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Thousands of businesses in Scotland may be hit by 'rip-off' delivery charges

24 Feb 2014

Businesses in Scotland are being hit hard by the 'postcode penalty' of high delivery charges – with a new project to assess the scale of the problem announced today by Citizens Advice Scotland. 

Over the last three years CAS have been highlighting the impact of this problem on individual consumers. But it also hurts the business community. So today we are launching a special online survey that is just for businesses in Scotland, allowing them to have their say so we can assess the extent of the problem.

The survey is the first of its kind in Scotland, and is being backed by Trading Standards and a number of local Chambers of Commerce - all of whom are urging their members to complete the survey, at tinyurl.com/DeliveryCosts

CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says,

"We’ve been campaigning for years on this issue of high delivery charges, and making a lot of progress. In 2011/12 we collected evidence from over 3,000 Scots, and published research which found that delivery firms applied huge additional charges to postcode areas that included 1 million Scots. Deliveries to some of these areas have mark-ups of over 500% more than the standard costs.

"That study also found that many delivery companies refused to deliver to parts of Scotland at all, and others were unclear or misleading about what their charges were.

"Until now we have mainly focused on the impact this has on individual consumers. But we have also been contacted by many businesses, particularly small business. High delivery charges can be absolutely devastating for them – 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.”

The survey is at: tinyurl.com/DeliveryCosts

Hard copies are also available at all CABs in Scotland and to download at the bottom of this page.

The survey is open until 5pm on Friday 14 March, and is open to any business, anywhere in Scotland.

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