Thursday, 25 February 2016 07:33

MP calls for end to excessive delivery charges in rural areas

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SNP MP Drew Hendry has used a parliamentary debate to call on the UK government to end excessive delivery charges in rural areas.

 The SNP MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey has campaigned against the charges since being elected in May, and secured the debate in the House of Commons today to call for a “People’s Delivery Guarantee” to encourage fair charging and to end unfair advertising.

 Mr Hendry called for a parliamentary bill to ensure distance sellers provide purchasers with the lowest possible cost option; for a fair delivery quality mark for responsible retailers and penalties for vendors who advertise free delivery but subsequently impose charges or conditions.

 Commenting after the debate, Drew Hendry MP said:

 “Consumers shouldn’t be penalised because of where they live.

 “People in the Highlands and Islands and other rural areas are still paying excessive delivery charges and are effectively finding themselves penalised simply because of their geographic location.

 “As shopping trends continue to move online, more and more families in constituencies like mine will find themselves having to fork out much higher rates to have everyday items and essentials delivered to their homes.

 “One constituent was asked to pay £90 for the delivery of a mobile phone because Inverness wasn’t considered to be part of the UK mainland and another shopper was asked to pay an extra £20 to have a drill delivered to his address in Nairn.

 “That is why I have called for a “Peoples Delivery Guarantee” that pulls together all the various aspects of delivery charges and guarantees and that consumers are not mislead on claims of, for example “Free Delivery to UK mainland” only to be told during or after purchase that this isn’t true. Consumers, regardless of where they live should also have the right to the lowest possible delivery cost- I have called for that right as standard.

 “This situation has to change – the UK government needs to take action.”