Businesses hit by “haphazard” system of delivery charges

editorial image

Angus MP Mike Weir has welcomed a report from Citizens Advice Scotland on the additional delivery charges faced by Scottish businesses based in rural areas.

Mr Weir has long campaigned on the issue, previously supporting a Private Members Bill in the House of Commons to tackle the problem, and said it highlights the “completely crazy and haphazard” nature of the current system.

He also said it highlights the need for strong action to be taken by the UK Government.

The report found that more than three quarters of the businesses which responded felt that the cost of ordering items online had a substantial impact on their business.

More than 80 per cent of respondents said they regularly encounter misleading claims of “free delivery” when in fact surcharges are imposed due to their location while 69 per cent had to contend with the delayed arrival of items.

Mr Weir said: “It has long been a frustration of both businesses and consumers in Angus that they find when ordering goods that there are additional delivery charges, which are not made clear at the outset.

“The situation is made worse by the fact that the delivery charge areas are defined by postcodes which cover very large areas in rural parts of the country.

“In Angus, for example, the DD8 and DD9 postcodes cover Forfar, Kirriemuir and Brechin, but also a large part of the rural area of Angus.

“Some carriers impose additional charges, or will not deliver, to those areas despite the fact that the towns themselves are just off the main Dundee to Aberdeen route.

“In other areas of Scotland carriers will deliver to the cities, passing through communities that have to pay an additional charge on the way.

“This is completely crazy and shows how the haphazard nature of the present system and the need for strong government action.”