SCOTS are paying £36.3 million more each year than shoppers in the rest of the UK as a result of “eye-watering” delivery charges, new research suggests.
The figure was revealed after the Scottish Parliament Information Centre estimated the annual total additional cost to Scottish adults due to delivery surcharges relative to the rest of the UK.
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead is spearheading a Fair Delivery Charges campaign which has so far received 2,000 submissions from the public highlighting “ridiculous” charges such as a £500 delivery fee to the Outer Hebrides for Amazon items costing £85.
The Advertising Standards Authority is considering proactive action to tackle rip-off parcel delivery surcharges while Scottish and UK ministers have also agreed to investigate the cases highlighted by the campaign.
Mr Lochhead said: “It is absolutely astonishing that online shoppers in Scotland are having to spend an estimated additional £36.3 million each year on parcel delivery surcharges compared to the rest of the UK simply because of where they live.
“This Christmas will be more expensive for many Scots online shoppers because of parcel delivery surcharges that are applied without any justification to many northern postcodes.
“Many retailers deliver free or for a modest cost but others apply eye-watering surcharges amounting to a whopping £36.3 million in extra costs.
“So far, my campaign has led to the UK Government agreeing to review rip-off surcharges and inspired action from the Advertising Standards Authority to crack down on the firms that are charging extortionate delivery fees for residents and businesses in rural Scotland.
“This new research vindicates a campaign that has caught the public imagination and won support across Scotland and the political spectrum.
“It’s now time for the authorities to act and for every retailer to review its delivery charges and to stop discriminating against many parts of Scotland.”