Delivery fees in Scotland: tell MPs your stories

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On Tuesday 27 February the Scottish Affairs Committee will hold a one off session questioning major online retailers, delivery companies and organisations that have looked into delivery charges, including Ofcom and Citizens Advice Scotland.

Ahead of this session, the Committee want to hear from you about your experiences of being subjected to higher fees, longer delivery times or even refusal of service.
    Are you affected by high delivery charges based on where you live? What are these costs?
    Do you think these costs are fair?
    And are these costs clear explained to you when you make an order?

The Committee will use the information you provide us to inform our questioning of delivery charges in Scotland. Please post your comment by Wednesday 21 February to make sure the Committee have a chance to see them before the evidence session.

Please note, the Committee cannot respond to or pursue individual cases.

If you don’t want to contribute on the forum, you can submit through the Committee’s website.

You can visit the Committee website, or follow the Committee Twitter account @CommonsScotAffs, for more information.
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  • grunniegrunnie Forumite
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    I live in an AB56 postcode. If the delivery charge is too expensive then I contact the company and ask why. Most times they give me a discount. I joined amazon prime long ago and mostly shop with them. I find this very worthwhile as most companies eg Lakeland sell through Amazon. Last week I wanted to buy an item from England and the postage was £8 way too expensive so I phoned and asked why it needed to be £8 when the last time I shopped with them in December there was free delivery. They replied that now and again they did an offer of free delivery so I asked to be contacted when the next time they did that and she said don't wait till then I can give you a discount of a lot more than the postage. Be polite and ask and I have nearly always been successful with delivery charges. (Once got free delivery from Macy's in New York)
  • findochtywifiefindochtywifie Forumite
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    I also live in the AB56 postcode area. My husband broke a toilet seat last week and I enquired about the cost of a replacement plus a spare. The seats were priced at £40 each which was bad enough. Delivery was quoted at £40 plus VAT. Unfortunately I may have to pay this as I cannot source them from anywhere else. Even asking for them to deliver to the central belt the cost was the same.
  • I live in an IV postcode area but I'm on the mainland NOT on an island. So many companies offer free delivery all over the UK but make a charge for this area and things take longer to arrive. Even royal mail express 48 hour delivery states it will be an extra day for delivery to this area but you don't get it any cheaper.

    This the kind of thing we're faced with all the time :


    Delivery costs £5.99 for England and Wales and parts of Scotland (see below)
    Each shopping box can contain a maximum of 25kg of shopping
    Scotland
    For some areas in Scotland the charge is £10.50 for a box (25kg) depending on where you live. Register with us to see what your delivery rate is for your area. Unfortunately there is no multi-box shipping deals for these areas


    but that's just one example, there are many more companies who are charging even more it's so unfair and I'm always chasing up deliveries too.I live on the mainland, not the moon.

    Some places will cut the cost if politely challenged,as they don't realise that we're not on an island so their systems need looking at for the logistics & charges need revising
  • jorrjorr Forumite
    8 Posts
    Long-time customer of Dolphin Fitness - dolphinfitness.co.uk - and always opted for the free super saver delivery. Most recent order I tried to place for delivery to DD8 postcode came with a £2.99 delivery charge even though the site advertised that the product qualified for free super-saver delivery.
    When queried, customer service advised that all Scottish postcodes now have the delivery charge applied. (I have a screenshot of the customer service conversation if required.)
  • The one safe and reliable method for getting items delivered daily throughout the Highlands is guaranteed under the Universal service obligation (USO) within the Royal Mail service charter.

    Unfortunately a shrinking minority of all firms still use the Royal Mail. This is due to RM's policy of imposing unreasonable charges to collect during postal rounds.
    Courier firms throughout UK generally enter long term contracts with large parcel carriers to collect. A big dispatch dept does not have to do any more than pile up items awaiting collection, to consign safely within the network of a huge international concern. Surcharges to consumers in remoter zones, imposed by these transport "giants", loose all significance.
    In Scotland, all mainland addresses outside the central belt face " remote area"surcharges. Often online sales sites will only flag up these charges when the process reaches "check out stage". Generally at this stage, as a consumer, we will quit any potential transaction on which some unreasonable surcharge is to be applied. By then we will have inserted huge quantities of sensitive personal data ) These firms will lose our custom, as this is our only "weapon". It is sinister that We have then had some phone to enquire why we did not complete. On hearing our reason, the staff will claim they are powerless to change their firms courier policy. .

    We live on the mainland, albeit remote. Each weekday couriers representing at least half a dozen large multinational transport concerns will deliver right past our door.The Royal Mail runs these routes too. It is hugely wasteful. Excess charges extracted from a few, sponsor a ridiculously inefficient service. International competition for volume..not service..is driving the "gravy train of charges " ever higher.

    It is clear that Royal Mail management considers that throughout Scotland it suffers from the "penalty"imposed by the USO . Nothing like it applies to the courier firms. It is equally clear that if RM managers wanted the remote area business back, they could assist larger retailers everywhere by not charging ridiculous and off putting fees for collection. Remote areas would see charges drop to standard charge USO figures , and large International forwarding firms would look on as their costly 'money-grabbing' remote area courier agents can no longer afford to operate.
  • One aspect that disproportionately affects Scotland is delivery above the ground floor. More households in Scotland (as a %age) are in flats than in England and Wales, and flats are prevalent in all urban areas, not just major cities.
    67% of private rented properties were flats and 46% were located in large urban areas.

