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 …
3) don't use Royal Mail, or companies that do.
Re: you forgot
Unless of course the delivery company they do use wont redeliver on a Saturday and the nearest depot is 20 miles away in a rancid industrial estate
Deliver to work
I get stuff delivered to my work. I guess I'm lucky that I can do that, but it's always worth a shout if you speak to your office manager. I suppose less helpful for anyone in an industrial workplace or similar.
Can I start a business selling doors with special holders for labels. I think the best seller would be "If neighbour not present, please deliver all takeaway food here"
Re: Takeaway food?
You'd have to be pretty stupid to order take-away when you were out.
Re: Deliver to work
I know some people who work in big places / as subbies where this is frowned upon.
I think they trust their local landlord to receive the packages and keep them behind the bar instead.
I am Surprised the Royal Mail want this.
They (the Royal Mail) accept liability for thieving neighbours, some of which will blame the postie, and no doubt an increase in thieving posties blaming neighbours.
"1.4 Royal Mail has made a commitment that any roll out will include a provision for customers to opt out of the service and that Royal Mail will retain liability for all undeliverable items until they are received by the original addressee."
I don't have a problem with my neighbours, but as I work at home and available to recieve packages the point is moot. I do have a problem with my postie putting stuff in one of the bins when he thinks no-one is home. Problem is the bin is not ours and is on our neighbours drive. They don't know anything is there and keep piling in the rubbish.
I am amazed at how far behind the times the UK is.
I dont think Canada Post has any dedicated post offices anymore, they've contracted it out. It's hard enough to find a mailbox to post a letter. However, pretty much every standalone pharmacy has a Canada Post outlet, many with delivery boxes for rent so you can use them as your mailing address. Each of them is generally open until 9pm and on Saturdays, and most of them on Sundays.
If you are not home when delivery occurs, then they leave a note which says when it will be available for pickup and where. I've never seen a line up more than 5 people long for pickup or drop off.
Re: I am amazed at how far behind the times the UK is.
Canada Post do still have dedicated post offices - there's one just a couple of blocks away from the Parliament buildings. I agree that it's very much the exception, though. I think my morning commute of a mile takes me past four stores with post office branches, and I was very pleasantly surprised the first time I went to post a letter at 8pm and found the counter still staffed.
On the other hand, their attitude to parcels is a little too relaxed for me - more than once I've come home to discover a parcel sitting on the front step.
Re: I am amazed at how far behind the times the UK is.
My local post office is in a printing shop / internet place. Only open to 7pm weekdays, and 6pm on Saturdays.
I have caught the Canada post delivery person sneaking the "you were not here" card into the mail box without knocking.
It's not that I don't trust my neighbours.
But one of them works shifts. And has been known to take in my parcel and then never be in when I am for a whole week. The other neighbour has taken stuff in on a friday morning then gone away over the weekend.
Why can't they just come to an agreement with tesco or someone that opens 24h that you can collect the parcel from there?
Then the post office doesn't have to have multiple failed deliveries and can pass on a small part of that saving to tesco... Tesco gets people turning up at their store who will decide to do their shopping while they are there... and I can collect my stuff 24h.
Everyone is a winner!
One problem with that...
If you "Click and collect" with Tesco direct, at my local 24hr Tesco you have to collect by 6pm, as they then close the desk that handles collections.
Got there at 5:50pm one day, and they'd already closed and vacated that area of the store.
or the Royal Mail could do what they used to do - get up early and deliver when people are still in...
my post office is just down the road and open till I think 7pm... 3 times a week... they just have a slightly longer lunch which is fine with me...
as for leaving with neighbours... meh... totally on the fence with that... but i live in a little town with ok neighbours... who happen to have jobs so wont be leaving with them!
FFS, still? 12 years ago a British design organisation made a competition based on this very problem... entries ranged from reusable boxes that could be secured to the property and the means of opening it (key or code) popped through the letter box, to oversize letter-boxes... though none that were totally convincing IIRC.
But personally, if I had ordered something of size, I wouldn't mind just popping down to my nearby Royal Mail depot (which is manned from early morning to early evening) than take an hour-plus round trip to a Courier depot.
Supermarkets are another obvious solution... large storage facilities, open late, might offset any inconvenience to themselves by selling the parcel collector their dinner, or any accessories for the new toy they might have neglected to order.
Relive your youth ...
Miss playing thunder and lightning? Relive your youth by becoming a DHL delivery driver, ringing doorbells and running away!
(Thanks to TopTweets)
From the PDF
"Ofcom strongly prefers to receive responses using the online web form at
I'm assuming they want web response because they don't want the responses delivered to the next office whom they don't trust?
What's wrong with
Leaving it at you local sub-post office, Parcel Force already do, you pay £1 to collect, so 50p for a letter seems reasonable, and it increases the viability of our remaining post offices.
My village post office would be up for it.
I've just looked.
