Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




Richard Lochhead MSP has received a “profoundly disappointing” response from the UK Government in relation to excessive parcel delivery charges for customers in rural Scotland. 

Mr Lochhead wrote to the UK Government in September to highlight the regular discrimination people in Moray and across the North of Scotland face at the hands of businesses who are free to hike up delivery charges for rural customers.  The MSP expressed his strong view that it was time to end these unfair practices once and for all, urging the UK Government to introduce regulation to ensure that people in Moray are treated the same as customers in other parts of the UK.

In her response, the UK Government Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, Margot James MP, appears to accept there is a problem but at the same time told Mr Lochhead that “regulating prices or intervening in how businesses establish their pricing structures would not be in consumers’ best interests”.

Moray’s MSP, who has long campaigned for these unfair practices to end, has described the Tory Government’s reply as a kick in the teeth, pointing out that the lack of regulation is allowing businesses to rip off rural customers. 

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“People in Moray are sick to the back teeth of being ripped off by greedy companies who think it is acceptable to slap a whopping big delivery charge onto their order because they have an AB or IV postcode.

“Over the years I’ve challenged companies who are guilty of these unfair practices when they’ve been brought to my attention and companies I have contacted changed their policies as a result saving customers a lot of expense, but the scale of the problem is so huge that we really need a permanent solution put in place, which is why I wrote to the UK Government urging them to consider action including exploring the case for legislation.

“I’m sorely disappointed that the response from the Conservative Minister to this request is to say that regulation wouldn’t be in consumers’ best interests, despite acknowledging there is a problem, especially after I’d provided her with a number of examples of the rip off culture that exists as a result of business being free to charge Moray and Highland customers whatever they like. 

“My constituents can be sure that I will continue to pursue the issue of delivery charges with the UK Government and relevant organisations, and that I will continue to pull companies up on dodgy behaviour until these unfair practices end once and for all, and rural customers are finally treated equally.”

Constituent’s with examples of unfair delivery charges can contact Richard Lochhead MSP by emailing: richard.lochhead.msp@parliament.scot

The Moray MSP recently held a round table on excessive delivery charges in the Scottish Parliament which was attending by various stakeholders, including Ofcom, courier companies, Citizens Advice Scotland, and the Royal Mail and has secured a Members Debate in the Scottish Parliament on the issue.