Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus B MacNeil has called for an end to excessive delivery charges to rural areas like the Highlands and Islands.

Mr MacNeil’s colleague Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn and Strathspey, put forward a proposal in the House of Commons today (Wednesday) that legislation be put in place to prevent unfair charging of rural customers.

The Ten Minute Rule Motion, Consumer Protection (Distance Selling Delivery Charges) was co-sponsored by Mr MacNeil and several other SNP colleagues.

This would ensure distance sellers provide purchasers with the lowest possible cost option for customers; for a fair delivery quality mark for responsible retailers and penalties for vendors who advertise free delivery but subsequently impose charges or conditions.

This would mean the introduction of a ‘People’s Delivery Guarantee’ to encourage fair charging and end unfair advertising.

Mr MacNeil said: “I am regularly contacted by constituents who report they have been charged excessive delivery costs because of their postcode.

“I supported the Motion put forward by my colleague as a ‘People’s Delivery Guarantee’ would ensure that consumers are only charged what it actually costs to deliver a product and are not penalised for where they live.

“Many consumers report that online stores advertise free delivery and it is only once they reach the check-out stage that the charges are added to the total. All we ask is for a fair deal for those living in all parts of the UK and that retailers have a responsibility to be fair to rural customers.”

The Bill received support in the House and will have a second reading on March 11th.