Customers should shop around and name and shame
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.