(s): FYI: Nicest agents I've encountered: Derby Line, VT Worst agents I've heard about: Detroit-Windsor
  • 5 years ago

    I am also with OP that Canadian Immigration officers are very rude. The latest incident was when the officer closed my passport and then was struggling to find the latest visa. He was continuously asking the same question whether i hold a valid visa i spite of me telling him multiple times that the visa is right there. Still when he was not able to find the visa i extended my help to open the visa and show it to him... to which the officer very rudwly replied that if i interfere he will hold me down to the ground in handcuffs...Man !!!! Seriously...I've been to almost a dozen countries but never encountered such a rude officer. They should understand that the person in front of them deserves some basic respect.

  • 4 years ago

    I had a bad experience going to Canada (Vancouver) for the first time, I was smiling and excited about going there but it did not matter. The officer was rude and suspicious when I told him that traveled to Canada because I wanted to visit his country as I thought it is very beautiful but he continued questioning me like I had other intentions. I have traveled to many places in the world but the worst officers I have found are first from Canada followed by the USA.

  • 1 decade ago

    Usually they are very friendly. I cross the border many times to the U.S. and back into Canada. I think that it's all about the way you approach them. I always make sure to have a smile on my face! I have never had any problems. Do you have a record of any kind because it now appears immediately as soon as they scan your I.D.

    Sorry about your experience but one bad experience shouldn't sour you completely about Canadian border agents. If you now cross with this attitude, it may again be an unpleasant experience.

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    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Henry, I have traveled to many places around the world, and I have found that most custom officers are that way. It is a very difficult job that they have and it gets more complicated every time there is a terrorist attack on the USA or the UK. New rules and regulations gets sent to them from their superiors and it just makes their jobs even more difficult and time consuming, so yeah, they are going to lose their temper quite often.

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