THE HIGH DELIVERY charges being paid by many mail-order and online customers in Moray and throughout the Highlands and Islands featured in a Westminster debate this week.
North MP Drew Hendry secured a debate at the House of Commons to call for a “People’s Delivery Guarantee” aimed at encouraging fair charging and an end to unfair advertising.
The SNP MP is seeking a parliamentary bill that would ensure distance sellers provide purchasers with the lowest possible cost option. He is also calling on a ‘quality mark’ for responsible retailers and penalties for vendors who advertise free delivery throughout the UK – but subsequently impose charges or conditions.
Following the Westminster debate, Mr Hendry said: “People in the Highlands and Islands and other rural areas are still paying excessive delivery charges and are effectively finding themselves penalised simply because of their geographic location.
“As shopping trends continue to move online, more and more families in constituencies like mine will find themselves having to fork out much higher rates to have everyday items and essentials delivered to their homes.
“One constituent was asked to pay £90 for the delivery of a mobile phone because Inverness wasn’t considered to be part of the UK mainland and another shopper was asked to pay an extra £20 to have a drill delivered to his address in Nairn.
“That is why I have called for a “Peoples Delivery Guarantee” that pulls together all the various aspects of delivery charges and guarantees and that consumers are not mislead on claims of, for example “Free Delivery to UK mainland” only to be told during or after purchase that this isn’t true.
“Consumers, regardless of where they live should also have the right to the lowest possible delivery cost- I have called for that right as standard. This situation has to change – the UK government needs to take action.”
Many Moray customers are still being frustrated by misleading delivery information – and many online retailers refusing to deliver to addresses in Moray, despite options such as Royal Mail being easily available and affordable.
While increasingly many companies are realizing that they are losing custom through their unfair practices, many more refuse to shift on their discriminatory policies based primarily on post code rather than common sense.