Post FAQs


Complaints

If you wish to complain about a Royal Mail service, in the first instance you will need to contact Royal Mail Customer Services.

Royal Mail can be contacted in the following ways:

Customer Service Helpline: 03457 740 740 (textphone 0846000606)

Address for complaints:

Royal Mail Customer Services
FREEPOST PO Box 740 
Plymouth 
PL9 7YB

Email: customerservice@your.royalmail.com

Website: www.royalmail.com/customerservice

If you have already complained to Customer Services or are not satisfied with their response you can ask to escalate your complaint to Royal Mail’s Postal Review Panel.  This acts as the final stage in Royal Mail’s complaint handling process.

The Postal Review Panel is a ‘ring fenced’ team that sits outside of Royal Mail Customer Services and is empowered to independently review complaints from customers who have used a Royal Mail service.

They can be contacted directly by emailing postalreview@royalmail.com or by writing to FREEPOST, Postal Review Panel.  However they will normally ask for a reference number issued by Customer Services before they can review a complaint.

If your complaint is about another postal operator, you should ask to escalate your complaint to a manager responsible for complaints

If your complaint still cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, the postal operator can issue a ‘deadlock’ notice that will allow you to ask the independent postal redress scheme (POSTRS) to investigate your case. Please note, only regulated postal operators are covered by this scheme.

A list of postal operators who are covered by the POSTRS scheme can be found on its website. You will need to have progressed your complaint through all stages of the operators’ complaint handling process before you may be referred to this scheme.

For independent advice or guidance, you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service. The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.

You can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service by telephone on 03454 04 05 06 or via its website.

If you wish to complain about any issue regarding post offices, you would need to contact Post Office Limited Customer Care:

Post Office® Customer Care
FREEPOST
PO Box 740
Barnsley
S73 0ZJ
Telephone: 03457 22 33 44

Parcelforce, although a division of Royal Mail Group, is not a regulated service. Courier services (over £1) and parcel services (over 350g) are fully open to competition.

Your complaint should be directed to Parcelforce at:

0344 800 4466

0344 800 5550 (for Welsh speaking customers)

08000 855 854 (textphone for customers with impaired hearing)

You can also use Parcelforce’s online complaints form.

Problems

You will need to contact Royal Mail’s Customer Services department, either by telephone, writing or via Royal Mail’s website.

Royal Mail's retail compensation arrangements entitle customers to a certain amount of compensation for retail mail (e.g. stamped or metered mail including Special Delivery Guaranteed and Signed For) that is lost, damaged or delayed, as follows:

* For items posted with Royal Mail which have no intrinsic value or where a claimant cannot provide proof of posting, there will be compensation for loss, damage and delay of a minimum of six First Class standard letter stamps.
* For items posted with Royal Mail using First or Second Class standard services, which are lost or damaged, that have an intrinsic value, with proof of posting and proof of value (such as an invoice or receipt), customers will be entitled to a postage refund plus compensation for actual loss up to the value of the item, or £20, whichever is the lowest

* For items posted with Royal Mail using Signed For services, which are lost or damaged, that have an intrinsic value, with proof of posting and proof of value (such as an invoice or receipt), customers will be entitled to a postage refund plus compensation for actual loss up to the value of the item, or £50 , whichever is the lowest

* For items posted with Royal Mail using Special Delivery services, which are lost or damaged, that have an intrinsic value, with proof of posting and proof of value (such as an invoice or receipt), customers will be entitled to a postage refund plus the compensation for actual loss up to the value of the item, or the value associated with the Special Delivery product purchased, whichever is the lowest

* Compensation for delayed retail mail will become payable 3 working days after the due delivery date
* £5 and £10 payments for delay and substantial delay for Special Delivery (not posted on account)
* Redirected retail mail is eligible for compensation for delay
* Users of the Articles for the Blind service can claim compensation for loss, damage and delay

With regards to lost items, mail is not considered to be lost until 15 working days after the date of posting.

Further details are available on Royal Mail’s website.

