Moray SNP News
At First Minister’s Questions today Richard Lochhead MSP once again raised the issue of excessive delivery charges to households in Moray.
Mr Lochhead’s question came ahead of a meeting with Ofcom, the postal service regulator, to discuss the impact of unfair delivery charges on customers in Moray and across the wider region.
The MSP highlighted reports from constituents that in some cases they have found it cheaper to order from overseas companies than to have things delivered from elsewhere in the UK, and the frustration that there is no rhyme nor reason for the massive variation in delivery charges faced by customers in the North of Scotland.
Moray’s MSP asked the Deputy First Minister to discuss with Scottish Government colleagues what more can be done to tackle rip off delivery charges that are costing rural Scotland millions of pounds in surcharges. Mr Lochhead sought John Swinney’s assistance in putting pressure on the UK Government to take action, given it has the responsibility for regulating on this issue.
Following FMQs, Richard Lochhead met with Ofcom in the Scottish Parliament to discuss the discriminatory practices his constituents are having to put up with then it comes to parcel delivery charges. Ofcom confirmed to Mr Lochhead that they continue to research the issue but that it has proved difficult to ascertain how these surcharges are calculated.
The SNP MSP said:
“Customers in Moray and across the North of Scotland are sick fed up of companies charging them extra for parcel delivery on the basis of them having an AB or IV postcode, and with Christmas fast approaching many more people are going to be affected by this issue.
“Ahead of my meeting with Ofcom, I took the opportunity to raise the frustration my constituents are feeling at this discriminatory behaviour being allowed to continue, at First Minister’s Questions. The fact that people are telling me that it is often cheaper for them to get products delivered from overseas than it is from elsewhere in the UK shows just how ludicrous the situation has become.
“I welcomed the response from the Deputy First Minister and the assurances he gave that the Scottish Government will continue to do everything they can to influence the UK Government, because as he said in his answer people across the country should have access to delivery services without being punished for where they live.
“Following First Minister’s Questions I met with Ofcom, the regulatory body, and we discussed the outrageous delivery charges that customers in Moray are having to put up with. Ofcom confirmed that they are continuing to investigate surcharges but that so far they have found it difficult to work out how additional charges are calculated.
“I’m going to continue campaigning for steps to be taken to end these rip off delivery charges and a really important part of that is naming and shaming companies who think it’s okay to discriminate against rural households. I would encourage anyone who comes across unfair delivery charges when they’re shopping online to get in touch with me so I can challenge those responsible and press them to change their policy.”
Richard Lochhead’s exchange with the Deputy First Minister at FMQs can be found here:
Pictured is Richard Lochhead MSP with Matt Hall and Jonathan Ruff from Ofcom following their meeting in the Scottish Parliament.