The consultation document is over 130 pages long, and the online response form has 21 questions about the content asking for specific agreement or not to various questions, with a single small overall comment field. I do wonder who they think will have time to respond to this.
I don't think the summary is much use in this exercise.
Hell, what about Argos? Their entire business is storing things securely in a warehouse until people come pick it up, and they do open 'til 6/late night shopping already. I'm sure they'd love a bit of extra footfall, they could have their latest 'deals' showing by the collection desk.
Other options for the Post Office include opening outwith office hours as others have mentioned, but here's an idea: Sort that abomination of a website so that you can use it to inform the depot where your parcel is stored that you will be coming to collect it on day X; given enough notice surely they could have it handy for collection on the day you arrive. From here you automate the authorisation process so you don't have to pull out your passport and a blood sample to pick it up - surely it would be child's play for them to rig up secure login on the net that punters could log in to and print out a bit of paper that says "The bearer of this slip is entitled to collect parcel 123, as per my secure online authorisation." Slap a barcode on it as well so the clerk doesn't even have to spend time typing on their system. That way the collection process could boil down to: Rock up, have the barcode on your slip scanned, collect parcel, piss off. bye bye queues.
I'm not ok with that.
If the package is addressed to me, deliver it to me.
Don't deliver it to my neighbour, because the last time you did that they opened the package and invalidated the warranty on my new DDR3 memory.
If you tell the Post Office that you're happy for a neighbour to take in a parcel and it goes missing or is damaged are you liable? If a courier delivers a parcel to another address than that on the label *without permission* then they are entirely liable if anything goes wrong.
If Royal Mail was released from the Universal Service obligation they could make a lot of money. There are depos in town centers (the huge places sometimes the size of supermarkets) where posties work putting mail onto frames and bundling it up for delivery which are worth Billions alone, nobody else has these kind of assets, some of the vehicle repair workshops they have could hold 500 flats and a tesco metro.
They would be leaner and RM really took the piss in the past with people finishing 4 hours early into an 8 hour day, but since the modernisation it's zero hour contracts for people starting and temp hires through Angard (which RM own to get round temp laws) and no sick pay (which isn't a legal requirement, the government will pay a tiny amount for those off sick long enough)
It will happen in the next two years, and they will be very profitable but only if RM is released from the USO otherwise it's going to run itse;f into the ground and be broken up piecemeal.
Hang on a minute...
...in order to inform the postie that parcels should NOT be delivered to the less than trustworthy folk next door, I have to display a "do not redirect" sticker somewhere obvious. So what's to stop the less than trustworthy folk next door waiting until I've left for work, and then removing/covering over this sticker so that when the postie arrives and I'm not in, oh look, my stuff gets delivered next door...
It wouldn't work any better if the sticker was used to say that stuff SHOULD be delivered next door, since there'd then be nothing to stop next door waiting till I'm out and then sticking their own sticker on my front door...
Did somebody mention HDNL without an expletive?
"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."
Are you seriously referring to HDNL (Hopeless Delivery Network veryLimited) here? They had a parcel of mine for FOUR WEEKS once. They have plenty of complaints from lots of different places if you go look. I'd prefer never ever to do business with them again but sadly both Amazon and eBuyer use them :(
ParcelForce seem OK where I am, usually they arrive before I go to work, and if not they leave ths stuff at a nearby Post Office (and so far, collection has been free, albeit not entirely convenient due to limited opening hours).
Re: Did somebody mention HDNL without an expletive?
HDNL are apparently extremely variable.
If your local geezer in a hatchback is dedicated and enthusiastic, presumably it's pretty good.
If they aren't, well, you're screwed.
Personally, I always get things delivered to my office. It then rocks up on my desk without any bother, usually much faster than if I'd ordered for delivery to home.
The only downside is that if the parcel looks particularly "interesting" then everybody stares at me until I open it!
delivery companies are slippery though. We got a note through the door saying they had left it in the recycle bin.. Wouldnt usually be a problem but the rubbish was being done that day... Company i purchased from sent me another presumably they chased the delivery company for the loss though.
This sort of thing depends entirely on the item being received, and who your neighbours are.
At my old place, one side was fine, the other not so much. One side owned the house, the other was rented and changed hands regularly. Are we expected to add and remove stickers on a regular basis?
Why not simply implement a "this can be left with a neighbour" tickbox on websites using royal mail, and in post offices, so that the postie can see clearly on a per package basis what they are expected to do.
If someone doesnt want to update their webforms to include a new tick box, the item is assumed not to be left with a neighbour, and it all operates as before. Sooner or later more companies will implement this, and then it will start eeking its way into general practice.
Only for mouse companies.
Neighbours from Hell
I live in a trial area and have had to stick the sticker on myletterbox saying I don't trust my neighbours, thanks to Royal Mail they made an already bad situation with asbo neighbours even worse!
