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MSP calls for end to "postcode lottery" on delivery fees with Highlanders hit hard in the pocket at Christmas


By Alasdair Fraser

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Sonya Hayward, fair delivery campaign coordinator for Moray Citizens Advice Bureau with Moray MSP Richard Lochhead as they launch their new campaign against unfair postal charges...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Sonya Hayward, fair delivery campaign coordinator for Moray Citizens Advice Bureau with Moray MSP Richard Lochhead as they launch their new campaign against unfair postal charges...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

People in the Highlands are stumping up on average an extra £61 on Christmas shopping through extortionate delivery charges.

The “postcode lottery” was highlighted in research by the Scottish National Party comparing the cost of extra Christmas postage fees to Moray as compared to Surrey in the south of England.

The study found companies were charging extra to deliver to Highlands and Islands postcodes for the following Christmas gifts:

Hamleys charged £10 extra delivery on Lego Star Wars, which was free to Surrey.

Gin Box Shop added £8 to a bottle of SipSmith gin, but offered free delivery to Surrey.

Converse trainers cost an extra £15, while 2021 Collins diaries were £11.95 more expensive from Ryman to deliver to the Highlands, but just £3.95 more expensive with delivery to Surrey.

A 2021 calendar from the National Railways Museum cost an extra £4 for express delivery to the Scottish Highlands, while a laptop from Box.co.uk was free for delivery to Surrey, but £14.95 for delivery to the Highlands.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) produced a report that found people in Inverness, in total, paid an extra £7m in delivery charges, with people across Scotland forking out a total of £43m in additional delivery charges.

Richard Lochhead, SNP MSP for Moray, has led the campaign to end unfair delivery charges and has been contacted by constituents charged ridiculous prices to have gifts delivered.

Mr Lochhead said: “Christmas this year will be tough enough for many families without having unfair delivery charges slapped on them as well, piling up the cost of Christmas.

“This year, more than ever, people have relied on online shopping to keep themselves and their families safe, but they should not be penalised because of where they live.

“Since I started my campaign some companies have recognised the unfairness of these charges, but as we can see many still continue to put the people in my constituency and other areas of the Highlands at a disadvantage by charging these costs.

“I know this has been a difficult year for retailers, but consumers should not be punished as a result.

“I would urge any businesses who continue to implement these unfair charges to bring them to an end.”


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