Up in the highlands of Scotland for many years it has cost more to have your goods delivered to places such as the Shetland Islands and the Orkneys. These are far away from main trading centres with the transport infrastructure often poor and often subject to bad weather conditions… As a consequence companies have traditionally charged more for their deliveries to these more remote parts of the British Isles.
Expensive for Delivery to Highlands
Internet delivery costs have been a problem for the Highlands for a long time, with the rest of Great Britain enjoying the benefits of online ordering and delivery and the Highlands of Scotland having to struggle by having to pay more than everybody else. This compounds the problems faced by the Highlanders as living in more remote places it is difficult to travel to the normal high street shops. For those in the Highlands Internet ordering seems like a very good solution to this problem but delivery costs may add an unacceptable surcharge.
Highland trading standards officers have been investigating these extra costs that those in the Highland had to pay. Remote areas of Scotland and those living in the rural areas were asked to provide examples of when they had been charged fees that were higher than the rest of the UK
This has been a long running issue. These extra charges have been in place almost as long as Internet shopping. In fact it appears that many people are paying double the amount of the rest of the UK and have done so from as long ago as 2004 when questions were first asked and the issue was even raised in the Houses of Parliament.
As a direct consequence of these concerns, the Highland Council launched a survey last November in order to find out exactly what was being charged for delivery. They were initially concerned that these charges were not being made clear to everybody and many people did not realise until too late that they were being charged twice the amount that the rest of the country were paying.
Since they launched their survey and the trading standards officers have been investigating the costs it appears that twenty Internet trading companies have altered their charges as a direct consequence of the survey. Initially the survey was only meant to discover if there were any unfair practices in the trading. It was not meant to be an attempt to reduce delivery charges. This has been an unexpected consequence and one that has been much welcomed by the Highland Council.
This is an excellent example of businesses responding to customer pressure. There was no direct call to reduce prices, and the point under investigation was that the charges were being clearly shown during the ordering process. However the decision by twenty delivery companies to reduce their charges means that those living in remote areas of the country are no longer charged twice the normal amount. This is a creditable reply by those companies and a great result for the Highland Council.