Local MSP Maree Todd, SNP, has described unfair delivery charges imposed on products to Orkney as “unacceptable” and “discriminatory.”
Maree Todd is backing a campaign launched by Moray MSP Richard Lochhead,
“to stop the rip-off parcel delivery charges affecting homes and businesses across Scotland.”
You can find out more about it here.
Online shopping can be a great boost to Orkney producers selling their wares to the rest of Scotland and for some it has made world wide sales possible.
For consumers in Orkney it is always best to shop local but sometimes the item you want cannot be bought locally. Royal Mail still uses Universal Postal charges although with privatisation that is always under threat. Some delivery companies charge extra for anywhere north of the central belt.
Research by Richard Lochhead has revealed that the total additional cost to Scottish consumers every year for unfair delivery charges is a staggering £36.3 million.
Maree Todd said:
“It is extremely unfair that some of the most loyal online shoppers in the Northern Isles and across rural Scotland, are the ones facing location discrimination and having to pay a postcode penalty to get their items delivered this Christmas.
“The Northern Isles and the Highlands take the top spots across the UK in terms of online sales.
“Yet, information obtained by my SNP colleague Richard Lochhead shows that online shoppers in Orkney are forking out a massive £1.39 million in delivery charges.
“No matter where you shop, you should not be punished because of your postcode.
“It is totally unacceptable that retailers are getting away with charging wildly different delivery fees for neighbouring postcodes 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, not least Orkney and Shetland.”
For more information
Fair Delivery Charges: @RipOffSurcharge
I don’t do a lot of on-line shopping, but do still order things, by mail, from catalogues, sometimes. If I see that the company I want to order from charges excess postage rates for the Highland and Islands – I don’t buy from them! I also contact them telling them what I was going to buy, but that I’m not going to, because of their extra postage charge, and that they have therefor lost themselves a customer. I also point out that plenty of companies don’t charge excess, so it is possible to deliver to the Highlands and Islands, without charging extra.
I don’t know if they take any notice, or just think I’m a querulous old bat! But – it hits them where it hurts, in their potential profits.
I do think it’s worth harassing them, otherwise, they don’t know how much custom they are losing.
I also email Liam MacArthur if there is a particularly unfair example with ridiculously excessive charges. All grist to the mill for his campaign.
Querulous old bat or not – I think it’s worth doing.