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    • UKParliament
      Verified User verified user
    • By UKParliament Verified User verified user 31st Jan 18, 7:28 AM
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    UKParliament
    Delivery fees in Scotland: tell MPs your stories
    • #1
    • 31st Jan 18, 7:28 AM
    Delivery fees in Scotland: tell MPs your stories 31st Jan 18 at 7:28 AM

    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 donít want to contribute on the forum, you can submit through the Committeeís website.

    You can visit the Committee website, or follow the Committee Twitter account @CommonsScotAffs, for more information.
    Official Organisation Representative
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Page 1
    • grunnie
    • By grunnie 31st Jan 18, 8:04 AM
    • 1,746 Posts
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    grunnie
    • #2
    • 31st Jan 18, 8:04 AM
    • #2
    • 31st Jan 18, 8:04 AM
    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)
    • findochtywifie
    • By findochtywifie 31st Jan 18, 12:51 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    findochtywifie
    • #3
    • 31st Jan 18, 12:51 PM
    A tale of 2 toilet seats
    • #3
    • 31st Jan 18, 12:51 PM
    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.
    • carriebradshaw
    • By carriebradshaw 31st Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 3,558 Thanks
    carriebradshaw
    • #4
    • 31st Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    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
    • jorr
    • By jorr 31st Jan 18, 4:28 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jorr
    • #5
    • 31st Jan 18, 4:28 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Jan 18, 4:28 PM
    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.)
    • upbeat1
    • By upbeat1 31st Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    upbeat1
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    Highland Deliveries
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    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.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 31st Jan 18, 7:01 PM
    • 10,086 Posts
    • 12,663 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 18, 7:01 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 18, 7:01 PM
    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.
    • Davar
    • By Davar 31st Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Davar
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 18, 9:15 PM
    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.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 1st Feb 18, 4:18 AM
    • 34,830 Posts
    • 29,529 Thanks
    custardy
    • #9
    • 1st Feb 18, 4:18 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Feb 18, 4:18 AM
    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.
    Originally posted by upbeat1
    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.
    Last edited by custardy; 01-02-2018 at 4:41 AM.
    • upbeat1
    • By upbeat1 1st Feb 18, 7:14 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    upbeat1
    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.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 1st Feb 18, 7:33 AM
    • 34,830 Posts
    • 29,529 Thanks
    custardy
    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.
    Originally posted by upbeat1
    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.
    • SJW11
    • By SJW11 1st Feb 18, 12:16 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    SJW11
    Limit couriers to the same rules as Royal Mail
    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
    • By custardy 1st Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    • 34,830 Posts
    • 29,529 Thanks
    custardy
    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.
    Originally posted by SJW11
    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
    • By Gers 2nd Feb 18, 7:59 AM
    • 7,699 Posts
    • 52,526 Thanks
    Gers
    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.
    Last edited by Gers; 03-02-2018 at 8:32 AM.
    • Thoughts123
    • By Thoughts123 3rd Feb 18, 10:43 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Thoughts123
    Invernesss City Centre
    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 couldnít 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 donít 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 couldnít deliver to the Highlands.

    If you go onto eBay, there are some items for sale from UK sellers showing ĎDoesnít deliver to United Kingdomí 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 itís 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 isnít Ďfreeí)

    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.

    Itís 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.
    • carriebradshaw
    • By carriebradshaw 7th Feb 18, 1:37 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 3,558 Thanks
    carriebradshaw
    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.
    • HughMar
    • By HughMar 15th Feb 18, 12:05 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    HughMar
    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.
    • Colinsouter
    • By Colinsouter 19th Feb 18, 7:27 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Colinsouter
    Sheer exploitation?
    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 doesnít 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 TVís 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 ARENíT 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
    • By custardy 20th Feb 18, 6:41 AM
    • 34,830 Posts
    • 29,529 Thanks
    custardy
    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 doesnít 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 TVís 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 ARENíT 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?
    Originally posted by Colinsouter
    Is Amazon Prime now free?
    • molerat
    • By molerat 20th Feb 18, 11:54 AM
    • 21,375 Posts
    • 15,633 Thanks
    molerat
    Is Amazon Prime now free?
    Originally posted by custardy
    No, but it is the same price wherever you live.
    Last edited by molerat; 20-02-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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