You can submit a compensation claim by contacting Royal Mail's customer services at:  

* Royal Mail Customer Service Centre
FREEPOST
PO Box 740
Glasgow
G22 6WW
* Royal Mail call centre: 03457 740 740
* Royal Mail email:

Royal Mail determines its own collection and delivery times.  Collection and delivery times are not regulated by Ofcom.

However, Royal Mail is required to notify Ofcom of any changes to its latest delivery times and to publish the changes on its website.  

Royal Mail aims to complete deliveries by 3pm in urban areas and by 4pm in rural areas.

Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by these times and Royal Mail endeavours to maintain this every working day, but daily volume variations, transport disruptions and operating issues mean that there may be some occasions when these times are not met.

If your deliveries are consistently later than the specified times you should address your complaint to Royal Mail at:

* Royal Mail Customer Service Centre
FREEPOST
PO Box 740
Glasgow   G22 6WW
* Tel: 03457 740 740
* Email: contactus@royalmail.com

If it is necessary for you to receive mail at a particular time of day, Royal Mail offers some additional services, details of which can be found here.

There are opt-out schemes available to help reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive as follows:

Addressed mail:

For mail that is addressed, you will need to contact the Mailing Preference Service to remove your address from mailing lists:

* Address: Mailing Preference Service, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS.
* Telephone: 020 7291 3310
* Email: mps@dma.org.uk
Please note that it can take up to four months for your address to be removed from some mailing lists.

Unaddressed mail / leaflets:

If you wish to stop unaddressed mail or leaflets that are delivered by Royal Mail to your home then you will need to send your name and address to:

Freepost RSTR-YCYS-TGLJ
Royal Mail Door-to-door opt-outs
Kingsmead House
Oxpens Road
OXFORD
OX1 1AA

Alternatively, email your name and address to optout@royalmail.com

Royal Mail will  then send an opt-out form to your address, which you must sign and return to verify that those resident at the address have requested the ‘opt out’. Once you’ve returned this form, Royal Mail should stop delivering unaddressed items to your address within 6 weeks.

The opt-out will last for a period of two years from the date Royal Mail received your opt-out form. If you wish to continue your opt-out after the two-year period you can do so by completing a new opt-out form which can be obtained by contacting Royal Mail via email at optout@royalmail.com or via telephone on 01865 796964, or at the address above.

As part of its  universal service obligation, Royal Mail must provide a delivery to every address in the UK, every working day.

However, for some addresses, it is not possible for Royal Mail to deliver mail right up to the door.  If that is the case, Royal Mail must give a good reason for making an "exception" to its universal service obligation.

If you are an "excepted" addressee, and are not happy with the decision or alternative mail delivery arrangements Royal Mail has made, in the first instance you will need to formally appeal this decision with the Royal Mail Delivery Office Sector Manager.

You will need to make sure you submit this appeal to Royal Mail within 3 months of their decision to suspend your delivery service.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your appeal you can appeal again for your case to be referred to the Area General Manager. If you are unhappy with this second decision you need to appeal again within one month of the Area General Manager’s decision and at this stage your case will be referred to Ofcom for an independent investigation.

Further information on how to appeal can be found on Royal Mail’s website.

Deliveries and charges

Special Delivery Guaranteed is Royal Mail’s urgent and insured product, with guaranteed delivery by either 9am or 1pm the next day.

It includes an online tracking system and electronic proof of delivery and compensation up to £500 or the value of the item, whichever is the lower. If you need something delivered by the next day (with a few geographical exceptions) this is the service to use.

The ‘Signed For’ service provides proof of posting, signature on delivery to the address (not necessarily the addressee) and online confirmation of delivery of your item. It includes a maximum of £50 in compensation. If you want the peace of mind of knowing that your item has been delivered to the address but not the addressee, this is the service to use, but please note that this service does not include a guaranteed delivery time and should not be used for valuable items.

Royal Mail’s Redirection service allows customers to have mail redirected from their old private address to a new address.  There is also a redirections service if you are moving business premises.

