Delivery fees in Scotland: tell MPs your stories

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  • Delivery charges are not transparent for Aberdeen & further North. You don't know how much you will pay (or how long it will take) until the last step in the checkout process. And as for "Free standard delivery to UK mainland" with a picture of the UK map with North Scotland crossed out is just infuriating!


    A lot of the time businesses/companies are using couriers who charge extortionate rates for delivery in Scotland, where the same service would cost a fraction of the price with royal mail (& others). Many businesses are unwilling to send anything with anyone other than the courier they already have a 'deal' with.


    The rules that limit royal mail's ability to charge more than a flat rate across the UK should be applied to all postage and courier companies to make it a fair playing field and ensure that small business in Scotland can thrive.
  • custardy
    custardy Posts: 38,365 Forumite
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    SJW11 wrote: »
    Delivery charges are not transparent for Aberdeen & further North. You don't know how much you will pay (or how long it will take) until the last step in the checkout process. And as for "Free standard delivery to UK mainland" with a picture of the UK map with North Scotland crossed out is just infuriating!


    A lot of the time businesses/companies are using couriers who charge extortionate rates for delivery in Scotland, where the same service would cost a fraction of the price with royal mail (& others). Many businesses are unwilling to send anything with anyone other than the courier they already have a 'deal' with.


    The rules that limit royal mail's ability to charge more than a flat rate across the UK should be applied to all postage and courier companies to make it a fair playing field and ensure that small business in Scotland can thrive.

    So again. You feel others should pay for more remote deliveries,or do you feel courier companies will simply keep prices flat and absorb the more expensive delivery areas?

    you are being given an arena for ideas. Wanting couriers held to a USO isnt feasible at a time when RM are likely to be looking to amend/remove that same thing very soon.
  • Gers
    Gers Posts: 12,010 Forumite
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    edited 3 February 2018 at 10:32AM
    I live in mid -Argyll. Not the Highlands (apart from NHS trust), not !!!8216; Glasgow and West!!!8217; (apart from the BBC website) and with a Paisley postcode. Why? No idea, not part of Paisley, in a different county and different parliamentary constituency (for both).

    The PA31 postcode brings with it additional delivery charges from many companies which use services other than Royal Mail ranging from £5.00 standard surcharge to higher costs which make the purchase a stupid decision.

    One company in London wanted to charge me an extra £10.00 for an item priced at £3.50 and which could fit in a small padded envelope and sent via RM.

    ETA - our local couriers don!!!8217;t deliver on Saturdays either. And !!!8216;normal!!!8217; stuff sometimes takes an extra day. We!!!8217;re only 90 miles from Glasgow, however because of there being only one road we have to travel about 35 north before being able to actually head south.
  • We have parcels delivered for both our small business and for our own personal purchases, many items we have to order for business use are small parts for maintenance repairs and not available from local wholesalers / shops, the parts are often small packet size, often you have trawled online shops for some time to find the part required, you find a company and check their delivery charges, they state free uk mainland delivery, you set up the order and go through filling in company and Delivery etc. details as well as often having to set up an account, then reach the end to be met with a message saying the postcode is deemed Highlands & Islands and a surcharge is applicable. A small selection of examples for surcharges we have experienced are:

    Order cost: £10.25, Highlands Delivery surcharge: £25.00
    Order cost: £367.00, company stated orders over £250.00 will get free delivery to UK, Delivery to Inverness surcharge: £10.20 (not huge but not the point!)
    Order cost: £79.00, Islands Delivery surcharge: £35.00 - we really needed this item and couldn’t source it from anywhere else at that time, in an attempt to cut out the Delivery surcharge we checked what Delivery would be to a friends address in Aberdeen, to their work address AB22 in North Aberdeen, they too were an Islands surcharge, reduced to £25.00, Delivery to their home address AB16 free Delivery, a ten minute drive from the AB22 address...

    The worst we have experienced all too often is our order has been cancelled by the company we have ordered from, they have sent us an email to say the order was cancelled as we don’t deliver to the Highlands, or worse we had to contact them to query why the order was cancelled and they then advised it was as they couldn’t deliver to the Highlands.

    If you go onto eBay, there are some items for sale from UK sellers showing ‘Doesn’t deliver to United Kingdom’ because the selected delivery postcode is IV3. That really makes us laugh with maddening frustration - it truly says it all!

    It is not only extremely frustrating on a personal basis, for a business basis it’s a nightmare, you have to either advise your customer the parts they require are going to come with a high surcharge, try to work around the Delivery surcharge by having items delivered free to contacts lower down the UK who then post the item up via Royal Mail for a fraction of the cost (this causes time delays and often our customers need their items working ASAP and/or cannot afford to buy brand new replacements, which also defeats the reduce waste society the government are trying to encourage, it also means Delivery still isn’t ‘free’)

    In some cases even the wholesalers have to get items delivered to their Scottish Lowland / English branches and then transferred up via their internal delivery vans.

