Royal Mail Delivery to Neighbour coming soon

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Royal Mail have completed trials of their “Delivery to Neighbour” trials and it’s been a resounding success. They’re now applying to Ofcom for permission to formally roll the service out across the entire country. Hopefully this will be approved and running in time for Christmas and is something that all ecommerce retailers should welcome.

Currently, Royal Mail is the only major delivery company not allowed to deliver to a neighbour as part of its standard practice. It’s something that most people want though, no one looks forward to queuing at their local delivery office to retrieve parcels on a Saturday morning, (and that’s bearing in mind how palatable collecting from a Royal Delivery Office looks compared to a 25 mile each way trip to a courier depot).

Finding a card saying your parcel has been left next door just makes life so much easier – convenience and ease were top of the list for reasons why customers liked Royal Mail Delivery to Neighbour during the trial.

Of course there are the odd people who don’t get on with their neighbours but if you’re not willing to accept a parcel for the obnoxious person next door then you can simply decline when asked. Royal Mail wrote to every address in the trial areas informing customers of the initiative and giving them the opportunity to opt-out if they wanted to – Less than 1% of 748,000 households requested an opt-out and once approved for roll out nationally Royal Mail would write to every address including details of how to opt-out if that’s your preference.

In the trial most people were delighted with the Delivery to Neighbour service with satisfaction rates of of 92% for the overall experience and 90% for those accepting parcels on behalf of others. The service would include Recorded “Signed For” letters and Royal Mail “Tracked” which require a signature on delivery. The only items which wouldn’t be delivered to a neighbour are “Special Delivery” or International mail requiring a signature.

I can’t see anything not to like about this new service. The only surprising part is that it’s taken Royal Mail so long to implement what my postie has been unofficially doing for years. I know they shouldn’t but it’s easier for my postie and for me if my parcels are left next door when I’m out but soon they’ll be able to officially do it without risk of reprimand if caught.

16 Responses

  1. As a seller I don’t like this idea much (also as a buyer). Over the years I have had a few times where courier company’s have done this and I have received complaints that the neighbor claims they do not have it or that the neighbor had left the package outside the customers door but was not there when they got back in. The problem is, it shifts the responsibility to the neighbor, so if something goes wrong then who is to blame?

    While I understand that this isn’t the case for most people and that some people simply cannot get to the delivery office in rural areas etc., I see this more of a way for Royal Mail to reduce costs.

  2. Both of my neighbours are out at work during the daytime, I don’t wan’t to turn my house into some kind of storage facility, nor do I wan’t my door bell rung every day.

    The RM can bog off.

    Humbug. 😀

  3. Royal Mail will need to add a tracking status ‘Left With Neighbour’ to RM Tracked as the current ‘Delivered’ will not be sufficient.

  4. How does someone know that the RM have dropped a parcel with their neighbour? Is it down to the neighbour to remember to pop round and drop it off?

  5. Gawd help us its with a neighbour! will now become the new its currently being processed through our system message when something goes missing

  6. I am undecided on this one. On the one hand I can see if you have great neighbours it would be fantastic. Sadly I don’t, so I wouldn’t want things left with them.

    But I am unclear on one point. With opting out, is it only the person who is to receive the item that can opt out, or can the neighbour opt out of receiving things? I got fed up with my one of my neighbours having things delivered almost everyday and the couriers ringing my doorbell trying to get me to take their stuff, some even got quite rude when I refused.

    From a seller’s point of view, I think it is a good idea for normal post. However when I am concerned about the trustworthyness (is that a word?) of a buyer I send by recorded delivery, even then the amount of buyers who used to try and claim it hadn’t arrived, only for me to check the tracking number and see their signature and delivery date. With them being able to claim their neighbour refused to hand it over, would I still have to refund / resend / have paypal do a chargeback even though the tracking stated “delivered” and had a signature?

  7. And I am that freaking neighbour who gets all the parcels for the whole street and about 3 streets over.

    I started to refuse to become a sorting office and now magically, regardless of being in or not my postie doesn’t even give me MY parcels to serve me right.

    I get a red notice shoved through and the postie skips off. He is pretty quick these days as I have run out the door in my TOWEL to chase him down to see if he had my parcel…he never does.

    My postie comes at 8am.

  8. Wrongly addressed parcels will also cause problems. I have had to refuse delivery of a few packages who does not live in my flat (or to the best of my knowledge my stairwell).

    If this package was for a different flat number then I would be inconvenienced by having to take it to the post office for return.

    A lot of people would probably just keep/bin the item.

  9. I am broadly happy to receive mail for my neighbour but how many neighbours away from my home is “neighbour” (I am disabled)

    I am broadly happy that my neighbours be allowed to accept delivery BUT neighbour on one side is on night-shift work and sleeps most of the daylight hours!!! Same query about who is my neighbour?

    As a home based seller on eBay,Amazon and sometimes on eBid I have doubts about honest neighbours…will Royal Mail provide “proof” that letter/package WAS delivered. As I understand the law the despatching business is responsible for ensuring delivery…I can foresee increased requests for “delivery”; increased negative ratings for sellers.
    Buyers will face increased purchase prices to cover losses and/or increased postage charges for signed for services.

    I await the Royal Mail letter to see what they are really offering and whether there is an opt out.


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