Moray SNP News
CAS RESEARCH REVEALS MANY SCOTS FACE 30-50% DELIVERY SURCHARGES
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead will lead a Scottish Parliament debate tomorrow (Wednesday 6th December) calling for an end to the unfair parcel delivery charges facing many parts of Scotland.
New research from Citizens Advice Scotland has revealed that online shoppers in northern Scotland can be expected to pay a ‘postcode penalty’ of between 30% and 50% more than the rest of the UK purely because of where they live.
MSP for Moray Richard Lochhead’s website and a petition calling for an end to unfair delivery charges and urging consumers to share their experiences of rip off charges has already received over 1,500 submissions and piled the pressure on retailers to change their ways.
One consumer told the campaign they had faced a £32.99 fee for delivery of a referee’s whistle to Elgin because they had an IV postcode, whereas an AB postcode was only charged a standard fee of £4.95. However, some retailers whack surcharges on AB and other Scottish postcodes as well.
Commenting, Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“Rural Scotland was a hotspot for online shopping on Black Friday weekend according to the Royal Mail, and now that consumers are turning their minds to Christmas they could be faced with surcharges simply because of their postcode and it's completely unacceptable and discriminates against much of Scotland.
“Citizens Advice Scotland’s research found that people in the Highlands and Islands can be asked to pay almost four times as much as the rest of the UK for delivery of parcels, and shoppers based in towns in the north of Scotland that are served by major trunk roads are being told they don’t qualify for “mainland UK” delivery rates.
“Retailers should be forced to adopt set standards for deliveries to each and every corner of the UK as well as improved rules that stop them from slapping delivery surcharges on orders once they’ve been placed.
“I am delighted that I am able to bring this issue to the Scottish Parliament today (Wednesday) where my colleagues and I will highlight some of the worst examples of this location discrimination facing Scottish consumers.”
Richard Lochhead MSP’s campaign website: http://fairdeliverycharges.scot &https://twitter.com/RipOffSurcharge
Examples of rip-off surcharges highlighted by Richard Lochhead’s campaign so far:
· Banff – leggings costing £7.96 had a delivery surcharge of £11.96.
· Elgin – a referee’s whistle costing £7.95 had a delivery surcharge of £32.99.
- Fochabers – rear tyre brakes worth £103 had a delivery surcharge of £45, despite advertising “free delivery for the UK mainland”.
- Findhorn – 5 disability road marking signs valued at £80 had a £65 surcharge for delivery.
The CAS report - Postcode Penalty: Delivering Solutions – has found that:
- Consumers in northern and north eastern parts of Scotland are asked to pay at least 30% more, on average, for delivery than consumers elsewhere in Great Britain.
- This rises to 50% more on average in the Scottish islands.
- For heavier items, people in the Highlands and Islands can be asked to pay almost four times as much as the rest of Great Britain.
- Over 80% of consumers affected do not think the extra price is fair, with 83% saying they’d buy more online if it weren’t for the charges.