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 …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. benjymous

    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?

    1. Annihilator

      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"

    2. LarsG
      Thumb Down

      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.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        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!

    3. Mips

      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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even better...

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

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Number 10

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

      Who does, nowadays?

      1. Anonymous Coward 15

        Re: Number 10

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

      2. Anonymous Coward

        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.

        1. Annihilator


          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.

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    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.

  4. Mike Judge

    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.

    1. neon1024

      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.

    2. Nigey

      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.

      1. Steve Knox

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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? ;)

          1. Graham Bartlett

            Re: Obvious problem.

            I believe they call it a "washing machine".

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Obvious problem.

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

    3. Homer 1
      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".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  5. jai

    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!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      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).

    2. Annihilator

      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...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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 ;)

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          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" ...

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    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....

    1. Bakunin
      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?

    2. Andy Hards

      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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...

  7. Buzzword

    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.

    1. Natalie Gritpants

      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.

      1. Code Monkey

        Re: Door stickers are bad

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Door stickers are bad

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

          If you would be so kind.

      2. mad_dr

        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.

        1. Graham Bartlett

          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.

  8. TRT Silver badge

    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?

  9. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    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?

  10. banjomike

    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.

  11. h4rm0ny

    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.

  12. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    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!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Nigel 11

      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.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Andy Hards

      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.

      1. Nigel 11

        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.

  15. Simon Aspland

    From the PDF...

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

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

    1. Nigel 11

      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)

      1. Simon Aspland

        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!!??"

  16. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    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."

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      you forgot

      3) don't use Royal Mail, or companies that do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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

  17. neon1024

    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"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Takeaway food?

      You'd have to be pretty stupid to order take-away when you were out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

  18. TBx

    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."

  19. Ryan Clark


    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.

  20. Keith Williams

    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.

    1. andrewsi

      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.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      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.

  21. John Burton


    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!

    1. Simon Aspland

      Re: Ugh...

      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.

    2. Anonymous Cowerd

      Re: Ugh...

      or the Royal Mail could do what they used to do - get up early and deliver when people are still in...

  22. Matt_payne666

    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!

  23. Dave 126 Silver badge

    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.

  24. John H Woods

    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)

  25. hi_robb

    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?


  26. Is it me?

    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.

  27. Is it me?

    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.

  28. auburnman

    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.

  29. Crisp Silver badge

    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.

  30. Mike Richards


    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.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  32. ChrisC

    Hang on a minute... 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...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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).

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      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!

  34. Piercy

    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.

  35. Andrew James

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      eek! eek!

      Only for mouse companies.

  36. The Mocha

    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!

  37. chr0m4t1c

    No sh*t

    "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.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "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.

  40. Test Man

    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.

  41. stupormundi
    Thumb Down

    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.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  44. David Cantrell

    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.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

  46. Leebeejeebee

    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.

  47. ReefMSX

    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.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019