North customers go online to battle inflated delivery charges

A Social Media page set up to monitor excessive delivery charges to addresses in the north of Scotland has attracted a remarkable following of over 7100 people in less than 48 hours.

‘Scottish Highlands and Islands against inflated delivery charges’ has a stated mission statement to ‘banish the woes of inflated delivery charges in our area, a campaign to stop this area being blacklisted for deliveries’.

Visitors to the Facebook site are being invited to share their experiences of inflated delivery charges being imposed for those with IV or other HIghlands and Islands postcodes, with many commenting that they are simply fed up with the practice.

Even on the popular auction site EBay an increasing number of traders, both companies and individuals, are excluding those with Highlands and Islands postal codes form bidding.

One poster to the site commented: “I got a postage quote today from London to Inverness for an item weighing less than 1kg. I was quoted £40 – and was also told that if I could provide an AB postcode then delivery would only be £8.”

Another commented: “Fun Bikes – economy delivery is £20 but £60 to the Highlands. EBay and Amazon traders are worst, bought things for free delivery then received an email asking for £15 as we are outwith the mainland.”

The complaints have considerable merit with Royal Mail services making no additional levy on postage to the north – while there are courier companies such as Collect+ who operate a collection and delivery services throughout the UK, including the Highlands and Islands, charging the same flat-rate that is considerably less than those levied by online traders.

Collect+ operates through a network of small shops in every part of the UK, allowing parcels to be left or collected seven days a week with a flat-rate economy delivery service of between £4.89 and £8.29 according to weight and regardless of destination.

One customer delivering a Collect+ parcel to Meile’s in Lossiemouth for delivery to an address in the south of England said: “It cost me just £14.49 to send and that includes additional insurance covering the cost of the item up to £300 that I did not have to pay but thought prudent.

“Sending it through the Post Office would have cost around £22 without the insurance aspect – so it can be done, no online retailer should be charging such excessive prices to deliver to our part of the country – it’s a rip-off and it is high time something was done about it.”

Scottish Highlands and Islands against delivery charges can be found on Facebook, while Collect+ deliveries can be arranged online.

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