BBC Radio 4 You & Yours on Olympic Surcharges

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Friday’s You and Yours BBC Radio 4 programme picked up on the Tamebay stories regarding Olympic delivery surcharges. They covered both the courier surcharges for deliveries within the Olympic Road Network in London as well as the extortionate £25 charge UPS are imposing for any deliveries to official Olympic venues.

You and Yours invited me to speak on the programme and gave Tamebay a mention, as well as Tim Jones from DPD and Pierre Williams from Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). DPD easily justified their charges under attack from the FSB. Refusing to be drawn on what other couriers may charge Tim focused on DPD’s service pointing out that they give customers a specific one hour time slot for their delivery, saving them from waiting in all day. With the congestion in London it will make this even harder to achieve but customers want them to maintain the service.

The FSB argument was weak saying that no one really knows that the level congestion caused by the Olympics is an unkonwn and so the surcharges can’t be justified. Whilst it’s true we don’t know exactly how bad the disruption can be, with 109 miles of roads closed to normal traffic it’s going to be bad. However when directly asked if the £1.95 DPD are charging is value for money for a one hour time slot Pierre Williams replied “I’m not saying for a moment it sounds unreasonable, what I’m saying is that it’s simply unknown as to what the extent of the congestion is going to be”. He also added “I suspect a £1.95 charge will be deemed acceptable”.

Whatever happens courier companies have invested to ensure that deliveries are maintained during the Olympics and even those charging a surcharge will still be footing some of the bill themselves. The only remaining question is, if your courier company is surcharging, will you absorb the costs or will you pass them on to your customers?

You can listen to the clip on the You and Yours website. The Olympic surcharge section starts 6 minutes and 10 seconds into the programme.

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