IN these times of instant communication, hyper-fast rail travel and drone-delivered shopping, it is ridiculous that so much extra cash is demanded to get parcels to some parts of Scotland.
The clever brains that invented the means to give us access to world markets, changing the way the nation shops, can surely also invent a fairly-priced way to get items to Inverness, parcels to Peterhead and boxes to Beauly.
It simply isn’t good enough for any company to say, “You live far away”, and add eye-watering amounts of money on to the delivery cost.
Worse, some of these companies advertise free delivery or fixed-rate delivery, and it is only at the point of payment that the customer discovers a surcharge is to be added if you have an IV or AB postcode.
“Far away” is a relative term – “far away” from who? The warehouses should have been geographically sited in places where they could serve the entire country.
It’s a similar situation with the roll-out of broadband. If you live in some parts of Scotland, the information superhighway is trundling along at a rather sedate pace. It is not yet very super at all.
When you take into account the incredible profits some of the big “marketplace” websites are making, it becomes ever more baffling that they cannot work out a delivery pricing system that is reasonable, consistent and fair – no matter where their customers live.
The world, they tell us, is now a global market. So when they say “global” it must truly mean what it says.
It should be to their shame that they discriminate against huge swathes of the country.
It is up to online marketing companies to deliver goods but also to deliver a fair pricing structure while doing so.