HIGH­LAND CUS­TOMERS ‘FLEECED’ BY DE­LIV­ERY CHARGES

MSP raises mo­tion over ‘un­fair’ rates

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JON HEBDITCH

The Scot­tish Par­lia­ment is set to de­bate de­liv­ery charges af­ter a north-east MSP raised a mo­tion which he hopes will stop his con­stituents be­ing “fleeced” by na­tional com­pa­nies.

Anger has built up across Mo­ray and the north with cus­tomers of­ten be­ing forced to pay as much as £50 for de­liv­er­ies due to their “iso­lated” lo­ca­tion.

In De­cem­ber, a ma­jor re­tailer’s de­liv­ery charges in Mo­ray were con­demned as “shock­ing” by First Min­is­ter Nicola Stur­geon.

Hal­fords quoted a price of £50 to de­liver two car tow­els, priced at £5.99, to a Spey­side-based res­i­dent.

The firm ar­gued the £50 charge was ap­plied due to the prod­ucts be­ing or­dered through the firm’s web­site from an in­de­pen­dent sup­plier and the sys­tem is now be­ing re­viewed.

A pe­ti­tion cir­cu­lated in April call­ing for a stand- ardised charges across the UK at­tracted nearly 1,200 sig­na­tures.

And now, Mo­ray MSP Richard Lochhead has raised the is­sue in par­lia­ment over the “ex­ces­sive rates”.

The mo­tion reads: “That the par­lia­ment un- der­stands that, com­pared with other parts of the UK, peo­ple in Mo­ray, the north of Scot­land and other ru­ral ar­eas are of­ten charged ex­ces­sive rates for par­cel de­liv­er­ies; and recog­nises what it sees as the frus­tra­tion of con­sumers liv­ing in post­codes such as IV and AB, who have to pay these charges, which it con­sid­ers un­fair.”

Mr Lochhead said: “I’m con­tacted by con­stituents on a very reg­u­lar ba­sis who are sick to the back teeth of or­der­ing some­thing on­line only to dis­cover they must pay a higher de­liv­ery charge than cus­tomers in other parts of Scot­land and the UK.

“I know this prac­tice of charg­ing higher ship­ping costs for de­liv­ery to AB and IV post­codes is wide­spread and the feed­back I’ve had from con­stituents is they are to­tally scun­nered at be­ing ripped off by these greedy com­pa­nies.

“One con­stituent told me she can get cheaper de­liv­ery to her Mo­ray home from Ger­many than within the UK, and many folk have been in touch who are hugely frus­trated by the fact they could get much cheaper de­liv­ery if they lived just a few streets away.

“As a lo­cal MSP, I’m de­ter­mined to keep chal­leng­ing com­pa­nies who are fleec­ing my con­stituents and to put pres­sure on couri­ers to start treat­ing cus­tomers in Mo­ray and the North of Scot­land fairly.”

“Scun­nered at be­ing ripped off by these greedy com­pa­nies”

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