Launch of Internet delivery charges survey
11th November 2011
In order to understand the extent of the problem of Internet delivery charges, The Highland Council's Trading Standards team are looking to gather evidence from Highland consumers and small businesses about any malpractice they have experienced and to trace and tackle those businesses that fall foul of internet trading law.
They are launching a web survey from The Highland Council's web site: www.highland.gov.uk/deliverycharges to gauge the experiences of Highland consumers and small businesses about what often seems like excessive delivery charging for goods bought online.
The Council says that controlling what businesses charge for delivery is not something that is currently feasible, but the accuracy of any statements made about charges, the clarity of those charges and at what point during the online purchase process the charges are made clear, are all subject to legal controls.
Other forms of distance selling, although subject to the same regulations are not considered to present the same problems, but anyone who has had a bad experience involving delivery charges when buying goods by mail or telephone can also contact Trading Standards direct.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council's Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee said: "The Highland Council has a duty to ensure that laws protecting on-line buyers are not flouted. If companies in other parts of the United Kingdom want to sell their products to Highland residents then they must go about their business in an open and honest manner. Our Trading Standards Officers will take action against those who don't. This project is the latest stage in our ongoing efforts to protect internet buyers in Highland and I would urge people to take part in the survey."
Delivery costs to the remoter areas of the United Kingdom can be more expensive and it is not illegal for businesses to ask buyers to pay reasonable additional delivery surcharges based on where they live. However, businesses cannot, for example, make claims such as 'Free UK Delivery' when in truth hidden surcharges apply to the Highlands. All applicable delivery charges must be displayed clearly.
Gordon Robb, The Highland Council's Trading Standards Manager, said: "We want online retailers to make their delivery charges open and transparent so that customers don't end up wasting their time going through what can seem like a fairly laborious online process or actually making online purchases that they wouldn't have pursued if they had known the true charges upfront. It is against the law to hide or postpone beyond a certain point in an internet transaction the fact that additional charges apply. Put simply, retailers need to make it clear what delivery charges apply well before a consumer gets to the checkout."
The web survey has been created so consumers across the Highlands can quickly and easily let Trading Standards know of any online business that appears not to be dealing with their customers fairly on this issue of delivery charges.
Mr Robb added: "We want consumers and businesses that have experienced unfair or misleading delivery charges online to contact us and give our officers the details so that we can investigate and take action against the offending sites. A page that can easily be found on the Highland Council website has been set up that is dedicated to this project. The webpage contains background information and a simple on-line form for us to collect details of bad practice. We are committed to improving the way Highland residents are treated online. The webpage is up and running right now and can be completed very easily."
Comlete the survey here -
The Highland Council has published its notice to tender for ICT Core Services on Public Contracts Scotland website. The scope of the ICT Core Services to be sourced under this procurement are broadly defined as ‘providing managed technology infrastructure, application systems and desktop services required for the delivery of the Authority's business including educational ICT and online Public Access Services'.
The Highland Council has agreed to invest £2.36 million in repairing the regional road network. The non-earmarked balance of reserves from 2014-15 is £5.928 million.
Councillor Helen Carmichael who represents Aird and Loch Ness Ward was elected as the new Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area today (Thursday 25 June 2015). Nominated by Councillor Margaret Davidson, and seconded by Councillor Jim Crawford, Councillor Carmichael was duly elected at a special meeting of the City of Inverness Area Committee held at Council Headquarters in Inverness.
Eight businesses are the first in Highland to successfully apply for free Broadband Connection Vouchers which will now enable them to boost their broadband to make sure they benefit from new IT opportunities and better productivity. The scheme, which provide grants of up to £3,000 to help small businesses and charities is funded by the UK Government's SuperConnected Cities Initiative and is administered locally by The Highland Council in conjunction with City of Edinburgh Council.
At its meeting on 16 June 2015, the Highland Licensing Board approved the final terms of its Supplementary Licensing Policy Statement on Extended Hours for Special Events of Local or National Significance. This supplements the Board's main Licensing Policy Statement 2013-2016 and will have effect as Board Policy until November 2016, when the main Statement is next due for review.
On Friday 26 June, the Caithness District Partnership will meet in full as part of the arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Issues to be discussed will include updates on the NHS redesign of Caithness General Hospital and local NHS staffing.
On Wednesday 10th June 2015 The Highland Council held a facebook chat giving lots of information and advice on what people can do to ensure they are receiving the correct benefits and tax credits, as well as giving handy tips on how to manage budgets and avoid getting into debt. Staff from the Council's Income Maximisation and Money Advice teams spent two hours on facebook answering questions on benefits, welfare, money advice and personal budgeting.
A special meeting of the Council was held this morning to form a new Administration and elect a Leader and senior officer bearers. It was agreed that a Minority Administration of the Independent Group would lead the Council with Cllr Margaret Davidson as elected Leader.
High Life Highland has today announced that the contract to provide new improved facilities at Thurso Swimming Pool has been awarded to local contractor O'Brien Construction Ltd. The project jointly funded by The Highland Council and sportscotland will see a total investment of £2.7M in the facility providing a new gym/fitness suite, a new dance studio, steam room , sauna, new changing village and replacement of the roof.
Following a submission to apply for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support "Scotland's 8th City - the Smart City" Strategic Intervention, members have approved in principle, for the council to continued engagement with the Scottish Cities Alliance and Highland partners to progress a number of projects while the application is being considered. £1.8million of the £10m applied for has been ring-fenced for Inverness and the Highlands for projects that use data and technology to enhance the delivery of services, promote economic growth, increase sustainability, provide open data and engage more actively with people and communities.
[Printer Friendly Version]