Jean has urged Highland and Islands businesses to speak up on discriminatory delivery charges. Jean asked firms across the North to back a survey launched today by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) to uncover the extent of the problem.
Businesses can take part online at tinyurl.com/DeliveryCosts, or pick up a paper copy of the survey from the 19 Citizens Advice Bureaux across the Highlands and Islands. CAS say they are particularly interested to hear views from small businesses based in rural Scotland.
Research by CAS in 2012 showed that 1 million Scots are hit by additional delivery charges or late deliveries, or are refused delivery altogether. Highlanders are charged an extra £15 per delivery on average, while customers in the islands face extra charges of almost £19 per order.
“As a small business owner myself, I know how costly – and how infuriating – discriminatory delivery policies can be. I’ll definitely be taking part in this survey.
“Citizens Advice are doing a great job fighting for fairer costs, and the least we can do is give them the evidence they need for the next stage of their campaign.
“Meanwhile in the Scottish Parliament I will do everything I can to support the fight for fair treatment of businesses and customers in the Highlands and Islands.”
Citizens Advice Scotland Chief Executive Margaret Lynch said:
“High delivery charges can be absolutely devastating for small businesses – both when sending and receiving parcels.
“We estimate that there are well over 20,000 businesses that could be affected. We want to assess how bad this problem is, so we are today opening a survey that is just for businesses. It’s their chance to have their say and contribute their evidence to our campaign.
“Throughout the campaign we have said that Scots don’t want ‘special treatment’. All they want is a fair deal. We are determined to ensure they get that.”