Saturday, 12 January 2008

How much for a phone delivery?!!

In one of the more disturbing cases of excessive charges, I've heard from a resident who attempted to buy a mobile phone through the Carphone Warehouse website, recently.

Now, how big and heavy is your mobile phone? And how much do you think it would cost to have it delivered? Here's the answer from their website:

FREE delivery to mainland England, Scotland and Wales is subject to the conditions outlined below. Delivery to other UK locations is charged as follows:
 - Northern Ireland - £ 9.99 per delivery
 - Offshore locations - £49.99 per delivery

Yes, £49.99 extra. For an item so small and light, my other half frequently puts it in the washing machine by mistake (well, that's her story). 

I'm curious about how on earth Carphone Warehouse can justify that additional cost. I can see Skye from here, and Skye is connected to the mainland with a bridge (an extra complication, still, with a few online companies). So someone there can buy a mobile phone from Carphone Warehouse, but I'd have to pay 50 pounds (minus a penny) more, just for the extra short trip between Uig and Lochmaddy and the 10 miles from there to Berneray.

The Parcelforce website informs me that the cost of ParcelForce 48:

  • for delivery of a 0.2kg package from London to my house

  • delivering within 4 working days

  • allowing online tracking

  • with compensation of up to £150 £14.99. Which is exactly £35 less than the excess Carphone Warehouse attempt to charge.

Hmmm. So how can they justify a £50 excess over mainland delivery?

[ETA] Another Berneray resident informs:
"Just this week I was looking for a cheap PAYG no frills phone, yes I looked at Carphone Warehouse £18 Nokia phone + £19.99 delivery (in my case) was ridiculous, they will not post phones.

I continued my search elsewhere, and found delivery prices from £2.99 upwards (Ebay), I then checked Vodafone’s own site, £18 for a no frills PAYG Nokia, with FREE DELIVERY. 48 Hrs from ordering to delivery by POST was very acceptable.

I just ordered directly on the site and it went through without any problems, 1 Jiffy bag through the normal mail, not even recorded delivery."


  1. Well the being able to see Skye thing's not overly relevant since the mail's delivered by plane via Inverness, so it would only come through Skye if being driven by a courier. Even so, that's a disgrace. Actually I think the £15 charge by Parcelforce is still way out of order. Just do what I did and buy just the sim card (o2 sim 200 free minutes and 400 free texts and unlimited free calls to any other o2 numbers for £15/month, posted for free in a wee envelope) and slot it smoothly into the slim vacant space in your Nokia brick.

  2. What is reprehesible about Carphone Warehouse is that they have a call centre here on Lewis where you can order one!! It can be so convoluted to get stuff here sometimes for cheaper - that is get it sent to Woody's in Inverness (thereby having a cheaper charge) and then Woody's brings it here for £5 vat.

  3. would it not be cheaper to wait till you went to the mainland and buy one there?? I know its a silly question but to me it seems logical

  4. Like many others, I avoid going to the mainland unless I have several things to do, so there is often several months between trips.

  5. The Carphone Warehouse7 February 2008 at 21:01

    Thanks very much for alerting us to your concerns about delivery pricing. We always strive to provide our customers with the best possible value for money when ordering online. We are also devoted to providing the best possible service to all of our customers, where-ever they are, and have an especially strong relationship with the Western Isles (as Holley mentioned we even have a call centre on Lewis). We have, therefore, taken your comments on board and have raised your concerns with our preferred carrier, City Link, and are pleased to say that we have been able to negotiate a reduced charge of £35 for offshore deliveries. We hope this meets with your approval and, again, thank you very much for your feedback!

  6. Online delivery charges: chimney cowl at Silversprite24 August 2008 at 21:48

    [...] correspondance from constituents on this issue, and myself and others have blogged about it before. The wide variation in delivery charges was highlighted during the recent cowl purchasing [...]