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Know your rights when it comes to fair delivery charges

5th December 2018

The Highland Council's Trading Standards team has produced a couple of short animated videos that help consumers understand more about their rights when it comes to delivery charges. The videos are now available on the Delivery Law UK website and complement the work already done to raise awareness and provide advice.

All delivery information must be clear, timely and transparent and www.deliverylaw.uk allows consumers to report their concerns and provides a one-stop-shop for comprehensive information on delivery charges issues.

Unfair and undeclared surcharges are a very common source of complaint to Trading Standards and CABs.

The Highland Council's Head of Trading Standards David Mackenzie said: "These animated videos are a quirky way to draw attention to a serious issue. I recommend consumers and businesses watch them to become more aware of what they should expect when it comes to dealing with delivery charges.

Leader of The Highland Councillor Margaret Davidson added: "Online shopping is of particular importance to remote and rural areas like the Highlands. Consumers and small businesses have reaped many benefits from the opportunities the internet has brought but the issue of unfair delivery surcharges has been the major bone of contention. Claims like “free Mainland delivery" or “standard UK delivery” prove to be no such thing as huge swathes of territory in the north of Scotland are excluded for no good reason.

“Just about everyone in the Highlands seems to have a story to tell about unfair delivery charges. It may only be £10 or £20 each time, but this adds up to millions of pounds of detriment to consumers and small businesses across a year and is a cause of very significant frustration and irritation.

“I am glad to say that something is being done. Our Trading Standards team have been tackling the issue for several years and have had much success persuading companies large and small to either drop their surcharges or at least make them very clear to any potential buyer so they can decide whether to shop elsewhere. But one local authority cannot police the whole UK internet and every day new sellers come online and small e-businesses grow. So to get lasting change we need a national approach. This is what we now have with the Scottish and UK Governments supporting a concerted approach to tackle the problem, with the support of a wide range of national bodies.”

Central to this effort is the new website www.deliverylaw.uk which is designed to be a “one-stop shop” for everyone with an interest in this subject, be they consumers, businesses or practitioners like policy makers, advisers and lawyers.

Funded by Trading Standards Scotland and designed and run by the Highland Council’s Trading Standards team, it is supported by all the relevant Government departments and other bodies.

Cllr Davidson added: “I would urge any consumer or small business that has suffered a problem to register a complaint using the site.

“Highland Council is determined to act to improve the lives of people in the Highlands. To make the area a better place to live and do business. Online shopping is now a central part of life and work and central to our thinking. We will continue to take steps to achieve these goals, both through our own efforts and working collaboratively with other local and national organisations.”

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