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back to article Can neighbours grab your sensitive package, asks Post Office

The Post Office has asked for permission to drop parcels and recorded delivery letters with a neighbour, so Ofcom wants to know if you're OK with that. Trials of deliver-to-neighbour started last summer and apparently went very well, so the regulator is considering allowing the postie to leave packages with a neighbour unless …

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Unhappy

Problem is

..if for some reason you don't trust your neighbours, do you really want to display a "I don't trust my neighbours" sign, in case they take it personally?

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Coat

Re: Problem is

Not to mention this sticker or a variant would surely be required:

"I trust my neightbour with a cheap book from Amazon, but not with a new TV from John Lewis. That's the neighbour at number 68 by the way, not the neighbour at number 72 who I wouldn't trust with a pizza flyer"

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Last year

A parcel for me was left with neighbours,said neighbour then went on holiday for two weeks.

Yeah great, leave it with the neighbours? I'd rather stand in the queue with the 150 other people at the delivery office.

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Childcatcher

Re: Problem is

And when the stupid w***** of a postie takes it to No2 when you live at 2A and No2 is split into flats and none of them give a toss. What good is a notice on you letterbox then. In fact what good is the Post Office," who has broken the rules?" is my question.

Today I am Mr Angry

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Facepalm

Re: Last year

@LarsG - It could have been worse, it could have been your flight tickets in the package, and then the holiday your neighbour left on was yours!

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Anonymous Coward

Even better...

I don't trust those at No. 10, but the chap at 6 is great.

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Devil

Number 10

"I don't trust those at No. 10"

Who does, nowadays?

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Re: Number 10

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Captain Obvious!

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WTF?

wazzup with el reg commentards ?

The AC who writes the original clever No 10 reference gets 4 thumbs up, but the dude who completely missed the point (James Micallef) and makes a blindingly obvious followup gets 19 thumbs up ?

What the hell is wrong with you lot.

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Happy

@nicho

Erm, the first one wasn't necessarily a joke, or was an accidental one. Or was even just the setup posted by James under AC to deliver the punchline.

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Compensation if it is nicked ?

I am lucky - I don't think that my neighbours would steal something that they took in for me. Many cannot trust their neighbours. so what happens when the parcel becomes ''lost'' ? The standard compensation rates for lost packages is not enough, quite apart from the hassle of having to buy another whatever, if it is indeed replaceable.

Making someone put a sticker on their door saying ''My neigbours are thieves'' is not acceptable.

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FAIL

Obvious problem.

Is that it relies on your living next door to an OAP or a doley scumbag.

I don't mind elderly Hilda looking after the parcel, but the unemployed (and unemployable) pikey scumbag the other side will have ripped it open and ebayed it before I get home from work.

Surely the sensible option is to invest in more collection centres, like convince stores etc...

My local parcel collection counter has people queuing around the block all day and every day, it closes at 5PM, closed on weekends and is totally useless for anyone with a job.

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Re: Obvious problem.

This is entirely true. Close the post office on a Monday and open it all day Saturday instead! I nearly said, like the banks, and then thought, no, not like the banks.

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Stop

Re: Obvious problem.

Or a self-employed programmer like me who works at home. I'm always more than happy to take in the woman next-door's toys and appliances.

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Coat

Re: Obvious problem.

I'm always more than happy to take in the woman next-door's toys and appliances.

That's what...Nah. Too easy.

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Trollface

Re: Obvious problem.

I do think Nigey and Mike Judge happen to live on the same floor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obvious problem.

I live in between them. I've sold so much of Mike's stuff on ebay I paid for my sex op.

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Big Brother

Re: Obvious problem.

A more significant problem is that this seems to set the precedent for warrantless postal interception.

"Under Section 1 of RIPA, it is an offence to carry out intentional interception without lawful authority of any communication in the course of its transmission through any postal service. A person commits an offence if, without authorisation, he or she intentionally intercepts letters or packages sent to you through the mail.

Interceptions of this type are subject to the same system of authorisation that applies to interception of telecommunications, including interception warrants issued by the Home Secretary."

Personally, I have no problem with my neighbours receiving my oversized/tracked mail, but this must be with my explicit consent (opt-in, not opt-out). I certainly don't think I should have to plaster my door with stickers to indicate "I don't want my property/privacy rights violated, Mr. Postie, thanks all the same".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obvious problem.

So, "appliances", they're like, you know "toys" with really big power consumption? Like say a cross between a Sybian and a coin-op Rodeo machine for pubs? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obvious problem.

They don't need to "Invest" anything....our local pub has just started offering a parcel drop-off service.

I think it's called being enterprising.

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Re: Obvious problem.

I believe they call it a "washing machine".

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jai
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this is new?

my postie has been delivering parcels to the next door neighbours for as long as i've lived there i think.

and when they're not in either, and it requires a signature, he signs it himself and puts it through the letterbox... and if it's too big, leaves it on the doorstep!

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FAIL

Re: this is new?

So you have the same postie as us then?

Let me guess, you complain and they deny it being them and it must of been a 3rd party carrier (despite all the royal mail markings slapped all over it).

