Rural initiative to battle ‘unfair and eye-watering delivery charges’

Image: Fair Delivery Charges

A new campaign has launched in Scotland to pressure online retailers to treat deliveries in all areas the same instead of imposing ‘unfair charges’ on people living in remote or rural areas.

A MSP from Moray, Richard Lochhead, has started a new website which will be a platform for people to share their stories in the hope that retailers will change their policies and the UK government will get involved.

Mr Lochhead has been spearheading efforts which saw mobility reseller Lloyds Pharmacy change its delivery policy earlier this year after a constituent complained of having to pay a £50 shipping fee for a mobility scooter.

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Lloyds Pharmacy made ‘drastic changes’ to its delivery policy, including removing shipping costs on orders above £40 for all UK customers after pressure from rural clients and criticism of its ‘unclear delivery costs’.

According to a newspaper the Mr Lochhead’s website has already received backing from Labour and Conservative politicians.

The MSP told the Press and Journal: “Enough is enough, we need action to stop this rip-off.”

Public backlash has spurred a number of other retailers to change their policies and campaigners hope others will now follow suit.

Mr Lochhead drew on Black Friday internet deals, saying it added further urgency to the campaign.

“Online shopping continues to grow increasingly popular, especially for items that can’t be found in local shops.

“There is nothing worse for customers than to be drawn into what they think is a bargain only to find out that there are going to be eye-watering delivery surcharges. We have seen a number of absurd cases in Moray.

“We have seen that naming and shaming individual retailers can address this, but the Scottish and UK governments both have a role to play – with the latter able to enforce regulation.”

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