    It’s not always English companies either, we had a company in Livingstone who wanted to charge a £15.00 surcharge for Delivery to IV3, but Delivery to IV2 was free and Ikea based in Edinburgh charge high surcharges for Delivery to Inverness.

    Hopefully this information will assist with the investigation.
  • I too have suffered order cancellations, they say you haven't been charged..... but very often you have a 10 day wait to get your money back so you can try and get what you want elsewhere, this was particularly difficult for us last year trying to buy a new mattress.Companies often don't put anything about the surcharges or non-delivery on their website they promise UK wide and only let you know it's not coming when you're chasing your order up to see where it's got to! It's frustrating and a massive waste of time when it keeps on happening.
  • I can understand the need to charge more for extra distance if it costs more but this is not always the case and certainly not to the amount being charged. Companies in Scotland charging more to deliver to the Highlands than to the South of England because the couriers stick a blanket automatic surcharge on anything within a certain postcode range. When extra fees are spelled out they're often far too high in an apparent attempt to discourage business.
    It's not always a matter of extra fees either but outright refusal to deal, the infamous eBay "Seller does not post to Scottish Highlands" or "Does not post to United Kingdom" messages that do not appear if you live elsewhere. I've seen a seller in Glasgow happy to deal with friends in Birmingham and London but refusing to sell to Inverness which is hundreds of miles closer because of the extra fees 'he' has to pay.
  • I live just 16 miles from the city of Inverness in a small town on an A class trunk road. Yet somehow that seems, in some quarters, to equate with living offshore on a distant island. In common with many other consumers, I buy off the internet, looking for the best deals. On some occasions, I find good deals, only to be met with disappointment when it comes to delivery.
    A raft of remote island postcodes can be listed and there in amongst them for some inexplicable reason, comes IV12. As a consequence, the delivery costs can end up being more than the item being purchased, IF they will deliver at all..... And yet, Amazon Prime doesn’t seem to suffer the same problem. They obviously contract and subcontract to local delivery agents and STILL manage to get parcel goods to me within 24 hours of placing my order and sometimes less. If they can do it, and at no extra cost, then there is no good reason for delivery here being refused or customers being penalised by an excessive additional premium.....sometimes around £50 extra and more for large items.....!
    Groupon, which offers online deals is worth a mention for its failings. Twice, I have ordered TV’s from them, only to then find my order cancelled by them, refusing to deliver to such a remote mainland location.
    Of course the main point is we AREN’T remote here but then it does make you wonder, in this country where we are told such burdens are shared across the broad shoulders of the entire U.K., as a benefit of our Union, did someone happen to miss that Memo?
  • custardy
    custardy Posts: 38,365 Forumite
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    I live just 16 miles from the city of Inverness in a small town on an A class trunk road. Yet somehow that seems, in some quarters, to equate with living offshore on a distant island. In common with many other consumers, I buy off the internet, looking for the best deals. On some occasions, I find good deals, only to be met with disappointment when it comes to delivery.
    A raft of remote island postcodes can be listed and there in amongst them for some inexplicable reason, comes IV12. As a consequence, the delivery costs can end up being more than the item being purchased, IF they will deliver at all..... And yet, Amazon Prime doesn’t seem to suffer the same problem. They obviously contract and subcontract to local delivery agents and STILL manage to get parcel goods to me within 24 hours of placing my order and sometimes less. If they can do it, and at no extra cost, then there is no good reason for delivery here being refused or customers being penalised by an excessive additional premium.....sometimes around £50 extra and more for large items.....!
    Groupon, which offers online deals is worth a mention for its failings. Twice, I have ordered TV’s from them, only to then find my order cancelled by them, refusing to deliver to such a remote mainland location.
    Of course the main point is we AREN’T remote here but then it does make you wonder, in this country where we are told such burdens are shared across the broad shoulders of the entire U.K., as a benefit of our Union, did someone happen to miss that Memo?

    Is Amazon Prime now free?
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,808 Forumite
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    edited 20 February 2018 at 2:03PM
    custardy wrote: »
    Is Amazon Prime now free?
    No, but it is the same price wherever you live.
  • custardy
    custardy Posts: 38,365 Forumite
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    edited 20 February 2018 at 2:28PM
    molerat wrote: »
    No, but it is the same price wherever you live.

    Yes it is,but not at no extra cost. Prime items often carry a higher price tag than non Prime sellers. On top of the fee.
    So the cost is being offset against all customers.lets not pretend Amazon do its out of their warm giving nature.
    I assume that fine?
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