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Flame

Re: this is new?

Different to my postal service where (in a block of flats) the postie turns up with the "while you were out" card pre-filled in, drops it through the letter box and runs without even going near the bell. If it's too big/heavy he makes the assumption that we'll be out and doesn't even leave the effing sorting office with it.

Had suspected this for a while, but have since seen the postie do it, but being 5 floors up with loud traffic nearby, not much I could do about it. Post Office deny it.

Wouldn't mind if the sorting office was open for longer than 0830-1230 for me to pick it up...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this is new?

My parcel folks always used to do this, was always tempted to sprint off down the street and see if I could find them after they had legged it themselves after putting thru the "I tried" (big fib!) card ;)

Maybe they got tee-ed off by the time I ordered a set of beefy Teves ventilated front brake discs ;)

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Re: this is new?

I once did catch a postie pretending to attempt delivery. I saw him come up the path with no parcel in his hand, stuff the card through the door, and then start walking away without knocking. He got the fright of his life when I opened the door before he got to the gate, and said, with my nicest smile, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you knock"!

On the other hand, we had another postie who would always leave parcels somewhere in the back garden - not a problem in itself, but sometimes he would forget to leave the card saying he had done it, and (to add to the fun) didn't always leave things in the same place. I once had to send back an extra hard-drive because we found the parcel stuffed behind some plants in the greenhouse three weeks after I'd got a replacement due to "non-delivery" ...

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Happy

Alternative solution(s)

I think a better idea would be that an indication appears on the delivery note stating that it is acceptable to deliver to a neighbour. ( The neighbour's address would have to be present to avoid confusion). This could be predetermined when the purchase was made, where possible.

For parcels non marked then the defacto delivery mode should be used.

This would help avoid embarrsing yourself or the neighbour with unnecassary signs.

or otherwise you could mandate your neighbour on a permanent basis by filling out a little mandate form down at the local Post Office....

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Thumb Up

Re: Alternative solution(s)

Perfectly rational and reasonable idea. Being able to declare a secondary delivery address in case I'm not in (within a hundered yards or so) is the sort of extra service that would make me choose one delivery method over another.

Would you like to run the post office?

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Meh

Re: Alternative solution(s)

That would just be too sensible and easy to do, no-one would be making any money out of expensive trials and reports if it were that easy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternative solution(s)

I recently got my laptop back (Acer, WD HDD failure, promptly and efficiently replaced with a Toshiba drive) via UPS. They tried to deliver 9 AM when I was out, and left a card on which they state they'll make up to three attemps to deliver, and that I could pick up at the depot - or they'll deliver to a neighbour if I give permission. At the very least you are required to indicate this consent on the card and leave it where visible, or you can get in touch with them - for instance you want to explore potential scenarios. With FedEx I'd been told the same driver does the same route and so delivers in this or that area at more or less the same time - so if you're always out at that time you're potentially stuffed; but I was told it doesn't work that way at UPS. Ironically when I disrupted important plans in order to be home early enough to catch the FedEx guy, he wasn't working that day and his replacement came much later; while the same UPS guy who'd picked the laptop up from me, turned up the next day not long after 9 AM.

I don't recall if you in all cases must specify which neighbour, but you certainly can if you feel the need to. It is difficult to see how this system can be improved; but Royal Mail, doyen of the junk mail industry, are always looking for ways to put themselves out of business, so who knows...

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Door stickers are bad

Rather than putting the sticker on your door, the label should go on the parcel instead.

So your address could read:

John Smith OR next door at number 47,

48 Sinclair Way

Bogcaster BOG1

As others have pointed out, being able to pick up parcels at local late-opening shops would be much more useful. For drivers the nearest 24-hour petrol station; for non-drivers a corner shop or similar. For those who are truly house-bound.... well they'll be at home to answer the door, so non-delivery is not an issue.

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Re: Door stickers are bad

Unusual street you have there. I would have though that next door was 46. We're all odd down our little track and the even numbers are missing.

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Re: Door stickers are bad

It's not that unusual. My next-door neighbours are also [my number] + 1 and [my number] - 1

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Re: Door stickers are bad

"We're all odd down our little track"

Don't be so hard on yourself - I'm sure you're all really rather pleasant folks, really.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Door stickers are bad

*(&house +1) and *(&house - 1)

If you would be so kind.

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Re: Door stickers are bad

"

In number 18, there lives a big butch queen.

He's bigger than Tyson and he's twice as mean.

In 666 there lives a Mr Miller.

He's the local vicar, and a serial killer.

If you find the time, come on and stay a while,

In my beautiful neighbourhood...

"

Brilliant little song, that.

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TRT
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Can I get a sticker for my door saying...

I don't want to be woken up by a constant stream of deliveries for my Amazon/eBay obsessed neighbour?

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Look at it from the other angle

If I accept an delivery for my neighbour, I presumably accept responsibility for taking care of it and making sure my neighbour gets it. Will the Post Office pay my usual hourly rate for doing their job for them?

And how close does a neighbour have to be?

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WTF?

They've been dumping parcels etc with MY neighbours for years...