    In the social-rented sector, 56% of properties were flats.

    Scottish Household Survey- Scotland!!!8217;s People Annual Report - 2016

    Many retailers will not deliver above the ground floor, which restricts access to a competitive open market by residents of flats above the ground floor.

    This can adversely affect the local economy as I have had to buy things from England because English retailers will delivery up stairs but local retailers don't.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • Living in IV postcode (which is Inverness - mainland) we regularly are asked to pay ridiculous fees for delivery - examples include an element for a cooker price £5.99 with free delivery in the UK (except Scottish Highlands where they will sting you for £18 delivery). ao.com will "always offer free delivery" but "We may not be able to deliver if you're in the Scottish Highlands or in more remote parts of Scotland. If we can, delivery fees may be higher and will not be eligible for delivery promotions". Sick fed up of national retailers and national couriers deciding which parts of the country are in the nation. The statement of charges can be up to £18.60 on the select committee website is also somewhat light compared to several delivery options I have been offered.
  • edited 1 February 2018 at 6:41AM
    custardycustardy Forumite
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    edited 1 February 2018 at 6:41AM
    upbeat1 wrote: »
    The one safe and reliable method for getting items delivered daily throughout the Highlands is guaranteed under the Universal service obligation (USO) within the Royal Mail service charter.

    Unfortunately a shrinking minority of all firms still use the Royal Mail. This is due to RM's policy of imposing unreasonable charges to collect during postal rounds.
    Rm dont collect during 'postal rounds' for volume customers. Do you think collection costs is the only factor in play here?
    Courier firms throughout UK generally enter long term contracts with large parcel carriers to collect. A big dispatch dept does not have to do any more than pile up items awaiting collection, to consign safely within the network of a huge international concern. Surcharges to consumers in remoter zones, imposed by these transport "giants", loose all significance. So you feel these costs should be absorbed by the company,all customers or.....?
    In Scotland, all mainland addresses outside the central belt face " remote area"surcharges. Often online sales sites will only flag up these charges when the process reaches "check out stage". Generally at this stage, as a consumer, we will quit any potential transaction on which some unreasonable surcharge is to be applied. By then we will have inserted huge quantities of sensitive personal data ) These firms will lose our custom, as this is our only "weapon". It is sinister that We have then had some phone to enquire why we did not complete. On hearing our reason, the staff will claim they are powerless to change their firms courier policy. .
    Huge quantities?
    We live on the mainland, albeit remote. Each weekday couriers representing at least half a dozen large multinational transport concerns will deliver right past our door.The Royal Mail runs these routes too. It is hugely wasteful. Excess charges extracted from a few, sponsor a ridiculously inefficient service. International competition for volume..not service..is driving the "gravy train of charges " ever higher.
    So you are maligning having many options?

    It is clear that Royal Mail management considers that throughout Scotland it suffers from the "penalty"imposed by the USO . Nothing like it applies to the courier firms. It is equally clear that if RM managers wanted the remote area business back, they could assist larger retailers everywhere by not charging ridiculous and off putting fees for collection. Remote areas would see charges drop to standard charge USO figures , and large International forwarding firms would look on as their costly 'money-grabbing' remote area courier agents can no longer afford to operate.

    do they 'want' the remote business? How do these fees impact remote areas vs the rest of the UK? Unless you are telling us RM charge more to collect items going to areas such as the Highlands?
    you feel collection costs are an issue but delivery cost/surcharges can simply be absorbed?
    Look at Next,order up to Midnight for next day delivery. Do you see them using RM for that service? By midnight all of RMs traffic has been collected and is on route through the network.
  • Custardy.

    My post was for this review. It is not a forum discussion point.

    Vans travel to every destination in Scotland as required by the USO. people acoss the Highlands are now being required to sponsor a delievery option that firms do not want to run. Placing a charge figure apparently "plucked from the Sky" for some deliveries -or refusing them altogether means that only a small % of potential business is being transported by each courier van on each route. On the same day duplicating other courier vans on the same poorly supported route. Highlanders are being asked to pay for this inefficiency. An efficient method whereby one van collects the lot for each route from a central hub is the only way to resolve this.

    I was in this business for decades.
  • custardycustardy Forumite
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    upbeat1 wrote: »
    Custardy.

    My post was for this review. It is not a forum discussion point.

    Vans travel to every destination in Scotland as required by the USO. people acoss the Highlands are now being required to sponsor a delievery option that firms do not want to run. Placing a charge figure apparently "plucked from the Sky" for some deliveries -or refusing them altogether means that only a small % of potential business is being transported by each courier van on each route. On the same day duplicating other courier vans on the same poorly supported route. Highlanders are being asked to pay for this inefficiency. An efficient method whereby one van collects the lot for each route from a central hub is the only way to resolve this.

    I was in this business for decades.

    So is your post fact or opinion? You post as fact but your final line makes it seem like opinion.
    If its not a forum discussion point,then I kindly suggest you don't post on an open forum.
    How do you deem to decide which private firms gets the contract for the Highlands since you feel there are too many?
    You talk of inefficiency,by its nature compact highly populated areas provide the best bang for buck on deliveries regardless of carrier.

    People who are affected by these geographical issues often seem to come back with any additional fees are bad and it simply shouldn't be.
    Thats not really realistic is the grand scheme of businesses.
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