Battle against inflated delivery charges is providing results

Moray’s Trading Standards office will be taking part in moves to challenge excessive delivery charges levied by online retailers to addresses in the North of Scotland.

Progress in attempts to halt the practice of adding punitive additional charges for deliveries to Moray and the Highlands and Islands have been revealed by Highland Council, where Trading Standards say they have made ‘significant progress’ in reversing the trend.

A report placed before the Council’s Transport, Environment and Community Services Committee says that the Highland team was at the ‘cutting edge’ of internet retail investigation.

The Highlands team has been working alongside the Scottish Government and Consumer Futures, with the result that many companies have now reduced or completely removed surcharges.

Highlands Trading Standards conducted extensive discussions with a wide range of business from large multi-nationals to small micro-businesses.

In addition to bringing these businesses into compliance with the law, the investigations undertaken provided an invaluable insight into the issues, including the behaviour of some carriers, which has helped to inform the discussions now going on at a national level.

Trading Standards Officers in the Highlands say that the next step is to work with a consortium of North of Scotland local authorities, including Moray Council, towards a conclusion of their enforcement activity, generated from data obtained through Citizens Advice Scotland.

Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry, said: “Internet delivery charges remain a significant issue for the people of the Highlands and Islands.

“I am delighted that the work of Highland Trading Standards is continuing to challenge companies. Their efforts have made a difference with a number of businesses being shown up for their extra charges. I would urge Highland and our partners to keep up the good work, apply more pressure as it is making a difference.”

Have you had a bad – or good – experience on delivery charges from online retailers? insideMoray is seeking to build a database of companies that provide a fair online service, so we would like to hear your experiences – email [email protected].