Royal Mail will expand its initiative to deliver post to neighbours when no-one is at home throughout the UK in September, following a successful trial period.
The company is delivering leaflets to 29 million addresses this week, providing information on the new scheme that will make it easier for people to get their hands on items that are too big to fit through the letterbox or require a signature.
The ‘Delivery to Neighbour’ initiative will mean that objects can be left at a nearby address rather than a Royal Mail sorting office, although you will be able to opt out if you don’t want to be included.
Royal Mail said that a recent three-month trial of the scheme had found that customers enjoyed the convenience of a neighbour taking in their mail when they were out and 92% were satisfied with their experience of that.
Royal Mail awaits Ofcom approval
The initiative still needs regulatory approval from Ofcom before it can be officially introduced. As things stand, Royal Mail is the only major delivery company that is not allowed to deliver items to a neighbour as a standard practice.
Which? post expert Richard Dilks said: ‘As more of us shop online and receive goods via the post, the option to retrieve a missed package from a neighbour could save you the time and hassle of having to collect it from a Post Office depot.
‘And if you don’t want to take part in the scheme – as either addressee or neighbour – you can opt out. Letterbox stickers for your letterbox are available from Royal Mail.’
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.’