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Stand and Deliver: Why are businesses still hiding delivery costs?

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Even airlines are now towing the line in terms of better transparency about total costs for their services, so why are other industries lagging behind?

I buy the majority of my goods online because I find the whole experience easier and less stressful than popping into town and having to trawl the different stores. Everything is at my fingertips including ratings and reviews to check my purchase is worthwhile before sourcing the best-priced retailer to buy from.

I find it less stressful, that is, when businesses are transparent about their total costs including delivery and returns policy and costs. 

Nothing irritates me more than discovering that the product I want to buy will be subject to delivery charges that weren’t made clear from the beginning and this week I found a terrible offender…

Ancestry.co.uk have been spending a pretty penny on advertising their DNA profiling service at the moment – some ads that have not gone unnoticed by my husband who would like to know that he is descended from Vikings with a hint of something 'exotic' or some equally impressive lineage (rather than bog standard native-English).

I looked into getting the testing kit for him as a surprise as it only costs £79*​

*plus an exorbitant delivery price that will not be revealed until you’ve set up an account, entered your personal details, delivery address and billing details wasting 5-10 minutes of your precious time.

Once I’d gone through all of these steps and I just needed to confirm my purchase, a £20 delivery cost was revealed… £20! It wasn’t even a quick delivery window!

After feeling duped into being £100 lighter, I did not complete my purchase and felt a loss of trust in Ancestry.co.uk 

I can’t imagine I’m the only person that took this action so I have to wonder what their abandoned basket rate is and what it would be if they were simply more clear from the off that the test will cost £99 all in without having to jump through hoops to get to this realisation. I for one would appreciate the honesty and would probably have (begrudgingly) paid the full amount as I’d gone into it with my eyes wide open.

Online sellers – please take heed!

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