"Alternative delivery companies, already cherry-picking the profitable bits of the market, are at liberty to deliver anywhere they like and often make clear in their terms and conditions that packages may be left with a neighbour."
Or, as in my case, to the same number house on a street about half a mile away because one is "<X> Place" and the other is "<X> Road". Happens regularly with some delivery companies.
Seems that checking you're in the right place instead of just delivering wherever you happen to be is a bit more than they think they're being paid for.
What happens if your neighbour accepts the parcel (which might be something you urgently need) and then goes on holiday for a month? Is there any legal recourse you can take?
"undeliverable packages, which are expensive to process."
It doesn't look very expensive to me --- but then, I can't see wht they are up to in the half hour between pressing the counter bell and when someone turning up to take your parcel details.
Royal Mail *facepalm*
What if you live in an area where everyone is middle-class (or even lower-middle-class) and so every single person in the road is actually working during the day? Can't deliver it to neighbours, can you?
Make it opt-in, you idiots.
another bit of bad news in a shit summer
the retarded country i live in just got a nudge shittier. lucky i have work so i can get stuff delivered there. aargh.
The article says that implies that the reason behind this idea is to reduce the number of "undeliverable packages, which are expensive to process."
Surely the cost of non-delivery, as well as that of any of a number of other possible eventualities, is included in the rates they charge. Does this mean that if you agree / do not object to delivery to a third-party you (or the sender) get a rebate? Would the cost of processing such hypothetical rebate not offset and probably exceed any savings made in the first place?
Btw, I do not know how the law stands in the UK, but where I live, taking another person's mail without explicit authorisation is a criminal act and carries stiff penalties. Taking delivery for someone else requires a signed authorisation along with copy of the addressee's official ID, and original ID of the third party (whose identity is recorded along with the fact that he took delivery at your request), and even then it's at the discretion of the postal employee. Mind you, queues are never more than 5-6 people in my corner of the woods, and they're open on Saturdays.
There's a whole bunch of problems with Royal Mail since it's went from being a nationalised service delivering letters (and the odd parcel) point to point to a semi-privatised business delivering 90% letters for DHL, Citipost, etc. and packets. If you bother to check the postmarks on your daily wad of pointless marketing junk you'll notice very little of it has a stamp or RM postmark, it's almost all from third parties which RM makes a loss on each item due to fucked up competition regulations.
Then the automation of mail sorting has made the parcel situation even worse, the machines can obviously sort mail for cheaper than humans can, but they do it much more slowly, which in addition to the increased amount of time fucking about with parcels in the morning means average postie is getting out onto the street at around 10AM these days when everyone has already left for work, whilst twenty years ago it would have been more like 6AM or 7AM.
I just don't see how Royal Mail can work as a private business when communication by mail is all but dead. They're trying to make it profitable on the back of junk mail essentially (aka "households" or "door to doors") which is bad news for everyone really, and a massive waste of trees. Seems to me it would make more sense to do the opposite and run it as a subsided service again, stop delivering mail for other companies, jack up the price of stamps so that only essential mail is posted rather than leaflets advertising home insurance or whatever, and then run it on a skeleton crew to minimise costs. I don't even think deliveries six days a week is necessary, frankly, a monday/wednesday/friday schedule would probably satisfy most customers and businesses fine given the number of alternatives for high priority communication.
Oh this'll be fun. I share my letter box with another flat, so it's gonna have to be something like ...
stuff for flat 2 can be delivered to flat 1 or flat 3, or number 9 next door, but definitely not number 13. stuff for flat 3 can be delivered to [list of who he trusts and distrusts].
The posties seem to have enough trouble reading the names of the roads, so you can guarantee that they'll fuck that up, and deliver my mail to the loony next door who thinks that I'm trying to gas him.
My wife is at home with the kids a lot of the day & most houses around us are empty whilst people are at work.. we get loads of packages delivered for the neighbours & it's a right pain! Our hallway sometimes ends up looking like a delivery office! If we get a cut of the postage for safely storing the neighbours parcels then fair enough, but we end up waiting days for people to come & get their stuff, or end up traipsing round to give them their box.
My neighbour would rip the sticker off my letterbox, then nick the parcel...
I coudn't trust my next-door-neighbour as far as I could throw her. In fact I couldn't even trust her as far as I could throw her house! As for the sticker I am 100% certain she would rip the sticker off the letterbox, nick the parcel and deny all knowledge. Although she would openly show off "her" new toy, knowing full well I couldn't do bugger all about it.
I missed a parcel once, delivery was attempted by Parcel FARCE. I ended up paying a 'handling fee' even though I went out of my way to go pick it from the main depot, despite my local post office being 2 mins away.
So if they start full scale 'neighbour deliveries, does that mean I can charge RM/PF a handling fee for completing the service they were originally paid for?
Why can't failed deliveries be taken to the local post office rather than a depot usually out of the way and with ridiculous opening hours.