Royal Mail to start leaving packages with neighbours

August 2, 2011
News
by
Donna Chester

Royal Mail is to allow delivery workers to leave packages with a neighbour if the householder is not home. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian Royal Mail has signalled an end to the inconvenience of arriving home to find a note saying your parcel with an online order or long-awaited gift must be retrieved from the local sorting office.

Leaving undeliverables with neighbours

It proposes that its delivery workers will in future be allowed to leave an undeliverable item with a neighbour if the householder is not at home.

The move will be welcomed by those who dread the time-consuming trip to the sorting office and a queue to collect their packet, but perhaps less so by those on frosty terms with their neighbours. Royal Mail is the only major delivery company which as standard practice does not deliver to a neighbouring address those items that will not fit through the letterbox.

“Some consumers will like the idea of being able to have mail left with a neighbour. However, worryingly there is no opt-out option and with many people having a neighbour they do not know, or might not trust, this could open the door to problems.”

Allan Chester from UK Postbox said that, Royal Mail is increasing prices, cutting their service level and exposing clients to potential issues dependent on their relationship with their neighbours. I was under the impression that parcel deliveries were to be accepted by the recipient or on behalf of the recipient not just the next door neigbour. Not sure how Internet shops will fair when consumers complain that they have not received their goods and the explanation is “they might have been left with a neighbour”.