Turn­around af­ter man takes on Lloyds phar­macy over charge

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

A re­tail phar­macy chain has slashed its de­liv­ery costs fol­low­ing a row about the price of post­ing a mo­bil­ity scooter to a ter­mi­nal­ly­ill Mo­ray woman.

Robert Boyle bought the de­vice for his wife, Jean, but was shocked when Lloyds Phar­macy charged him an ex­tra £50 to have it sent to their home in Keith.

The firm ad­ver­tised “free UK de­liv­ery”, but ex­cluded the High­lands and Is­lands from that – and as­sumed Mr Boyle was res­i­dent there be­cause of his post­code.

If the cou­ple had lived less than 10 miles away, in Aberdeen­shire, the postage would have cost noth­ing.

Mr Boyle blasted the fee as “en­tirely ridicu­lous” and politi­cians ac­cused the com­pany of “dis­crim­i­nat­ing against” cus­tomers in the north.

In the af­ter­math of the huge pub­lic back­lash, Lloyds pledged to re­view its pol­icy on de­liv­ery charges.

And yes­ter­day, a spokes­woman for the firm con­firmed that dras­tic changes had been made to en­sure the sys­tem is fairer.

She said: “We ap­pre­ci­ate this be­ing brought to our at­ten­tion and we have been speak­ing to our cus­tomer in Mo­ray, who is sat­is­fied with the out­come.

“We recog­nise that our de­liv­ery charges weren’t as clear as they could have been.

“Our pol­icy has been re­viewed and we will make our de­liv­ery charges clearer on all com­mu­ni­ca­tions, in­clud­ing our web­site.

“We are pleased to say that all cus­tomers within Scot­land, ex­clud­ing is­lands, will now ben­e­fit from free stan­dard de­liv­ery on or­ders over £40.”

Mo­ray MSP Richard Lochhead has been cru­sad­ing for a na­tional re­view of de­liv­ery charges and has ar­ranged for a par­lia­men­tary de­bate on the mat­ter to take place in the near fu­ture.

Yes­ter­day, he hailed Lloyds’ turn­around as a “break­through”, and sug­gested it could en­cour­age other firms to fol­low its ex­am­ple.

Mr Lochhead said: “This is a vic­tory for fair­ness.

“That Lloyds Phar­macy will now treat cus­tomers with AB and IV post­codes equally is a break­through for Mo­ray, and I would urge all com­pa­nies to re­view their poli­cies to en­sure they aren’t rip­ping off folk in the north of Scot­land.

“Un­fair de­liv­ery charges are a huge is­sue in Mo­ray, and some­thing that the vast ma­jor­ity of us have ex­pe­ri­enced.”

In De­cem­ber, Hal­fords re­duced de­liv­ery charges for Mo­ray and the High­lands to £3 fol­low­ing crit­i­cism for charg­ing a Spey­side cou­ple £50 to have car tow­els worth £5.99 de­liv­ered. tweet read: “Lorry has shed a load of gravel on #A82 Shore St, Telford Rd & Rose St in #In­ver­ness.”

One con­cerned mem­ber of the In­ver­ness Neigh­bour­hood Watch Face­book group, Cat Mitchell, said: “Shore Street round­about cov­ered in gravel, Telford Street too. Be care­ful!”

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