In postal cost fight

West­ern Isles’ MSP highlights un­fair­ness

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - LOCAL NEWS -

A pair of boxer shorts cost £34 to de­liver to the Outer He­brides, the is­lands’ MSP has high­lighted to il­lus­trate the rip-off de­liv­ery charges faced by re­mote res­i­dents.

Dr Alas­dair Al­lan has called for an end to the un­fair par­cel de­liv­ery fees fac­ing many on­line shop­pers in the West­ern Isles. He said: “In the years that I have been MSP for the West­ern Isles I have re­peat­edly raised cases of un­fair and dis­crim­i­na­tory sur­charges from on­line re­tail­ers.

“Re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude some­one be­ing quoted a £61 ad­di­tional charge to trans­port a roof rack to Har­ris, £34 to de­liver a pair of box­ers to Lewis and £10 to de­liver a small bat­tery, while it was free postage for any other part of the UK.

“Many sur­charges seem com­pletely ar­bi­trary and Of­com re­search has shown there’s very lit­tle ex­pla­na­tion for how re­tail­ers cal­cu­late sur­charges. Some even make ex­tra charges for ‘any­one north of Glas­gow’, de­spite the fact that most smaller items cost the same to post to Bern­eray as they do to Birm­ing­ham.

“I am glad that Richard Lochhead MSP has brought this is­sue to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment so that we can high­light the prob­lem and stop re­tail­ers get­ting away with charg­ing wildly dif­fer­ent de­liv­ery fees sim­ply be­cause they can.

“Hope­fully the cam­paign will force re­tail­ers to stop this dis­crim­i­na­tion and adopt set stan­dards for de­liv­er­ies to each and ev­ery cor­ner of the UK.”

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Scot­land this week es­ti­mated that one mil­lion con­sumers in ru­ral areas are forced to pay a premium. A re­port – The Post­code Penalty De­liv­er­ing So­lu­tions – found that higher charges were not con­fined to ru­ral areas but af­fected all ad­dresses north of the cen­tral belt in­clud­ing ur­ban areas such as In­ver­ness and Aberdeen.

The re­search looked at de­liv­ery op­tions for a range of on­line pur­chases to 12 ad­dresses rep­re­sent­ing var­i­ous areas of the UK – in­clud­ing ur­ban and ru­ral, main­land and is­land.

The box­ers only cost £18.91 and the sup­plier was based in Lin­colnshire.

The de­liv­ery charge to the Isle of Lewis was three times the cost quoted for Aus­tralia.

“De­liv­ery charge to Isle of Lewis was three times the cost quoted for Aus­tralia”

BUR­DEN: Dr Alas­dair Al­lan wants set stan­dards for de­liv­ery charges across the UK

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