A Renfrewshire councillor has hit out at firms who charge excessive delivery surcharges to Scottish consumers, with one company charging an additional £25 – £40 in Renfrewshire, but free delivery in Glasgow.
Kenny MacLaren, SNP councillor for Paisley Northwest is highlighting a new report from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre which highlights that Scottish shoppers are forced to pay out an extra £38.1 million each year in delivery surcharges.
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead launched his Fair Delivery Charges campaign over a year ago to target online retailers who apply excessive delivery surcharges to Scottish consumers. The campaign has received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament and has been backed by online retailers such as eBay.
The Advertising Standards Authority has also investigated a dossier of over 200 companies referred by Mr Lochhead.
Cllr Maclaren, said: “It’s not just people who stay in the Highlands and Islands who suffer from extortionate delivery charges, some companies target Paisley residents as well.
“Richard Lochhead MSP has done a tremendous amount of work in highlighting the unfair delivery charges faced by many people in Scotland, including areas such as Paisley.”
One company charges an additional £25 – £40 in Renfrewshire with PA postcodes listed as an extended area.
Kenny added: “For instance, the online retailer Wayfair.co.uk offer free delivery to most of mainland Britain but Paisley is listed in its ‘extended areas’ which incur an additional £25 – £40 delivery charge.
“This is bizarre as deliveries are free to Glasgow even though most of the goods from this company would have to drive through the M8 in Renfrewshire to get to Glasgow!
Maclaren told Renfrewshire News there appears to be a postcode penalty paid by Scottish households and businesses and not just in rural areas.
He added: “Having to pay extra delivery charges can really hit families in the pocket, especially when buying Christmas presents for friends and family.
“It is time for the UK Government, who hold responsibility for regulation, to consider what more can be done, otherwise more Christmases will come and go with Scotland’s delivery surcharge bill just getting higher and higher.”
A spokesperson for Wayfair, said: “We are committed to Scotland and are doing our best to drive down costs to consumers there. Our goal is to ship quickly and inexpensively or at no additional charge to consumers in Scotland.
“Most of our deliveries to Scotland are free; Wayfair bears all or part of the cost of surcharges on virtually all large parcel deliveries in Scotland; we are cheaper than our competitors; and we do our best to make our pricing transparent.
“It’s important to note that as a seller of home goods and home décor, our large parcel items are in fact very large as they include products such as sofas, tables and desks. Even so, regardless of the cost to Wayfair, large parcel shipments to Scotland (besides the postal codes that have no surcharge) cost our customers a flat fee of £25 (one-person delivery) or £40 (two-person delivery). This is very low relative to other retailers. In fact, our large parcel surcharge to customers is typically lower than what Wayfair pays its couriers. We do our best to explain our shipping policy clearly and transparently so that consumers in Scotland will not be surprised by any delivery surcharge.
“Customers in Scotland living where there is a shipping surcharge order from Wayfair at a higher rate than customers where there is no surcharge; we believe this is because our shipping costs are reasonable and better than competitors.”
Photo: A screenshot of wayfair.co.uk website