MSP welcomes delivery charges crackdown

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Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed news that the Committee of Advertising Practice is issuing an enforcement notice which will force firms to be more transparent about their delivery charges to rural areas, including the islands.

The practice of advertising “free UK delivery”, but then adding charges for remote areas late in the ordering process may now be subject to enforcement action.

This includes legal proceedings against any companies who persist with this practice beyond the 31st May deadline.

Alasdair Allan commented: “It has long been a source of deep frustration to many islanders shopping online that sites appear to offer free UK delivery, whereas, often as late as the check-out stage, additional charges are added when an HS postcode is entered.

“Constituents have regularly brought examples to me of occasions when these delivery charges are either in excess of the price of the product they wished to purchase, or entirely out of proportion to the actual delivery costs.

“I am particularly heartened by the fact that this enforcement notice has been described by the Advertising Standards Authority as a ‘first step’, acknowledging that there is still more to be done to bring about an equitable situation for areas such as the Western Isles.”