Residents across the Highland region have experienced unfair delivery surcharges for a number of years.
Now the Highland Council, with the backing of the Scottish and UK Governments, have launched a one-stop website aimed at addressing consumers’ concerns.
The website, www.deliverylaw.uk, has been funded by Trading Standards Scotland, on the back of a UK wide investigation by the Consumer Protection Partnership.
Consumers can access information related to blanket claims such as free UK delivery promotions, where many consumers are actually excluded, along with advice on how to complain if surcharges are added at the end of the online buying process.
David MacKenzie, Highland Council Trading Standards manager, said: “We have received complaints for a number of years and we have had a lot of success dealing with websites to bring them in line and change surcharges.
“However, we can’t police the whole internet and we have been pushing for this to be accepted UK wide with the support of both governments, giving this initiative credibility across the UK.
“We think that this new website will make an important contribution to ensure that internet shoppers are treated fairly on parcel delivery.”
A campaign was launched by Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray, to draw attention to the unfair charges experienced by residents in the north of Scotland and call for fairer delivery charges to be implemented across the board.
Mr Lochhead said: “I warmly welcome the Highland Council’s initiative to provide a one-stop shop for customers and businesses throughout the Highlands, as the region is the hardest hit when absurd third party charges are implemented.
“My campaign has revealed hundreds of cases from across the Highlands and north of Scotland of sky high surcharges that are applied without any rhyme or reason and I will be urging the public to use this new website to seek advice on how to complain.”
The website is to be maintained by the Highland Council’s Trading Standards team. However, will remain fully funded by Trading Standards Scotland.
Drew Hendry MP said: “This new website has the support of the Scottish Government, the UK Government, Trading Standards and other organisations so we now have an official approach which is very welcomed.”