Online retailers need to deliver

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THE rise of online shopping has seen a huge increase in the amount of parcels being delivered – but delivery services and retailers are not doing enough to ensure goods are delivered on time say consumer groups.

Consumer Focus Scotland found one in three people have problems collecting parcels and one in ten say collection points are too far away.

Things are particularly bad in remote and rural areas of Scotland – where customers are often more reliant on ­delivery services but frequently face much higher charges.

Trisha McAuley, deputy director at watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland said: “In the run up to Christmas, thousands of people will be shopping online and waiting with baited breath to get hold of their parcels. But the reality is that for many people – especially for people in rural areas who often don’t have access to the same high street opportunities – the parcel will cost a packet or they will have trouble receiving it.”

Campaigners suggest parcel services should be more flexible about arranging pick up points, should be willing to give customers a time for delivery and should be more transparent on pricing. They suggest parcel delivery services should develop smartphone apps to help them communicate with customers

Enterprise minister Fergus Ewing said of the Scottish government’s parcel summit: “We would encourage delivery ­companies to display costs clearly prior to sale and to make sure charges are based on costs incurred.

“This is particularly ­important in the run up to the festive ­season when many in rural ­Scotland order goods ­online and expect them to be delivered in time for Christmas Day. It also makes business sense for retailers to provide the best and most efficient service possible.”