UK ministers urged to crack down on 'exorbitant' delivery charges in parts of Scotland

UK ministers have been urged to crack down on companies charging "exorbitant" rates to deliver to parts of Scotland.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, who represents Moray, highlighted a series of examples showing the cost of parcel delivery surcharges.

He called the situation a "postcode lottery" and urged the UK Government to take action.

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Research from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) previously found the additional cost to Scotland of parcel delivery surcharges was £44.8 million.

The SNP has urged the UK Government to take action over unfair delivery charges

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Mr Lochhead said: “These latest examples show just how much that some Scottish households have to pay for the basic ability to shop online during a pandemic.

"The Christmas crunch is undoubtedly felt much more acutely by those forced to fork out when free delivery is routinely advertised.

“This postcode lottery has gone on for far too long. It’s time for the UK Government to crack down on this scandalous practice once and for all.

“Over the last year in particular, the pandemic meant many across Scotland chose to do their shopping online – and therefore faced exorbitant delivery charges.

"In my own constituency of Moray, some lorries even drive past homes that pay huge surcharges to get to homes that benefit from free delivery.

"It’s a farce that is ripping off customers.

“Tory ministers have so far only paid lip service on this issue.

"If this was a problem in their own backyards, tough action would have been introduced long before now.”

Examples highlighted by Mr Lochhead included a toy store charging an extra £4.99 for delivery to Highlands and islands postcodes.

Elsewhere, trainers costing £52 were £15 to be delivered to an IV postcode, despite advertising free standard delivery on orders over £50.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Royal Mail provides a universal parcel service at a standard price throughout the United Kingdom thanks to legislation the UK Government put in place in 2011, and the consumer protection partnership continues to look at delivery issues faced by those in certain regions.

“Ultimately, it is for retailers to decide on how to provide their delivery service to customers, and those facing issues should speak to retailers directly.”

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