Amazon drops free shipping to Haida Gwaii

  • May. 19, 2015 8:00 p.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverAmazon.ca can be added to the list of companies no longer offering free shipping to Haida Gwaii. Due to Canada Post’s designation of the islands as a Remote Area, people who order something off the popular website will now see a big increase in shipping prices. What used to be free will now cost a minimum $29 shipping charge on purchases. The standard shipping rate will now be the only option Haida Gwaii customers, as per the company’s policy for addresses in designated remote locations.The amazon website states that remote locations are postal codes that are difficult to serve. They give examples of towns far away from a shipper’s hub, towns that are infrequently served by shippers and Canada Post air stage locations, where mail must be airlifted at certain times of the year.Two of the three examples for standard shipping relate to Haida Gwaii. As many island residents are forced to order some goods off-island out of necessity, it didn’t take long to see a stream of complaints on social media. “So nice to know Iqaluit is less isolated in Canada’s Post mind than Queen Charlotte,” posted one user. Canada Post has classified the postal codes of Haida Gwaii under the standards of remote areas. The Observer reached out to Amazon for answers about the new shipping charges, but the company only restated their policy, saying that due to “the economic and shipping complexities in remote locations of Canada, as of April 8, Amazon.ca will offer Standard Shipping to remote locations,” a representative of Amazon.ca said in an email.”Our goal is to offer fast, affordable shipping to all of our customers and we are committed to exploring new delivery solutions that better serve customers in remote locations.” With the already-slow shipping times to Haida Gwaii some residents are blaming Canada Post for classifying the postal codes of Haida Gwaii as remote. Other large retailers like Walmart and Ikea have already implemented a charge for shipping to remote areas.

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