ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN LAUNCHED by Moray’s MP to hold a debate on the issue of excessive delivery charges to Moray and the Highlands and Islands.
Douglas Ross raised the issue in the House of Commons on Thursday, asking the leader of the house, the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, if there could be a debate on the issue.
The MP is seeking a Commons debate that would allow the UK Government to set out its position on how to “right this wrong” – and received a favourable response to his question.
Mr Ross told the House of Commons: “Disgusting and unacceptable delivery charges are often applied to constituents in Moray, and in some cases companies won’t deliver at all because people in Moray have AB or IV postcodes.”
In response, Mrs Leadsom acknowledged that the Moray MP had raised the issue a number of times in Parliament, including in his Maiden Speech.
Following the exchanged Mr Ross said: “The Leader of the House completely agreed that people in Moray deserved to be treated in the same way as anyone else. She also pointed out that retailers do have a legal responsibility to declare their charges.
“We know from constituents in Moray that this is not happening and that companies advertising free UK delivery then slap on excessive charges, which is totally unacceptable.
“Raising this in the House of Commons ensures the government and Ministers are aware of this ongoing problem and they will also see this is an issue I want action on. I’m encouraged that the Department is listening to these concerns which I continue to raise with them.
“I will pursue this at every opportunity until we get fair treatment for the people of Moray.”
Holyrood Pressure appled
Meanwhile the issue was also raised in the Scottish Parliament where Richard Lochhead MSP posed a question to the Deputy First Minister ahead of his own meeting with Ofcom to discuss the impact of unfair delivery charges on Moray.
Mr Lochhead sought John Swinney’s assistance in putting pressure on the UK Government to take action, given it has the responsibility for regulating on this issue. Following the Holyrood session the MSP met with Ofcom, who confirmed that they were continuing to research the issue – but that it has proved difficult to ascertain how these surcharges are calculated.
The MSP said: “Customers in Moray and across the North of Scotland are sick fed up of companies charging them extra for parcel delivery on the basis of them having an AB or IV postcode, and with Christmas fast approaching many more people are going to be affected by this issue.
“I welcomed the response from the Deputy First Minister and the assurances he gave that the Scottish Government will continue to do everything they can to influence the UK Government, because as he said in his answer people across the country should have access to delivery services without being punished for where they live.
“Following First Minister’s Questions I met with Ofcom, the regulatory body, and we discussed the outrageous delivery charges that customers in Moray are having to put up with. Ofcom confirmed that they are continuing to investigate surcharges but that so far they have found it difficult to work out how additional charges are calculated.
“I’m going to continue campaigning for steps to be taken to end these rip off delivery charges and a really important part of that is naming and shaming companies who think it’s okay to discriminate against rural households.
“I would encourage anyone who comes across unfair delivery charges when they’re shopping online to get in touch with me so I can challenge those responsible and press them to change their policy.”