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Campaigners welcome crackdown on unfair delivery charges

Any claims of 'UK delivery' must now include areas such as the Highlands and islands.

Parcels: Move seen as 'significant first step' (file pic).
Parcels: Move seen as 'significant first step' (file pic). SWNS

A crackdown on companies who make misleading claims over parcel deliveries has been welcomed by campaigners.

An enforcement notice has been issued by advertising watchdogs to stop retailers across the UK making incorrect delivery claims and ensure any restrictions or exclusions are made clear.

The move by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), part of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regulatory system, follows concerns about customers in rural communities being subject to "rip-off" surcharges.

Companies will be required to take immediate action to ensure their advertising complies with the new guidance or face enforcement action, including the possibility of legal action by trading standards.

Any claim of "UK delivery" will now include all parts of the United Kingdom, including the Scottish Highlands and islands, and surcharges will be banned if such a claim is made.

ASA chief executive Guy Parker said: "Companies must honour the delivery claims they're making or stop making them.

"It's simply not fair to mislead people about whether parcels can be delivered to them, or how much it will cost."

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead, whose Fair Delivery Charges campaign has called for tougher action, said the move was "a significant first step".

Earlier this year the Moray SNP submitted a dossier of 124 firms who had failed to be upfront on charges for delivery to parts of Scotland to ASA - all of which will now be issued with the enforcement notice.

He said: "I'm sure that people living across Scotland will be pleased to see companies taken to task - and told to stop advertising free delivery when in many cases, for many customers, the reality is very different.

"It's now incumbent upon those companies who are failing to be upfront with consumers to sit up, take notice and change their practices. I hope they respond swiftly to this very clear shot across their bows."

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