COMMONS

Online retailers and delivery companies explain delivery charges

27 February 2018

The Scottish Affairs Committee are to hold a one-off session to investigate delivery charges for online purchases.

High fees and long delivery times

Areas of Scotland are subject to some of the highest fees and longest delivery times in the UK, and in some cases customers are refused any service at all. The issue is most severe in island communities and the Highlands where charges can be as high as £18.60 per delivery and goods arrive up to 3 days later than other parts of the UK. Many online businesses use private delivery firms who are not subject to the same service obligations as Royal Mail.

The session examines how prevalent high delivery charges are in Scotland and which areas are most affected. The Committee investigates what information is available to consumers about charges and if additional costs reflect the real economic cost of delivering goods. Finally, it will look at what options exist for reducing or eliminating charges.

Witnesses

Tuesday 27 February, Committee Room 15, House of Commons

From 9.45am

  • Nina Ballantyne, Programme and Postal Policy Team Manager, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Lindsey Fussell, Consumer Group Director, Ofcom
  • David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager, Highland Council Trading Standards

From 10.45am

  • Lesley Smith, Director of Public Policy, UK & Ireland, Amazon
  • Laurence Garnett, Head of Home Delivery, Argos
  • Mike Pitt, Director of UK Shipping and Logistics, eBay

From 11.30am

  • Robert Gordon, Director, JBT
  • Fraser Maclean, General Manager, Menzies Distribution
  • Tim Jones, Director of Marketing, DPD

Chair's comments

Announcing the session, Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, Pete Wishart MP commented:

"High charges and lengthy delivery times are yet another thing that makes it just that little bit harder for people and businesses outside the major population centres in Scotland. If you are paying £15 more to get something delivered and having to wait three more days to receive it then it makes a real difference to whether your business is competitive or not.

When we announced this session last month we invited the people of Scotland to tell us about their experiences of high delivery charges and the impact it has had on them. I am very pleased with the response we received and this will help inform our questioning."

Further information

Image: Royal Mail Group

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