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Minister for Business confident delivery firms will fall in line

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn.
Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn.

As the festive season approaches, present buying is, or soon will be, at the forefront of our minds.

With more and more of us opting to go online to get our gifts, it remains a concern that there is still a difference in how parcels are delivered in rural and remote areas of Scotland.

Whether it is sending presents to loved ones, making sure we get the newest device as soon as it comes out, or securing the supplies to run a successful small business, people in all areas of Scotland deserve to pay a reasonable rate to have their parcels delivered.

More than that, they have a right to know before they decide to buy what their delivery choices are.

Unfortunately, there are many examples where the charges for delivery are excessive or even where delivery is unfairly refused.

Not only are these practices frustrating and discriminatory for consumers, they act as a barrier to small businesses operating in rural and remote areas. This cannot continue.

While the power to regulate parcel delivery surcharging is reserved to the UK Government, the Scottish Government has long called for an end to unfair delivery charges, and we will continue to do everything in our power to encourage positive change.

That is why today, on Cyber Monday, we are launching an action plan as part of Scotland’s first ever Fair Delivery Day, to reinforce our commitment to making the parcel delivery market work for everyone.

Setting out a series of actions, ‘Fairer Deliveries for All’ is designed to make the market more transparent and ultimately to help online shoppers to recognise and act upon unfair or misleading delivery costs.

While I recognise that the majority of businesses want to treat their consumers well, I hope these actions, in time, make it easier for consumers to avoid traders that seek to profit through unfair means.

Just as collaboration has helped us develop these actions, so too must it help us deliver them.

We need, and I am confident we will receive, genuine commitment from all those with a part to play.

Together, I believe we can create real change that benefits everyone.

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