Finally – UK Minister pledges action against unfair delivery charges

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UK GOVERNMENT MINSTERS are finally set to take action against companies who have been overcharging deliveries to their Moray customers.

Following the issue being brought directly to the attention of the Prime Minister last week by Moray’s MP Douglas Ross, and an intensive campaign orchestrated by local MSP Richard Lochhead, a major review on the issue is now to be undertaken at Westminster.

Delivery and Courier firms are to be reminded of their legal obligation to inform clients of all charges before orders are placed – while the UK Government has said it will examine evidence of over-charging and assess what action is required.

Consumers Minister Margot James said: “It is legal for delivery companies to make differential charges – but they have a duty to consider the fairness of their pricing structures and a legal obligation to ensure delivery charges and conditions are clear to consumers before they place an order.

“Ofcom has now completed a two-year study of the issue and I will work with the Consumer Protection Partnership to establish a review of the evidence collected so far to see what can e done to protect Scottish consumers from excessive charging.”

Douglas Ross has welcomed the commitment given by the ministers, saying: “I very much welcome the commitment of Margot James – too many people are being ripped off purely because they happen to live where they do. We have to make sure this is the last Christmas where this happens.

“There must be innovative and collaborative solutions to this problem – in 2017, I find it quite unbelievable that delivery companies cannot find a way around it. Moray and the North-East of Scotland is not some unreachable mystery land, it is part of our United Kingdom and the whole region must be able to move at 21st century pace.”

In a report on the issue Ofcom said this week: “The causes of the higher prices is given by parcel operators as higher fuel and transport costs with fewer parcels being delivered to the same place and reliance on third parties in some areas.

“However, we acknowledge that those explanations alone can do little to appease the frustration consumers experience from surcharges.”

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