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Moving house, the list of people you have to tell is endless, no matter how thorough you try to be, there will always be someone who slips through the net - and to the rescue comes your knight in shining armour, the Royal Mail.
WHAT IS IT? For those of you who don't know - it is a service provided by the Royal Mail for people who have moved on, both in the UK and Overseas. All mail, first and second class is forwarded to your new address for the allotted time - for a small fee of course - please bear in mind that all the prices listed below are PER SURNAME in the household NOT the address: UK
1 month - £12.60
3 months - £21.00
6 months - £42.00
12 months - £63.00
1 month - £12.60
3 months - £27.30
6 months - £42.00
12 months - £63.00
So as you can see, if you request the service for longer than 1 month, it becomes slightly cheaper.
This time, we have done it in three month chunks, so that we get to see how much mail we have coming through on re-direction at any one time - Easy, peasy isn't it?
CAN I GET THE FORM? Forms available from your local post office - or they can be downloaded on-line at www.royalmail.com. you will need to take the form to your local post-office with an official form of ID, or you can post the form off to Royal Mail HQ - including your ID, something like a Driving Licence, passport etc. - it does tell you on the site.
The Royal Mail require a minimum of 5 days notice to activate the re-direction.
When the selected term comes to an end, you will be sent a reminder just before, with the option to extend for the same periods again for the same price -this can be done over the phone by credit card or through the post by cheque, or at the post-office.
ALL SOUNDS FAIRLY SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD DOESN'T IT?
Well it should be - heres my story.
In August last year we moved into a brand new house - we didn't have an official house number, streetname or postcode - we did the dutiful thing and notified the Royal Mail and duly received, on the day we were moving, our acknowledgement of the new address - except that they had changed it to a totally different street, hence a poor elderly lady living roughly ½ mile away from us was getting our mail - its just lucky she was honest.
Needless to say the Royal Mail got a right earbashing and the problem was resolved, or so we thought - and we received an apology letter and the infamous book of free first class stamps - then we started getting next doors mail, or the mail would go to the site office, another complaint, another book of free stamps - then in their infinite wisdom, the local council decided there wasn't going to be a number 13 on the site and all the houses were moved up a number - needless to say we are all moving into the estate backwards from highest to lowest - oh dear, how was the postman (actually mainly a woman in our case) going to cope now? - at the same time the Royal Mail actually issued us with a postcode
There was three people living on the site, surely this wasn't going to be that complicated - WRONG AGAIN - we were getting next doors mail, ours was going to an empty house, the show-home were getting bills for a house not even built yet - although I guess you can't blame that directly on the post-office - another complaint - you can guess the rest - well nearly, when we complained that all the post-person had to do was look at the surname, I was advised that it is only the address that is relevant -so can someone tell me why I am paying two lots of redirection fees? apparently its an administration charge.
NOW, there is quite a few people living on the estate, I should know, the other day I had everyone's mail for my end of the estate, the show-office received the mail for the upper part of the estate - luckily it was a day I was working from home as there could have been urgent materials for all these people - and No I do not appreciate being used as a postwoman - if i'd wanted to do the job I would have applied - but I would have thought that they would at least be able to read.
AGAIN, I complained to the Post Office and virtually begged him not to send me another book of stamps - guess what?..... and still the mail doesn't always go where its supposed to - and now most of our stuff is now actually correctly addressed/redirected - the best part is when I rang up this time, the Royal Mail (who bear in mind had issued our postcode 4 months before) advised us that the postcode didn't exist and that I must have it wrong - of dear - so no, my box is not serviced as well as I would like it to be, now we have forked out £126 in re-direction fees they still can't get it quite right.
SUMMARY The concept of the service is superb - the abilities of the staff both internal and external appears somewhat lacking in delivering the service - but do without it? no chance
Great op - Sounds like a nightmare, and am starting to discover a few "mistakes" in my current redirection. I certainly would n't have paid out the amount you have though - tell them where to shove their stamps next time!
cinders_25uk 15.06.2003 16:35
Highly informative and what a nightmare! We are currently having our mail redirected too, but it must be an added nightmare for the Post Office with a new development like that. However, it doesn't take long to remember who lives @ what house!
ariadne 08.04.2003 02:46
Highly informative review. I can't believe the cheek of the post office - if it's truly just the address they re-direct then why is the charge per surname? If only they had a competitor, I'd use them instead! x