Customers can apply for a redirection at their local post office or by contacting Royal Mail’s Redirection Centre on 03457 777 888. Or visit www.royalmail.com/redirection

This service is not available for all customers, nor does it cover some types of mail. For example:

  • Mail for people not included in the application.
  • Parcelforce Worldwide products.
  • Mail addressed to boarding houses, hotels, colleges or other multi-occupied premises.
  • Mail for people who didn't live at the previous address. Redirecting without proper authority is a criminal offence.
  • Personal mail from a business address to a private address.
  • Mail from one PO Box to another in the same delivery office.
  • Mail from an overseas address to a UK address
  • Mail from a BFPO (British Forces Postal Office) address
  • Special Delivery and Recorded items to a redirection address abroad. We'll return these items to the sender
  • Social security and benefit mail. These items are returned to the sender as part of the Social Security Administration (Fraud) Act 1997

If you order goods worth £15 or more from outside the EU and you have not paid the Import VAT in advance, you will have to pay Import VAT on these goods when they arrive in the UK.

If the goods are worth more than £105, customs duty is also payable.

However, whichever UK postal operator delivers your goods will pay these customs charges and will then charge you both the customs charges and a handling fee before you can claim your goods from them.

For example, Royal Mail charges an £8 handling fee on top of the customs charges owed. See Royal Mail’s website for more information regarding customs charges on items ordered from abroad.

Keepsafe is a service whereby Royal Mail holds customers’ mail for up to 2 months at their local delivery office while customers are away from their home or business premises.

Royal Mail will deliver it once the Keepsafe ends. More details can be found here and here.

There are some items which will still be delivered, for example;

  • Royal Mail will not hold mail for people not on the Keepsafe form unless stated by the customer.
  • They will hold recorded delivery items for 1 week only and special delivery items for 3 weeks; after this time these items of mail will be returned to sender. Customers will be notified of these items via a ‘While you were out Card’ through their letterbox
  • Royal Mail will also not hold perishable items. Such items will be returned to sender.
  • If customers want to cancel their Keepsafe early, this must be done in writing; no money will be refunded in the event of early cancellation. Customers cannot pick their mail up from the Delivery Office.

A letter is an item which is:

* Up to 240mm in length
* Up to 165mm in width
* Up to 5mm in thickness

A ‘large’ letter is an item which is:

* Up to 353mm in length
* Up to 250mm in width
* Up to 25mm in thickness

If you have a large letter you must use a ‘large’ stamp. If you are unsure whether your item is a large letter, your post office will be able to help.

P.O. Box is a service that allows you to collect your mail from your local Royal Mail delivery office, instead of having it delivered.

More details can be found here.

Historically, Royal Mail has tried various methods to obtain the correct amount of postage on letters which were improperly stamped, such as delivering with a franked reminder, or enclosing a card for the sender to return bearing more stamps to redress the difference in postage.

Unfortunately, neither solution was successful, which led to the introduction of the £1 surcharge in 2003.

Where an address is visible on an item of mail bearing insufficient postage, it is Royal Mail’s policy to inform the recipient that an item of mail is available for collection.

This provides the customer with the choice of whether to collect the item of mail with the £1 surcharge or to refuse collection which will allow the item to be returned to the sender.

Royal Mail says that the handling charge is necessary to cover the cost of assessing the item for the correct postage and diverting it from the normal stream of mail, so that the additional postage can be requested from the recipient.  It does not represent additional profit for Royal Mail.

Post offices & postboxes

You can use the Post Office’s online Branch Finder tool by entering your postcode to find your nearest post office.

You can also use this tool to find the nearest post office that offers specific services, such as processing driving licences or Parcelforce Express Services.

Alternatively you can phone the Post Office general enquiry line on 0845 722 3344.

You should contact Royal Mail Customer Services on 03457 740 740, making a note of the postbox number which can be found on the bottom left hand corner of the collection plate (for example GU27 66).

If you ever find that the collection plate is missing from a postbox, make a note of the postbox location and advise Royal Mail that the plate is missing.