Nicola Sturgeon slams Halfords' £50 delivery charge

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has criticised a £50 delivery fee which was charged by Halfords to send towels costing £5.99 to Speyside.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described the charge imposed by Halfords as "shocking"
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described the charge imposed by Halfords as "shocking"

She was responding to a query from Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, who said rural constituents were being “fleeced”.

Ms Sturgeon said UK ministers should act to prevent delivery charges that are “vastly out of proportion”.

Halfords said the fee was “exceptional” for an “online exclusive” product.

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Mr Lochhead said: “Would the first minister agree that as more and more rural residents buy online in the run up to Christmas, that they should not be treated with this contempt or fleeced by greedy companies or discriminated against for living in the north of Scotland?”

Nicola Sturgeon said her government had played an “active role” in developing a statement of principle for delivery charges.

She said: “The level of charge that Richard Lochhead has outlined today is shocking. Certainly based on what he has said today, it seems vastly out of proportion and, yes, I am in full agreement that excessive charging for parcel deliveries is unacceptable.”

Senior figures at Halfords said they were working with suppliers to review delivery charges.

In a statement, the firm said: “When ordering from normal postage to the Highlands and Islands region applies in over 95 per cent of cases.

“The exception to this is if a customer purchases an online only exclusive product on Halfords Marketplace, which is an online platform that Halfords hosts for smaller independent retailers who deliver direct.

“We are currently working with our Marketplace suppliers to review this to help reach a more cost-effective resolution for customers ordering from those Marketplace suppliers.”