SNP MSP submits delivery charges dossier to advertising watchdog

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More than 100 firms have been referred to the advertising watchdog as part of a campaign against unfair delivery charges.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has submitted a dossier to the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards Scotland which includes information of complaints relating to  124 companies.

Mr Lochhead, who is spearheading a campaign against "eye-watering" fees for deliveries to rural areas, said he had complied details of 401 complaints from the public where enough relevant information had been given to allow further investigation.

Of these 236 complaints related to 85 companies which advertised either free delivery or free mainland UK delivery but charged an additional fee at a later stage of the order process.

A further 63 complaints named 11 companies where delivery to mainland UK was advertised but customers were subsequently told that did not include Scotland or parts of Scotland.

Other complaints came from customers who were told their Scottish address was classified as offshore and those whose orders were cancelled when the address was given.

Mr Lochhead said: "It is ridiculous and completely unfair that consumers in large parts of Scotland face higher delivery fees - sometimes even having their order refused or told that their mainland address is offshore.

"In some cases these delivery fees can be eye-watering and really hit rural families in the pocket.

"What really angers consumers is when companies advertise free delivery across the whole UK, but then say this doesn't apply if you live in the Highlands.

"That would appear to be a clear case of false advertising and I hope that the Advertising Standards Authority take action.

"I welcome the support given by the Scottish and UK governments, but we need more than just warm words - the public expect the UK government, who have the power to regulate, to take concrete action."