Scottish people are getting ripped off on delivery charges

13 September 2013

post officeWe seem to have a lot of Scottish readers here at Bitterwallet. We don’t know if it’s because they are particularly keen to save money, whether it’s the Tennent’s, or whether Scottish people are just that bit more erudite than your average web-browser. In any case, they will be pleased to know that someone is standing up for Scots who are getting ripped off on delivery charges.

MP Sir Robert Smith, a Lib Dem no less, has introduced a new bill into Parliament. Coming off the back of the Scottish CAB’s report, The Postcode Penalty, the draft bill aims to go some way towards levelling the playing field on punitive delivery charges levied on up to 1 million Scottish inhabitants.

Many retailers have argued that it costs more to deliver items to the more remote areas of Scotland, like the Highlands and Islands, as there might be just one to deliver, as opposed to a number that can all be dished out in a city elsewhere in the UK. However, much of Aberdeenshire (Aberdeen being the third largest city in Scotland and larger in population terms than Oxford, Cambridge or Preston) is also lumped into the penalty area delivery drivers dare not tread. The CAS report found that Moray, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire are also often lumped into the expensive delivery area.

The Scottish CAB report claimed Scottish people were being "routinely ripped off" by unfair delivery charges, with those living in Scotland's island communities paying nearly £18.60 extra on average to have goods they bought online delivered, representing a 500% mark up on the standard delivery price. Customers in the Highlands were charged an average £15 extra.

Of the 534 retailers whose policies were investigated, 335 charged extra for delivery to certain parts of the UK, with 55% of retailers who did restrict the areas of the UK to which they would deliver at all, refusing to deliver goods to any Scottish islands.

The bill would make it compulsory for websites to declare the presence of surcharges before consumers even start to browse.

Interestingly, however, 69% of retailers investigated by CAS did not offer delivery by Royal Mail. Royal Mail, of course, is bound by a universal service obligation, which means that delivery anywhere in the UK will cost the same. In light of yesterday’s privatisation announcement, the Government is adamant that the universal service will remain, to ensure communities like those in rural Scotland, Wales and Cornwall are not disproportionately affected. However, given the obligation clearly makes Royal Mail less competitive, can the Government really impose punitive terms on a private, profit-making company it no longer owns? Or will postage costs for people in the farthest corners of the UK just get even worse...


  • badger
    *SHOCK EXCLUSIVE* Increased cost passed onto the people who incurred it. Next story please.
  • Chewbacca
    *SHOCK EXCLUSIVE* First poster is a moron. The fucking moron.
  • jim
    further shock: "Tennent's" mentioned in article and no one has mentioned the spelling or flexing with the lovely erb
  • Joulupukki
    Love the 'Feral Trolley'! I can't wait for next week's!
  • LD
    Ebuyer are the WORST example. No stars. And as their Northern Irish customers only know too well too .... Here's an example for you from the website today 'Logitech MK120 Wired Slim Keyboard and Optical Mouse! @ £13.50, cheapest delivery Price: £8.00, for Wedneday delivery Total £21.49 & another 'Hitachi 500GB TOURO MOBILE' portable external hard drive £40.03 + the £8.00 and Wednesday again. Their unavailable 'Supersaver' is only £4.18. Filled in countless surveys for them asking why they don't use Royal Mail - with no courtesy of a reply either. The currently the best supplier by a mile is CPC - usually free & NEXT DAY, if ordered online before say 14:00. 5 stars. Recently included one of their HUGE, heavy catalogue's as a freebie too. And if Amazon can do free via Royal Mail why not the rest??? ps WRONG badger- ever heard of the Royal Mail's Universal Service obligation?
  • Grammar N.
    Shock exclusive - people in the Highlands have the internet!
  • LD
    Aye and FTTC by the end of the year ...
  • Me
    *SHOCK EXCLUSIVE* Chewbacca is a...
  • Han
  • Cheesey
    Not sure what the problem is. Most e-tailers don't use Royal Mail because of the stupid rules on weight and size and prohibitive cost on anything bigger or heavier than average. It's simple logisitics. Most deliveries can be made from South to Mid Englandshire to Wales/Cornwall and most of the UK in one hit - that is one shift of your average HGV driver driving 8-10 hours depending on his tacho. Therefore only most of Southern Scotlandshire can be reached. Anything North of the Glasgow=Edinburgh corridor needs an additional driver/HGV/fuel so it's fair the cost is passed onto them.
  • What T.
    *YET ANOTHER SHOCK* BW's article writers mention a popular (although fucking godawful) lager in their article as a direct reaction to a popular commenter's comments on the brand. Let's face it, only a fucking moron would call it Tennant's. Then again, that's exactly what happened on here a few months ago. There was this pathetic excuse for a human being who argued that it most definitely was "Tennant's", even in the face of overwhelming evidence. That's the measure of some people, they're just too stupid to understand when they're wrong. The fucking Tennant's drinkers.
  • Princess L.
    "popular commenter"? Those aren't the words you're looking for.
  • Crabby M.
    I'm fuckin' araldite, I am.
  • What T.
    @Princess Leia Your snatch is hairier than my face. You fishy bitch. And at least I always comment under the same name, unlike you, you fucking spineless Tennant's drinker.
  • Chewbacca
    @PrancerChancer You're a fucking wank. What's your point? You fucking moron.
  • Chewbacca's m.
    All that methadone is very expensive to post. That is all.

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