SNP MSP Richard Lochhead launched his Fair Delivery Charges website last month after first raising the issue at First Minster’s Questions in December 2016 that brought the issue to national attention.
The campaign website has so far received over 2,000 submissions from the public and has highlighted examples of absurd surcharges that are too often levied on Scottish consumers.
The Advertising Standards Authority agreed to crackdown on firms that, despite advertising UK-wide delivery, penalise residents and businesses in rural Scotland with extortionate delivery surcharges, following a meeting with Richard Lochhead MSP last week. Scottish and UK Ministers have also agreed to investigate the cases highlighted by the campaign.
Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“It is absolutely astonishing that online shoppers in Scotland are having to spend an estimated additional £36.3 million each year on parcel delivery surcharges compared to the rest of the UK simply because of where they live.
“This Christmas will be more expensive for many Scots online shoppers because of parcel delivery surcharges that are applied without any justification to many northern postcodes. Many retailers deliver free or for a modest cost but others apply eye watering surcharges amounting to a whopping £36.3 million in extra costs.
“So far, my campaign has led to the UK Government agreeing to review rip-off surcharges and inspired action from the Advertising Standards Authority to crackdown on the firms that are charging extortionate delivery fees for residents and businesses in rural Scotland.
“One of the latest examples of rip-off surcharges is a £500 delivery fee to the Hebrides for Amazon items costing £85, and this is just one of many ridiculous examples of excessive delivery surcharges.
“Rural Scotland is home to some of the most loyal online shoppers and in the run up to Christmas I will continue campaigning and piling the pressure on retailers to end the rip-off surcharge facing too many Scottish consumers.
“This new research vindicates a campaign that has caught the public imagination and won support across Scotland and the political spectrum. It’s now time for the authorities to act and for every retailer to review its delivery charges and to stop discriminating against many parts of Scotland.”