- Friday, 17 August 2012
Postmen can now leave parcels with a neighbour when no one is home, the Royal Mail have confirmed.
Currently, large items that do not fit through a letterbox are returned to a nearby depot and a red 'sorry, you were out' card is left instead.
This means that people who are out during the day - for example at work - face frequent trips to collect their items.
They must bring identification to depots and can face long waits at busy periods such as Christmas.
But Royal Mail is now going to follow other private delivery firms who simply leave the package with a neighbour and let the recipient know which house it is at.
A three-month trial of the new initiative was hailed a great success by the postal group - with customers welcoming the convenience of picking up their mail from a nearby address.
The practice will be rolled out across the entire country from late next month if it is approved by authorities.
Mike Newnham, Royal Mail’s chief customer officer, said: "The results of the trial showed that customers welcomed the convenience of having items delivered to a neighbour if they were not at home to receive them.
"We look forward to Ofcom’s decision on rolling out the initiative later this summer but wanted to give all our customers early information about our plans and outline their options."
From next week, households will receive leaflets detailing exactly how the scheme works.
Robert Hammond of Consumer Focus, said: "As we do more of our shopping online, missed deliveries are becoming an increasing inconvenience for customers.
"Many people will be at work when deliveries are made and need alternative ways to receive their mail.
"Leaving post with a neighbour is a good option, and research by both Royal Mail and Consumer Focus during trials earlier this year showed a positive response from customers and the neighbours their mail was left with.
"Not all customers will want their mail to be left with a neighbour.
"But we welcome this extra delivery option, as long as Royal Mail ensures customers are aware they can opt-out and that staff adhere to the scheme’s guidelines."
Image Courtesy of: Kenneth Addams, Wikimedia Commons
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