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Delivery charges for online orders

31 July 2014

We are helping UK consumers living in rural, remote and island communities to make more informed choices about the businesses they order from over the internet. Citizens Advice has worked with industry to develop a Statement of Principles for parcel deliveries [ 260 kb] for businesses that will make additional delivery charges more transparent to customers when placing their orders. This was published on 31st July 2014.

The six Principles are that online retailers should:

  • Apply delivery surcharges only when they are justified.
  • Do their best to provide the widest possible delivery coverage.
  • At the earliest possible stage in the online buying process, ensure that consumers can easily access clear, timely and transparent delivery policy information.
  • Work with their carriers to consider how to use delivery options and services to increase the success of first-time delivery.
  • Aim to provide consumers with other relevant delivery information that they hold when the order is completed and/or dispatched.
  • Include options for consumers to provide feedback about their delivery experience.

The guide contains practical advice for businesses on how to apply the six Principles to their own delivery systems. Not only will this will promote best practice among businesses across the UK but it will give consumers the power to make better purchasing decisions online. The clearer information about delivery charges should particularly benefit people who live in the remoter communities of the UK.