Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP joins new Advertising Standards Authority group to step up pressure on rip-off delivery charges
HIGHLAND MP Drew Hendry has accepted an invitation to join a new parliamentary network group to step up the pressure on rip-off delivery charges.
The new group set up by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the independent regulator of advertising across all media, will look at a range of issues where regulation interacts with areas of policy, including misleading delivery advertising.
Mr Hendry hopes his membership of this new group will keep rip off delivery charges high on the regulator's agenda.
As a result of his joint work with Moray MSP Richard Lochhead many companies who advertise "free UK delivery" or "free mainland delivery" have already been subject to investigation because of the incorrect advertising around delivery to consumers living in rural Scotland.
In 2018, wider work carried out by ASA also led to the amendment or removal of 10,850 adverts or advertising campaigns, including in Scotland.
Mr Hendry said: “I am delighted that the Advertising Standards Authority has recognised the issue of misleading delivery advertisements and my campaign to put an end to these unfair practices.
"I have been calling on the UK government to right this wrong for a long time and even took a people’s delivery guarantee bill to parliament highlighting the impact of this false advertising on Highland shoppers.
“My colleague Richard Lochhead MSP, has also been relentless on the issue, and his dossier of evidence on rip-off charges led to ASA taking action on several retailers.
“For too long companies have got away with making false claims about ‘free delivery’ or ‘delivery to mainland UK’ only for consumers in the north of Scotland to be faced with delivery surcharges or, even worse, no delivery option at all.
“I look forward to working with ASA to tackle this issue once and for all.”
The issue of unfair delivery charges was put into sharp focus last year when Mr Lochhead reported 124 companies to the ASA.
The dossier, which was also submitted to Trading Standards Scotland and Citizens Advice Scotland, was compiled after more than 2000 complaints were submitted to Mr Lochhead, including through his fairdeliverycharges.scot website.
Mr Lochhead said: “I’m pleased that Drew will play a role in this new group given his strong track record of campaigning to end unfair parcel delivery surcharges.
"He has consistently raised this issue in the House of Commons since he was first elected in 2015 and has never let up on putting pressure on the UK government to act to end rip-off surcharges, which costs households across Scotland £32 million each year.”