Moray SNP News
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has secured support from eBay as he continues his efforts to end unfair delivery charges across Scotland.
eBay’s Director of Shipping Mike Pitt and Head of Public Affairs Alasdair McGowan met with the MSP, pledging to roll-out a dedicated reporting mechanism for customers facing unfair delivery surcharges.
eBay committed to tough action on sellers demanding surcharges on delivery after transactions – who may face removal from the sales platform altogether.
Following correspondence from Mr Lochhead, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) recently issued an Enforcement Notice on Advertised Delivery Restrictions and Surcharges – demanding “prompt action” from companies appearing to be misleading customers – with the threat of enforcement action, including legal measures, if firms fail to comply by 31 May.
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has estimated that higher delivery surcharges cost consumers in Scotland £36 million a year.
Richard Lochhead MSP, who has already received backing from Amazon for his campaign and hopes to meet with Groupon soon, commented:
“I am grateful to eBay for a constructive meeting today in the Scottish Parliament. We had a positive discussion over how to tackle the absurd parcel delivery surcharges that are hitting households and businesses in the pocket across rural Scotland.
“eBay explained what action they are already taking to ensure fairness for Scottish customers but pledged to do more, which I welcome.
“I shared a number of case studies that had been passed to me by customers in Moray and throughout Scotland, such as eBay sellers that charge outrageous surcharges to certain Scottish postcodes, or who point blank refuse to deliver to the Highlands.
“Many of these companies have acted illegally by adding on the surcharge after the transaction or who have misled consumers by offering free delivery.
“eBay has 200,000 companies on their platform in the UK and there are five million transactions every year in the Highlands and Islands alone and it is good to know that eBay are open to doing more to tackle the delivery charges rip-off.
“They offered to set up a dedicated reporting mechanism for the Scottish authorities such as our trading standards officers and promise to act against sellers not acting fairly or who are breaking the law with the ultimate sanction being removal from the eBay platform. They also urge customers to report cases directly to them as well as the authorities.”
Letter from Rob Hattrell, eBay's UK Managing Director, to Richard Lochhead MSP: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4fae14f57a18ee08253ffc251/files/70736587-27b4-4d10-8e74-66956cbabeb0/20180319_Letter_from_Ebay.pdf
Case study examples - one eBay seller attempted to charge a customer £35 to deliver a £25 headboard to Nairn, which they insisted was not “part of the British Isles”, but offered free delivery to Dundee. Another complainant bought a non-refundable bed from an eBay seller that offered free delivery, however the buyer received a phone call saying the bed would only be delivered to the Highlands at a cost of £50.
Letter from ASA Chief Executive Guy Parkey to Richard Lochhead MSP available here
Enforcement Notice: Advertised Delivery Restrictions and Surcharges available here
Further detail on campaign available at Fair Delivery Charges website - https://fairdeliverycharges.scot/