The annual cost of extra delivery fees paid by Scottish consumers has reached £40 million for the first time, according to new figures.
For years, Scottish shoppers have regularly been forced to deal with extra delivery surcharges for their purchases – often despite products advertised as free delivery to the UK mainland.
However, residents of many communities in regions like the Highlands and Moray are still hit by the additional costs.
In 2017, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) calculated the yearly cost of delivery surcharges in Scotland was £36.3 million.
But now, new analysis by Spice has shown that Scottish shoppers are currently paying around £40.1 million a year in additional fees relative to the rest of the UK.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has campaigned against the practice in recent years and called for major retailers and online shopping outlets to offer the same services to Scottish residents that they offer elsewhere.
He said: “Scottish shoppers shouldn’t face additional added fees simply because of their postcode.
“It is enormously frustrating that people across Scotland have to shell out tens of millions in hidden fees and extra surcharges.
“There’s an added insult when we’re told that shoppers in Moray and Inverness are told they aren’t even on the ‘mainland’.
“The SNP will demand that the next UK government finally regulate these fees, and stop shoppers from being hit by ever-rising bills.”
Douglas Ross, Tory candidate for the Moray seat in Westminster has also spoken out against the charges.
He added: “Progress in the past year has been slow, but Westminster has heard this subject being debated by MPs from across the parties.
“The consumer protection partnership, headed by the UK Government, set out its progress on dealing with the industry over the summer.
“The Advertising Standards Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority are now issuing enforcement notices to firms which advertise free mainland delivery, but really don’t.
“But more needs to be done to make couriers and retailers realise their practices are unfair.
“There is no doubt that the next government will continue that progress.”