Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Neighbour deliveries to be extended

The Royal Mail is planning to extend deliveries of large items of post to a neighbour if people are not at home following a successful trial.

The postal group said more than nine out of 10 people whose post was taken to a neighbour as part of the trial expressed satisfaction.

Almost 750,000 homes in Edinburgh, Gatwick, Hull, Norwich, Swansea, Wigan and Bolton took part in the trial, which started last November.

Royal Mail said it will now ask Ofcom to amend regulations so it can extend deliveries to neighbours across the UK later this year.

Mike Newnham, Royal Mail's chief customer officer, said: "The results of the trial have been very encouraging.

"Customers welcome the convenience of having items delivered to a neighbour if they are not at home to receive them. Royal Mail is now seeking regulatory changes to allow us to extend Delivery to Neighbour across the UK for the benefit of customers."

Robert Hammond, of Consumer Focus, said: "We are ordering more and more items online and during the week many people will be working, meaning undeliverable mail is an inconvenience for consumers and a growing demand on Royal Mail's resources.

"Leaving post with a neighbour is a good way of tackling this issue. It may not be a universal solution as some people will not want to leave mail with people living nearby, but as long as consumers are fully aware they can opt out, then we feel the scheme could be extended further, if Royal Mail wished to do so."

Royal Mail said it was the only major delivery company not allowed to deliver to a neighbour as part of standard practice.

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