A luxury online store has been criticised by the UK’s advertising regulator for claiming it delivered “anywhere” – while ruling out sending items to the islands.
A group of unnamed islanders complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that a claim by ACHICA that it would “deliver anywhere” was misleading because some large items were excluded from delivery to non-mainland addresses.
The company said while it delivered most products to Shetland, very large items such as dining room tables, were excluded because they required two delivery workers, making the transport costs prohibitive.
But the ASA has upheld the islanders’ complaint – much to the delight of Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, who with northern isles MP Alistair Carmichael has been campaigning against exorbitant delivery charges to the islands.
Mr Scott said: “This ASA ruling will ensure delivery conditions must be clear. That is good news for Shetland as too many advertisements claim free delivery and the true cost is either hidden or in the very small print.
“Although the principal problem of products not being delivered to Shetland still remains, this decision serves to highlight the frustration many online shoppers in the northern isles feel when hidden delivery restrictions and charges prohibit them from ordering certain products.
“It also underlines the importance of the best practice rules recently introduced by my Lib Dem colleagues in Westminster which aim to tackle the ridiculous delivery charges faced by shoppers in remote parts of the UK.
“Under these new rules, internet retailers, couriers and delivery firms will have to make sure their pricing policies do not discriminate against customers on the basis of their location.”