Today, on Scotland’s first Fair Delivery Day, the SNP Government has launched its ‘Fairer Deliveries for All’ action plan, enabling consumers to see whether they are paying over the odds for parcel delivery and avoid traders profiting through unfair means.
The action plan is the direct result of a roundtable event held by the SNP Government in June 2018 and attended by parcel delivery companies, businesses, consumer groups and regulatory bodies.
The power to regulate parcel delivery surcharging is reserved to the UK Government; however, as it has taken no decisive action, the SNP Government is left to do whatever it can to at least help consumers recognise and avoid these excessive and discriminatory charges.
The crowdsourcing website Parcel Delivery Charges in Scotland – A fairer deal? hosted by Resolver, will capture consumer experiences and lead on to the development of the Scottish Parcel Delivery Map. This publicly available map will allow the tracking of discrepancies between and within geographic areas. It will help regulators, consumers and retailers to pinpoint and target unjustified pricing.
Launched on Scotland's first ever Fair Delivery Day, coinciding with Cyber Monday, the plan has eight actions to help rural communities and businesses understand their rights when it comes to parcel delivery. These include:
A crowdsourcing website where customer experiences of unfair deliveries can be shared.
Developing a fair delivery charges map where consumers will be able to compare and track delivery costs.
Improving the accuracy of postcode classification tools by the end of 2019, to stop accessible locations being mistakenly categorised as rural or remote.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Works and Skills, said:
"Unfair delivery practices are not only frustrating and discriminatory for consumers, they are a barrier to small businesses operating in rural and remote areas.
"We have long called for an end to unfair delivery charges. This action plan reinforces our commitment to ensure the delivery market works for people across Scotland irrespective of where they live. It will empower online shoppers to recognise and act upon unfair or misleading delivery costs.
"We will continue to call on the UK Government to take action as only they have the power to regulate parcel deliveries."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“It is time for companies to stop misleading consumers and we want everyone to review their delivery surcharges to make them fair, transparent and consistent.”
“Sadly, plenty of companies still advertise free delivery while in reality, they do apply quite hefty delivery charges across rural and island communities.
“I don’t want people on the Isle of Arran and Cumbrae to fall prey to these ridiculous charges and think this tool will be very useful to help them avoid this.”