Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Neighbour post delivery extended

Royal Mail will deliver post to a neighbour if no one is at home unless customers opt out of the scheme

A Royal Mail scheme to deliver post to a neighbour if no one is at home is to be extended across the UK from next month.

The postal group held a three-month trial of the initiative, saying that customers welcomed the convenience of letters and parcels being left at a nearby address if they were not at home to receive them.

The practice will be rolled out across the country from late next month, subject to regulatory approval.

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."

Leaflets will be delivered to houses next week explaining 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."

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