Retailers shocked by 6% hike in carriage charge by EM News

NFRN Ireland has said that if wholesalers are not forthcoming with a breakdown of their costs, their next step will be to seek this information through Freedom of Information requests

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9 February 2016 | 0

Retailers have been disappointed by news-wholesaler EM News’ decision to increase carriage charges by 6%.

NFRN Ireland president Peter Steemers has spoken out against the move, stating: “Only a few weeks ago EM News assured its customers that increases would be low so its announcement has left members shell shocked.

“With fuel prices at their lowest on record and no sign of any imminent increases, EM News ought to come clean and detail the rise in a transparent fashion. That way it would be clear to see that such an increase is not justifiable.”

No formal announcement

The NFRN also took issue with the fact that EM News did not made any formal announcement of the new carriage charge rates but slipped an unsigned letter into its customers’ supplies. “How faceless is that?”, asked NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter. “Now that its head of business, Barry Harvey, has gone it seems that having made such an unpalatable decision, no one at EM News is prepared to put their head above the parapet and be accountable?

“What’s more, at the start of the year we challenged all wholesalers to come clean on the elements that make up their carriage charges and what factors are taken into account when these costs are reviewed,” Baxter added.

“So far the silence from all wholesalers – EM News included – is deafening.  If these companies think we will simply roll over, then they are seriously misguided. Our next step, if the information is not forthcoming, will be to seek a breakdown of costs via Freedom of Information requests. So wholesalers, you have been warned.”

CSNA and RGDATA meetings with EM News

Meanwhile, the CSNA said it met with EM News’ management during the past week about the wholesaler’s proposed changes to the carriage charge structure. The association gave the company “a very detailed analysis of market data and shared observation on an agreed methodology for calculating CSC”. The CSNA added that EM News is to revert to the association in the coming weeks, and it will keep its members informed on this front.

RGDATA said it has also had a number of meetings with EM News to discuss carriage service charges. Issues raised at these meetings included continuous price increases without consultation, the need for transparency relating to costs, how to address declining sales and improve communications with retailers.

 

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