A retail pharmacy chain has slashed its delivery costs following a row about the price of posting a mobility scooter to a terminally-ill Moray woman.
Robert Boyle bought the device for his wife, Jean, but was shocked when Lloyds Pharmacy charged him an extra £50 to have it sent to their home in Keith.
The firm advertised “free UK delivery”, but excluded the Highlands and islands from that – and assumed Mr Boyle was resident there because of his postcode.
If the couple had lived less than 10 miles away, in Aberdeenshire, the postage would have cost nothing.
Mr Boyle blasted the fee as “entirely ridiculous” and politicians accused the company of “discriminating against” customers in the north.
In the aftermath of the huge public backlash, Lloyds pledged to review its policy on delivery charges.
And yesterday, a spokeswoman for the firm confirmed that drastic changes had been made to ensure the system is fairer.
She said: “We appreciate this being brought to our attention and we have been speaking to our customer in Moray, who is satisfied with the outcome.
“We recognise that our delivery charges weren’t as clear as they could have been.
“Our policy has been reviewed and we will make our delivery charges clearer on all communications including our website.
“We are pleased to say that all customers within Scotland, excluding islands, will now benefit from free standard delivery on orders over £40.”
Moray MSP, Richard Lochhead, has been crusading for a national review of delivery charges and has arranged for a parliamentary debate on the matter to take place in the near future.
Yesterday, he hailed Lloyds’ turnaround as a “breakthrough”, and suggested it could encourage other firms to follow its example.
Mr Lochhead said: “This really is a victory for fairness.
“That Lloyds Pharmacy will now treat customers with AB and IV postcodes equally is a breakthrough for Moray, and I would urge all companies to review their policies to ensure they aren’t ripping off folk in the north of Scotland.
“Unfair delivery charges are a huge issue in Moray, and something that the vast majority of us have experienced.”
In December, Halfords reduced delivery charges for Moray and the Highlands to £3 following criticism for charging a Speyside couple £50 to have car towels worth £5.99 delivered.