Delivery Charges (Scotland)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 20th December 2017.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray 4:30 pm, 20th December 2017

My hon. Friend raises a very important point; I would expect him to highlight this crucial issue for the borders, as he has done so ably. I think it is something we have to address as we progress this campaign.

The final piece of research that I want to mention is by Ofcom, which has now completed a two-year study of this issue. I welcome the confirmation that I recently received from the Minister that she will work with the Consumer Protection Partnership to establish a review of the evidence collected by Ofcom so far on excessive delivery charges and see what can be done to protect Scottish consumers from excessive charging. I would welcome further comments from the Minister on that point in her response today.

For me, the most important part of today’s debate is sharing just some of the examples that I have received from constituents and others through Parliament’s digital engagement team since I secured the debate. Their testimonies speak far better than anything that we politicians can put forward.

For example, Lynn from Moray was going to order a product from Groupon, but was disgusted to discover that the shipping does not cover her IV36 postcode, with the company saying that it delivers only to mainland UK. On its site, it had a map showing in red the areas to which it would not deliver. However, that red covered hundreds of square miles and included two cities—Aberdeen and Inverness—all of which are most definitely on the UK mainland. When the delivery company said that it would not deliver because it would have to take a ferry to reach Lynn’s address, she made the very valid point that it would not have to do so and, crucially, someone could continue to drive for another three hours north, east or west and still not require a ferry. We are definitely part, and an integral part, of mainland UK.

Lynn finished her correspondence to the company by saying:

“This is a blatant, lazy, cost saving exercise on the part of whichever delivery company this producer is using and is factually incorrect. This is disgusting and insulting.”

I absolutely agree with Lynn.