Where do the Scottish Highlands and Islands begin?

  boy_from_the_blackstuff 22:07 12 Jan 2005

I live in a town 7 miles from the centre of, and 1 mile from the edge of Scotland's third city (Aberdeen - the "Oil Capital" of Europe). I have recently tried to order various items of hardware but have been told by several on-line sellers that as my address lies outwith their "normal" GB delivery area I will have to pay a "Highlands and Islands" delivery supplement amounting to 300%+ of the standard delivery charge.

Whilst I know that this charge arises from the couriers who deliver the equipment not the equipment suppliers themselves I still have to ask is this fair? Geographically I live in North-East Scotland, not "Highlands and Islands" Scotland. Are rural areas close to cities in England and Wales treated similarly I wonder? I doubt it.

I know the simple answer is to vote with my feet and use a company which does not surcharge for delivery to this area (which I have now done). Even so this issue has to be flagged up as there are many couriers which will deliver to such "remote" areas such as mine. Perhaps some companies just need a UK geography lesson.

  Jsimbaz 22:32 12 Jan 2005

Fair play for taking your custom elsewhere, it would be intresting to name and shame suppliers than think silly little things like the one you just pointed out.

Ebuyer charge £5.49 delivery for a LED case fan that costs £0.99!!!


  Cook2 22:42 12 Jan 2005

If we met up in London and caught a train home afterwards, would you expect to pay the same fare for your journey to Aberdeen as my 36 mile journey to Kent?

Is it fair that it costs me the same to post a first class letter to London as it does you from Aberdeen?

Not being funny boy_from_the_blackstuff, just trying to put it in perspective.

  boy_from_the_blackstuff 22:59 12 Jan 2005

Cook 2, that's not really my point. I'm not complaining about the cost of delivering to Aberdeen. We are well used to most things costing more here than elsewhere in the UK due to delivery charges.

What I am complaining about is the 300%+ surcharge demanded to deliver 1 mile beyond the city boundary which is disguised as a "Highlands and Islands" charge when geographically at least this is incorrect. Having lived previously in England I know there are many areas even more remote from where I live now but they are not subject to the same supplements

  davidg_richmond 23:17 12 Jan 2005

Yes there are areas more remote in England, but they are still within a large population area. The fact that there may be 10 million people in the surrounding 100 miles makes a difference. In Scotland the 5 million or so people are concentrated into the main cities, making visits to the Highlands rarer and more costly as population is spread so thinly.

  Cook2 23:25 12 Jan 2005

click here shows the Scottish Tourists Boards maps of the Highlands.

  boy_from_the_blackstuff 23:43 12 Jan 2005

I'm not disputing any of this. Yes the population of Scotland is concentrated into and around the main cities (one of which I live next to), but at the same time we are expected to pay delivery supplements disguised as "Highlands and Islands" supplement which bear no relation to local geography and which are little more than postcode discrimination. Why does a difference of 1 mile increase a delivery charge from £12 to £36 for a delivery from Yorkshire.

  niknax 23:53 12 Jan 2005

wow that is a big difference in price!!

i feel for you buddie...it's not fair. i always thought the highlands & islands were from inverness to orkney & shetlands.....i'm from angus so i'm not too bad on delivery charges. have you tried getting in touch with your local council on the matter? just a thought


  Forum Editor 00:53 13 Jan 2005

are all in business on their own account and must obviously run that business as they see fit - it's up to them to decide what they charge, and obviously it's up to you to decide whether or not to wish to pay. I suspect that davidg_richmond has put his finger on it when he says that charges are related to population densities. If I'm running a vehicle and a driver on a patch that produces 1 delivery per mile of running time I'm going to charge a good deal less per drop than for a vehicle/driver unit that produces 0.25 deliveries per mile.

There have to be cut-off boundaries, and for the people who live just over the line it is always going to seem unfair. I imagine that if you lived 15 miles from the Aberdeen edge and were asked to pay the same charge you wouldn't think it quite so unfair.

I'm not defending any particular company here, and in fact you say you had the same reaction from several of them - leading me to think that the population density theory is the one that operates.

  Stuartli 10:56 13 Jan 2005

Description of area covered:

"Welcome to the North and West Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Our area stretches from The Shetland islands in the north to the Mull of Kintyre in the south and takes in all points westward."

Map of area covered at:

click here

  jerichobob 12:21 13 Jan 2005

Hi Meekster - you want to let them grapes ripen before tasting lol.

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