News and press releases

  • Royal Mail
    Royal Mail delivering parcel to woman at home
    17 August 2012
    Royal Mail puts plans in place for Delivery to Neighbour initiative
  • Royal Mail is planning to roll out its Delivery to Neighbour initiative across the UK in late September, subject to regulatory approval
  • Royal Mail will start a nationwide leaflet drop on Monday 20 August informing customers about how it intends to make it easier for people who are out and about when we call to receive mail
  • A three month trial of the initiative found that customers welcomed the convenience of items being delivered to a neighbouring address if no one was at home to receive them.
  • 92%* of people whose items were delivered to a neighbouring address because they were not at home during the day were satisfied with the experience
  • 90%* of people who received items on behalf of a neighbour who was not at home when delivery was attempted were satisfied with the experience
  • Royal Mail is the only major delivery company currently not allowed to deliver to a neighbour as part of standard practice
  • Ofcom is currently undertaking a consultation on the initiative which requires regulatory changes to enable Royal Mail to introduce the initiative across the UK. 

Royal Mail is preparing to roll out its Delivery to Neighbour initiative in late September, subject to regulatory approval. The company will be delivering a leaflet to all 29 million addresses across the UK starting next week (weeks commencing 20 and 27 August) providing information about the new delivery initiative which will make it easier for people who are out and about when the post arrives to receive items that are too large to go through the letterbox or require a signature.

The leaflet will explain what Delivery to Neighbour means in practice and will include information about how to opt out, should a customer not wish to participate.

The initiative is still subject to a final decision from Ofcom following its current consultation. However, the regulator has stated it is minded to grant approval and has not objected to Royal Mail starting to notify customers about the initiative, pending the final outcome of the consultation process.

The initiative is part of a process of bringing Royal Mail’s terms and conditions more in line with other delivery companies. Currently, Royal Mail is the only major delivery company not allowed to deliver to a neighbour as part of its standard practice.

Feedback from households in the trial areas revealed that 92% of customers whose item was left with a neighbour were satisfied with the overall experience. 90% of neighbours who accepted an item expressed overall satisfaction. When questioned about their reasons for satisfaction, convenience and ease were top of the list.

Research by Consumer Focus also found that delivery convenience was improved for people whose undeliverable post was left with a neighbour as part of the trial. Its report, Everybody Needs Good Neighbours, said: “Both recipients and neighbours reported that items were collected quickly and conveniently, with no reports of loss or damage. Almost all consumers whose post was left with a neighbour, or who received post on behalf of their neighbours, believed they had benefitted from the delivery to neighbour trial.”

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.”

For further information contact

Barbara Roulston
Tel: 028 9089 2186
Mob: 07885 269003
Email: Barbara.roulston@royalmail.com 


Notes to editors:

  • The trial was launched in November 2011 in Edinburgh, Gatwick North, Hull, Norwich, Swansea East, Wigan and Bolton. Approximately 748,000 households were involved in the trial and around 220,000 items were successfully delivered to a neighbour during the trial period.
  • Royal Mail wrote to every address in the trial areas informing customers of the initiative and giving them the opportunity to opt-out if they wanted to. During the trial less than 1% of households requested an opt-out.
  • *The research of 720 customers was carried out between 12 January and 9 February 2012 by Illuminas. Findings of the trial can be found at www.royalmailgroup.com/regulation/regulation-framework 
  • Special Delivery and inbound international items requiring a signature are excluded from Delivery to Neighbour.