What makes me angry is the fact that:
Is it really necessary to throw all these stealth taxes upon customers at the checkout? I mean Royal Mail is exempt from VAT anyway so what is the deal here?
Yes, yes it is. Normally these are "hidden", as in they are included in the price and you only see it as tiny print on the receipt. However, there are several movements that intend for such "hidden" costs being visible. And different countries deal with it differently.
Furthermore, Hasslefree are not required to (indeed it could be argued aren't allowed to) charge VAT for international orders, which means they have to have an ordering system that can take this in account. Hence, you get a situation where it is tacked on at the end instead. Further furthermore, inside the EU each person pays VAT charges applicable in their own country, and any business with a certain amount of business in a member country will be "transferring" that VAT to the respective country. The order system needs to be able to cope with that as well. Most order system will be tuned to the american market where e.g. sales tax is only tacked on at the end if you live in the "wrong" state.
Royal Mail may be excmept from VAT, but *YOU* are not, and YOU are the one who are being charged VAT in your role as consumer, whether you are purchasing a model or the service to transport said model. Which is what VAT is, a tax on the consumer. Your beef my good sir, is with the politicians and society that taxes you. Grab some tea and throw in the closest harbour.
Finally I'll point out there are different rates of VAT which is why you often may have different liens for it, and of course the seller must specify exactly what rate is applied to what items.
Do you guys accept business behavior like this?
Umm... if I want to eat, drink, sleep or in any capacity exist in modern society, yes, you (and I) have to. Every single day. Death and taxes, the only sureties in life. It's not a behaviour, they are doing exactly what the laws require them to do.
What is your expectation here? That Hasslefree break the taxation codes because you don't feel like paying them? That they should pay them out of their own pocket? Which would also be breaking the law most likely.
How about you whiners pop over to a Games Workshop store and ask them if they will sell you stuff tax free. See how that goes? You might find that it is a all a big conspiracy and all of these bloody gougers expect you to pay VAT.