Cus­tomers should shop around and name and shame

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Richard Lochhead MSP FOR MO­RAY

Christ­mas is a busy time for fam­i­lies and the busiest time of year for the re­tail sec­tor and courier com­pa­nies.

Cus­tomers, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral ar­eas, are in­creas­ingly tak­ing ad­van­tage of the con­ve­nience of or­der­ing on­line. It can be a god­send es­pe­cially for goods not avail­able in the vil­lage shop.

Like­wise, ru­ral busi­nesses know that to sur­vive in today’s cut-throat world of re­tail they need to buy and sell on­line. This is why the on­go­ing is­sue of some re­tail­ers charg­ing as­tro­nom­i­cal de­liv­ery sur­charges for ru­ral cus­tomers is caus­ing seething anger in ru­ral Scot­land.

Some ru­ral cus­tomers in Mo­ray I have spo­ken to have been charged eye-wa­ter­ing de­liv­ery sur­charges for small items like a £50 sur­charge for £5.99 pair of hand tow­els to be de­liv­ered to Spey­side. I’ve been in­un­dated with cases.

De­liv­ery charges have ac­tu­ally in­creased since 2012 de­spite fuel prices fall­ing.

Many re­tail­ers are fleec­ing cus­tomers cost­ing ru­ral Scot­land mil­lions of pounds a year.

Maybe it’s time to reg­u­late and ac­credit couri­ers. The UK Gov­ern­ment rather than the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment has re­spon­si­bil­ity for reg­u­la­tion so min­is­ters need to be per­suaded to tackle these ripoff sur­charges.

We must also push for trans­parency be­fore or­ders are placed. Cus­tomers should shop around, and name and shame. Re­tail­ers and courier com­pa­nies should play fair.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.