http://www.cas.org.uk/publications/postcode-penalty-distance-travelled

 

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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

PRESSURE MUST BE MAINTAINED ON DELIVERY CHARGES

14/09/2015  

Local representatives in Moray have welcomed the publication of Citizens Advice Scotland’s (CAS’s) latest report on parcel delivery charges.

Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead has previously met with representatives of online retailers in an effort to find a way forward on the issue while local MP Angus Robertson, along with other SNP MPs has raised concerns about the regulation of the parcel delivery sector with the UK Government.

SNP Councillor for Elgin City South, Graham Leadbitter, has also cited a recent experience of a surcharge being applied but successfully challenging the company in question to use and alternative carrier.

Speaking about the CAS report, titled ‘The Postcode Penalty: The Distance Travelled’,

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“It is simply not fair that people in Moray are charged excessive amounts when ordering the exact same item as folk in other parts of the country.  These postcode penalties have also hit our rural businesses hard and there is no real rationale or justification for them.

“Having been involved in this issue in my capacity as Rural Affairs Minister, and having been contacted by many constituents who have faced these unfair charges, I welcome the Citizens Advice Report.  

“I know my colleagues in the Scottish Government have worked with CAS since hosting a parcel delivery charges summit in 2013 and whilst it is good to hear that fewer online retailers are imposing surcharges, it is concerning that those who do have increased their charges significantly. It is important that we keep pressing companies to act in a fair and reasonable manner when it comes to delivery charges.”

Angus Robertson MP said:

“This issue continues to cause consternation for many constituents in Moray and it is a regular feature of emails and letters that I receive from across the region. Some progress is being made and I am hearing of more success stories of surcharges that have been removed when companies have been challenged.

“Overall there is a roughly 10% reduction in the number of online retailers surcharging that were questioned in the CAS survey but of the 534 companies survey we still see 44% surcharging and that is still far from good enough.

“The report recommends changes to the Universal Service to take account of the much higher demand for parcels, as opposed to letters, nowadays. These issues have again been raised by the SNP in a recent debate in the House of Commons and we will continue to push these issues at every opportunity.

“The UK Government needs to look hard at the regulatory regime for parcel services, as voluntary guides, while useful, are clearly not the full answer to this problem that really winds up people living here in Moray.”

Cllr Graham Leadbitter spoke about a recent online buying experience saying:

“I recently needed to buy products from the company ECL Plastics and after going through the online purchase they took the payment, only for an email to follow saying there would be a £6 surcharge for me to pay.

“I immediately emailed back challenging them to justify the surcharge and asking them to consider alternative carriers including Royal Mail. I am pleased to say that having been challenged on the surcharge they agreed to ship the items by Royal Mail and the surcharge was not required.

“It is really important that consumers play their part by challenging companies and using their purchasing power. My own recent experience shows it can work and I would urge others to do the same and see if we can drive down the number of companies applying these ridiculous and unnecessary charges.”

Details of the CAS report can be found at:
http://www.cas.org.uk/publications/postcode-penalty-distance-travelled

 

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