Royal Mail to change parcel delivery rules

The Royal Mail has unveiled plans to leave parcels or post which needs to be signed for with a neighbour if a householder is not at home.

The postal organisation – currently the only major delivery company which fails to leave items at neighbouring addresses – also said it wanted to amend the amount of compensation to business customers, so that no payment would be made for loss or damage for those using “untracked” services.

The plans would not affect consumers or most small business customers who use stamped and franked mail and parcels, it said.

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Under its existing licence, Royal Mail is prevented from delivering to a neighbour if the recipient of the mail is not at home and the item is too large for the letter box.

In a recent survey, leaving an item of mail with a neighbour was the most popular location for delivery when no one was at home to receive the mail.

Stephen Agar, Royal Mail’s director of Regulated Products, said: “The way we all use the post is changing rapidly. We are seeking approval to make some changes to the services we provide which better reflect today’s postal market.”

Robert Hammond of Consumer Focus, said: “The regulator must look long and hard at whether these moves are in customers’ interests and whether they are warranted.