MSP highlights unfair Island delivery charges in Holyrood debate

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan highlighted the issue of unfair postal penalties in Parliament this week.
Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan highlighted the issue of unfair postal penalties in Parliament this week.

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has called for an end to the unfair parcel delivery charges facing many online shoppers in the Western Isles, intervening in a debate in the Scottish Parliament about this issue.

New research from Citizens Advice Scotland has shown that online shoppers in the islands of Scotland can be expected to pay a ‘postcode penalty’ of around 50% more than the rest of the UK, purely because of where they live.

Alasdair Allan commented: “In the years that I have been MSP for the Western Isles I have repeatedly raised cases of unfair and discriminatory surcharges from online retailers.

“Recent examples include someone being quoted a £61 additional charge to transport a roof rack to Harris, £34 to deliver a pair of boxers to Lewis and £10 to deliver a small battery, while it was free postage for any other part of the UK.

“Many surcharges seem completely arbitrary and OFCOM research has shown there’s very little explanation for how retailers calculate surcharges.

“Some even make extra charges for “anyone north of Glasgow”, despite the fact that most smaller items cost the same to post to Berneray as they do to Birmingham.

“I am glad that Richard Lochhead MSP has brought this issue to the Scottish Parliament so that we can highlight the problem and stop retailers getting away with charging wildly different delivery fees simply because they can.

“Hopefully the campaign will force retailers to stop this discrimination and adopt set standards for deliveries to each and every corner of the UK.”