The woman behind a campaign to force retailers into treating people in the north of Scotland in a fair way over delivery charges says she is “staggered” by the response.
Hundreds of Moray residents have joined thousands more from throughout the Highlands and Islands in backing the Facebook page launched at the weekend.
Now Ballachulish resident Jacky Cooper has been left stunned as over 13,500 people joined her campaign in just over 48 hours – sending a clear message to companies that insist on charging inflated prices for North East and Highland addresses that enough was enough.
While the Scottish Government launched a voluntary scheme before Christmas aimed at enticing companies to play fair with their Scottish customers, experiences over the Christmas period demonstrate that few paid any notice with hundreds of reports on Ms Cooper’s Facebook page reporting gross overcharging.
Ms Cooper told insideMoray: “The page was started on a whim two nights ago when I saw yet another Ebay seller who would not post to the Highlands.
“That, along with Amazon’s refusal before Christmas to post perfume to me – as apparently I am not on the UK mainland here near Glencoe – was enough to drive me to set up this page.
“I have already got a page about inflated postage charges to the Highlands – this time I decided to move the parameters to include the Islands too, along with the frequent refusal to even send goods to us at all.”
The Facebook page quickly gathered pace, leaving Ms Cooper to admit she was “astonished – but pleased” with the response. She said: “I expected a good response, but this is now much larger than I expected in such a short time
“I don’t understand why we are treated this way – after all, we are only as far away from London as London is from us!”
The online campaign has joined with a petition raised by West Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire MP Sir Robert Smith, which calls on the UK Government to talk to retailers and courier companies to work with them and end excessive surcharges and increased transparency.
He said: “Around one million people living in Scotland are facing excessive charges for delivery, lengthy delays or even being refused delivery altogether when they buy goods online.
“Many people are also being told that they must pay large delivery surcharges for living in remote areas when they are just a few miles from a major town.”
Moray MP Angus Robertson raised the issue last month, taking the unusual step of naming a company that had applied a surcharge for delivery to an address in Forres – despite the company having branches in Aberdeen and Inverness.
Mr Robertson said: “People in Moray are being treated badly by companies who are clearly not interested in the final cost to consumers caused by excessive delivery charges.
“It is simply not understood why companies cannot provide alternative delivery options such as Royal Mail, in particular when they seem to offer the same service for a lot less.”