Highlands & Islands

New review of online retailers' charges for Scottish customers

A parcel Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption An earlier review and summits have sought to address higher delivery charges for parts of Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland has started a second review of online retailers' charges for deliveries to Scotland.

The first of the studies was done two years ago.

It suggested at least one million Scots faced surcharges, late delivery or were refused delivery altogether when buying goods online.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing has also renewed his call for firms to treat customers in remote and rural areas fairly.

As well as the review of practices in 2012, summits have been held involving representatives from the Scottish government and online retailers.

A Statement of Principles for Parcel Deliveries was also developed by a working group set up by Consumer Futures, now part of Citizens Advice Scotland, and the Scottish government.

'Fairer deal'

Mr Ewing said: "Retailers should take on board our statement of principles and in turn customers, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, will receive a better service.

"I welcome the recent announcement that the statement has now been adopted across the UK. By abiding by the guidelines, online retailers can show respect for customers in all parts of the UK."

Sarah Beattie-Smith, Consumer Futures Scotland manager for Citizens Advice Scotland, said: "Our aim - as always - is getting a fairer deal for Scottish consumers.

"We have launched an update to our earlier work assessing over 500 retailer's websites to determine whether they are complying with the statement of principles on parcel deliveries."

Citizens Advice Scotland and the government will host an event in Edinburgh on 29 January.

Ms Beattie-Smith said the event would offer retailers a chance to share best practice, hear from others on innovative delivery options and identify barriers for the industry.

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