Shame of un­fair costs for de­liv­ery to ru­ral Scot­land

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Opinion -

In these times of in­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion, hy­per-fast rail travel and dronede­liv­ered shop­ping, it is ridicu­lous that so much ex­tra cash is de­manded to get parcels to some parts of Scot­land.

The clever brains that in­vented the means to give us ac­cess to world mar­kets, chang­ing the way the na­tion shops, can surely also in­vent a fairly-priced way to get items to In­ver­ness, parcels to Peter­head and boxes to Beauly.

It sim­ply isn’t good enough for any com­pany to say, “You live far away”, and add eye-wa­ter­ing amounts of money on to the de­liv­ery cost.

Worse, some of these com­pa­nies ad­ver­tise free de­liv­ery or fixed-rate de­liv­ery, and it is only at the point of pay­ment that the cus­tomer dis­cov­ers a sur­charge is to be added if you have an IV or AB post­code.

“Far away” is a rel­a­tive term – “far away” from who? The ware­houses should have been geo­graph­i­cally sited in places where they could serve the en­tire coun­try.

It’s a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion with the roll-out of broad­band. If you live in some parts of Scot­land, the in­for­ma­tion su­per­high­way is trundling along at a rather se­date pace. It is not yet very su­per at all.

When you take into ac­count the in­cred­i­ble prof­its some of the big “mar­ket­place” web­sites are mak­ing, it be­comes ever more baf­fling that they can­not work out a de­liv­ery pric­ing sys­tem that is rea­son­able, con­sis­tent and fair – no mat­ter where their cus­tomers live.

The world, they tell us, is now a global mar­ket. So when they say “global” it must truly mean what it says.

It should be to their shame that they dis­crim­i­nate against huge swathes of the coun­try.

It is up to on­line mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies to de­liver goods but also to de­liver a fair pric­ing struc­ture while do­ing so.

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