Parliamentarians have welcomed action to force firms to be more transparent about
their delivery charges to islands and rural areas.
The practice of advertising “free UK delivery”, but then adding charges for remote
areas late in the ordering process may now be subject to enforcement action.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it would look at legal proceedings
against companies who persist with making misleading delivery claims.
MSP Alasdair Allan commented: “It has long been a source of deep frustration to many
islanders shopping online that sites appear to offer free UK delivery, whereas, often
as late as the check-out stage, additional charges are added when an HS postcode
“Constituents have regularly brought examples to me of occasions when these delivery
charges are either in excess of the price of the product they wished to purchase,
or entirely out of proportion to the actual delivery costs.
“I am particularly heartened by the fact that this enforcement notice has been described
by the Advertising Standards Authority as a ‘first step’, acknowledging that there
is still more to be done to bring about an equitable situation for areas such as
the Western Isles.”
Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said: “All too often, people who live across the
Highlands and Islands region attempt to buy products online in good faith that they
will receive free delivery, only to find out after entering their postcode that punitive
charges will be imposed.
“I welcome this intervention by the ASA and hopefully we can continue with the wider
campaign of ditching discriminatory delivery charges for good.”