Backing for fairer delivery charges petition
A petition which seeks to stop retailers discriminating against the islands by charging excessive postage fees has gained local support from MSP Tavish Scott.
Mr Scott said the petition highlighted “the need for a better, affordable service that local people can use”.
He added: “many courier companies either will not deliver to Shetland or cost a fortune.”
The petition – created by Isle of Wight resident Matthew Smith – aims to amend this perceived injustice by proposing that legislation be introduced to ensure that delivery cannot be refused to island residents ordering goods without considering all the postal and courier services available to the vendor.
They also ask that in the process of purchasing products any necessary additional postage charges be stated clearly at the soonest possible stage.
When there are deemed to be ‘necessary’ costs the vendor would also be expected to provide evidence for the cost of postal delivery.
Concessions will be made in certain situations such as for vendors delivering perishable groceries or takeaway food services or in the unlikely circumstance that a postal service is not available to the specified address.
The UK-wide petition comes after the Scottish government’s business minister Fergus Ewing claimed, in early November, that consumers and businesses in rural Scotland are being put at a disadvantage by unfair delivery costs applied to online purchases.
His statement followed in the wake of a report by Citizens Advice Scotland titled The Postcode Penalty: The Distance Travelled.
Mr Ewing pointed out that the report showed, “where [geographical] surcharges are applied, such charges are now higher than they were three years ago, despite average delivery charges falling in real terms.”