Nothing much changes. I've even been standing in my garden when the postie has left a parcel with a neighbour while I have actually been talking to them.

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Let you tick the box when you order it.

Most parcels that arrive are because you yourself ordered it. Just have an option for Leave With Neighbour and / or a special instructions box for you to fill in. That's what should be done. Lacking that instruction for the remaining small proportion of parcels that you didn't order yourself (birthday presents, bombs, etc.), the delivery person can just use their local judgement but they shouldn't contradict it.

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Either that, or:

Open your fecking post offices so I can collect parcels outside of working hours (and not have to queue all day Saturday to be in with a chance of actually getting it before it gets sent back).

- The sticker idea is daft.

- Neighbour deliveries ALREADY happen.

- I have had parcels go walkabout despite everyone claiming they were delivered and signatures being given (just precisely who's to blame for that we never got to the bottom of, but I certainly won't pay for anything that doesn't arrive so this is at the risk of the sender, as always has been, and currently is, the case). Surprisingly it's the high-cost obvious items that go missing and not the Christmas scarf from Aunty Doreen.

You're merely formalising what you're posties ALREADY DO. I've had post shoved through the door breaking the letterbox, I've have recorded delivery mail posted through a letterbox (with the postie's signature and the card!), I've collected no end of parcels from my neighbours (sometimes up to three doors away) for Royal Mail and anyone else.

But what's INCREDIBLY annoying is that the only alternative is to miss the damn parcel and have to go collect it from any number of delivery offices up to 5 miles away through London rush-hour traffic to fit within the half-a-minute window between me leaving work and the delivery office closing or queueing for hours to get parcels that have been put back on the delivery vehicles for redelivery WHILE I WAS QUEUEING and are now getting their third "no answer" while I'm trying to collect the damn thing.

Your entire business revolves around me getting something that someone else has sent. So if I'm not in during the day (and "nine-to-five" is so popular it's a damn phrase), you either need to redeliver at night or allow me to collect from a local office. If you can't do that, playing games and bothering my neighbours actually HURTS me, because they will soon stop taking in parcels or pretend they are out instead of letting me bung up their hallways during my Christmas spending season (where I can't go out to the shops because of work, so do online shopping instead all of which gets delivered WHEN I'M WORKING! GRRR!).

Amazon solved this problem. They (indirectly) employ an army of ordinary people with cars who deliver Amazon parcels out of hours. Best postal service ever. And then I look at what the Royal Mail has become and cry.

Seriously, people. Start competing, but don't start by formalising what I've seen as normal practice in the Royal Mail for the last 20+ years!

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Anonymous Coward

I thought this was common practice anyway? If I'm not in it goes to my neighbours. Must be a Northern thing....

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Flame

Common but unofficial

The difference is what happens when the signed-for item disappears after "delivery". Today, the Royal Mail is liable if it's not the recipient's signature. Only up to 100x a first-class stamp but that's often enough. In future the dishonest neighbour (or a bad-egg postie) will sign for it, and the Royal mail will claim that they carried out all their obligations in full and tough luck.

Which is very short-sighted of them. Businesses (Amazon for example) will cease using Royal Mail altogether, as soon as the non-delivery rate soars. As for E-bay, it's probably the end of people who aren't full-time traders selling anything there, for lack of any trustable delivery mechanism.

In my dreams, Ebay would take over the Royal Mail and run it sensibly.

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Anonymous Coward

my neighbour? you sure about that?

Mine just managed to burn down his fence (in the rain), has blacked out all his windows, films anyone or anything that tries to interact with him in anyway, calls himself Neo (as in the matrix), and makes damn sure he never opens his door to anyone (inc the fire brigade and police).

so yeah... good luck with that.

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Unhappy

Re: my neighbour? you sure about that?

You can bet he'd open the door when they deliver that important rush job you've had sent, then won't open the door to you to be able to get it back. Sounds like a knob. Call Agent Smith.

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Silver badge

Re: my neighbour? you sure about that?

I'd be sorely tempted to send him a big empty box, signed-for, with his own address as the address of the sender.

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Facepalm

From the PDF...

"Ofcom strongly prefers to receive responses using the online web form at

http://stakeolders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/royal-mail-delivery-neighbour/"

I take it they don't want any responses then, as they've spelled stakeholders wrong in the URL.

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Mushroom

You think that's accidental?

More likely they've decided what they are going to do and the consultation is a complete sham. This is their secondary way of making sure that they don't get a non-ignorable number of responses from those who might disagree with them. The most obvious one is not publicising the so-called consultation in any effective way. Good thing the Register has blown their cunning plan in time to write to newspapers and MPs.

Remember "Beware of the Leopard"? (in the HHGTG, not an Apple blog)

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Re: You think that's accidental?

Well, thanks to El-Reg, they've got one more "No this is not acceptable" response.

.... Anyone know where the key for this filing cabinet is? ... "The Leopard ate it!!??"

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Holmes

Two simple solutions...

1) run the posties from 6pm to 10pm or 6am to 8am...

2) "you weren't in; collect from the post office round the corner anytime in the next week."

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