How to Prevent Misdelivered Mail
The cost of sending a First Class letter, package or parcel isn’t cheap, so you want to feel confident that any mail sent will reach its destination. From double checking the address details to personalised letterboxes, how can you help the postie get it right, the first time?
UK Postal Services
According to the latest Ofcom monitoring of Royal Mail services* 82% of customers are satisfied. Their cards, letters, magazines and orders are reaching the intended recipient, undamaged. However, misdelivered mail is the most reported issue experienced by Royal Mail users.
Letters and parcels aren’t always delivered to the right recipient. I’m sure we’ve all received mail that was meant for a neighbour and they have had some of ours. This is usually returned, but not always. If your mail gets opened by someone else, private information and other valuable contents can be stolen.
How can we all play a part in helping the postie to get it right?
Getting Mail into the Right Letterbox
We can’t pin all the blame on misdelivered mail on the postman. Here are 5 ways in which we can help them to get mail into the right letterbox.
1. Double Check the Address
When ordering online or sharing your address details over the phone, double-check the information you’ve shared. It’s easy to miss out a number, be misheard or for someone to misspell the address. By taking a moment to check that the address has been correctly noted, issues can be avoided.
2. Opt for Personalised Letter Box
For aesthetic, security and energy efficiency reasons, a growing number of UK properties are opting for external mailboxes instead of through-the-door letter flaps. These mailboxes can be fixed to boundary walls, or gates, or be free-standing at the end of a driveway. This means the house number isn’t clearly visible for the postie.
Adding custom letterbox numbers to these mailboxes makes it easy to see that letters, magazines, small parcels and more are going to the right address. Once posted, they will be secure in the hold until you come and unlock it.
3. Install an External Parcel Box
If you receive more packages and parcels than letters, you may want to consider installing an external parcel box. If the packages are too big for the letterbox, the postie may leave them on the doorstep. This opens up the chance for an opportunist to grab it as they pass your property or for a neighbour to take it in for you. You assume the parcel has not arrived or has been misdelivered when it has actually been taken.
4. Use Mail Redirect Services
If you are moving out of your current address, update your details with the organisations that you are registered with, such as your bank and doctor’s surgery. This is important, even if they no longer regularly send you mail. Then sign up for Royal Mail’s redirection service for 3, 6 or 12 months to stop the new occupiers from receiving post that is intended for you.
5. Return ‘Not at this Address’ Mail
If you receive mail that is addressed to a known neighbour, rather than you, just pop it through their letterbox. If the intended recipient isn’t someone you know, cross through the address and write ‘Not at this Address’ on the envelope. If there is a return address on the envelope, you can circle it. Then pop it back in the post box. Royal Mail will return to the sender, so they are aware that the details they hold are not up to date.
Post to the Right Recipient
So, to reduce the risk of misdelivered mail, check details, opt for letterbox personalisation, consider a parcel box and use services that help get post to the right recipient.