07 December 2017

S5M-07776 Parcel Delivery Charges

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Christine Grahame): The final item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S5M-07776, in the name of Richard Lochhead, on unfair parcel delivery charges. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

Motion debated,

That the Parliament understands that, compared with other parts of the UK, people in Moray, the north of Scotland and other rural areas are often charged excessive rates for parcel deliveries; understands that recent examples of this practice include Halfords charging £50 to send towels, which cost only £5.99, to Speyside, and LloydsPharmacy charging £50 to send a mobility scooter to a terminally-ill woman in Keith, despite advertising free UK delivery online; recognises what it sees as the frustration of consumers living in postcodes such as IV and AB, who have to pay these charges, which it considers unfair; welcomes both Halfords and LloydsPharmacy reported decision to review their charging policies in response to public concern; acknowledges the importance of challenging companies over such policies, and notes the view that there is a need for the relevant authorities to address this issue, which it believes affects many thousands of households and businesses.

... ... ...

Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP):

I thank Richard Lochhead for bringing the debate to Parliament.

In 1812, my great-great-great-grandfather, David Berry, who had served in the British Royal Navy between 1780 and 1782, required a duplicate copy of his service record so that he could claim his pension from a predecessor to the current Ministry of Defence. That letter cost him £1 and 10 shillings to be delivered. When Rowland Hill introduced the penny post in 1840, he transformed the whole nation—the whole island—by creating a uniform delivery charge of a single penny, which was fundamentally different from what my great-great-great—three greats—grandfather had to pay for his letter. Interestingly, the uniform delivery charge saved money, because it turned out that the cost of calculating how much individual letters cost exceeded the amount of the higher-rate charges that were foregone. Uniform charges can therefore have economic benefits in some circumstances—we just need to get computers out of the equation.

We would think that we are particularly disadvantaged in Scotland by our delivery system, but the reality is that Edinburgh airport is one of the three airports in the United Kingdom that is a huge—I mean really huge—transport hub, together with London Stansted and East Midlands airports. Edinburgh airport transports huge amounts around the UK every night, and it is not terribly far away from Inverness, Aberdeen, my constituents and the constituents of many of the members in the chamber. The infrastructure is therefore present.

It can be done slightly differently elsewhere. I like a particular kind of shoe for leisure wear that comes from Australia. Historically, I have ordered them from Australia; they arrive in 48 hours and the delivery charge is £15. The shoes are not expensive—they are about £40, so the company is not making a profit in other ways. If the company delivers those shoes to Great Barrier Island, off the coast of North Island in New Zealand, the charge is £8.50. That island is five miles further from Auckland than Stornoway is from Ullapool—compare and contrast. The shoes that go from Australia to New Zealand have a three to four hour flight and then they go on to Great Barrier Island. We know that it can be done differently elsewhere.

Like other members, my constituents have told me about their problems. A garden centre website advertises free delivery for orders over £50—unless the order is for Aberdeenshire, where delivery costs £20. Apparently, “free delivery” means only to England and Wales. Wayfair says:

“FREE Delivery within Great Britain (excluding extended areas)”.

For some of my constituents, the delivery charge was £25 instead of free.

Every member here has contributed in a cross-party and consensual way, and everyone has told the same kind of stories. My wife, in an attempt to please me, ordered gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes to plant next year in the garden. An extra charge was levied and her teeth are still grinding. It is time that we did something about it, if only to stop my wife’s teeth from grinding.


Stewart Stevenson
does not gather, use or
retain any cookie data.

However Google who publish for us, may do.
fios ZS is a name registered in Scotland for Stewart Stevenson

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP