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Pandemic should signal the end of Highlands parcel surcharge

By Louise Glen

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The coronavirus pandemic should signal the end of the practice of charging extortionate surcharges to customers living in the Highlands for online deliveries, a Highlands MSP has said.

John Finnie MSP, Highlands and Islands, has said if unfairness of parcel charges does not change, then it is time for government to step in.

Research by Citizens Advice Scotland has shown up to one million Scottish customers may be affected by surcharges, forcing them to pay significantly higher costs simply because of where they live.

The problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic this year, as more and more customers look online for their shopping.

Mr Finnie said: “This Christmas will have been more expensive than it needed to be for many in the Highlands. It is a clear injustice that companies are free to overcharge people in the Highlands simply because of where they live.

"In many cases these surcharges are enormous and can’t be justified by the fact that an address is in the North of Scotland.

"This unfairness is not just a mild inconvenience for people in the Highlands, but has the potential to do significant economic harm to the region if not prevented. If the delivery firms won’t do the right thing then it’s time for government and regulators to step in.”

To read the Citizens Advice report, click here.

More stories about John Finnie.

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