We do our best to make sure your mail gets to its destination safely, but sometimes, even with the best will in the world, we can't deliver your mail. This could be if:
- The mail isn't addressed properly or if some of the address is missing.
- The building no longer exists - i.e. it's been demolished.
- The person receiving the mail refuses to accept it.
- Insecure packing means the address has come off.
- Not enough postage has been paid and no one will pay the fee.
- There's a security system at the delivery address that stops us from getting in. If you need to make special access arrangements for deliveries to avoid this happening, give us a call on 08457 740 740.
- There's no one at home to receive mail that needs a signature, or it's too big to get through the letterbox.
- If the delivery address isn't permanently occupied, or if access is unsafe, impractical or unreasonable. If this happens we'll try to contact whoever the mail is addressed to and ask them to collect it. If we can't get hold of them, or they don't collect the mail in time, unfortunately we'll have to treat it as undeliverable.
We'll keep it safe for you
If we can't deliver the mail you sent, we'll leave a 'Something for you' card at the delivery address. This shows the address and opening hours of the local delivery office, so whoever you've sent mail to, can go and collect it.
If at first we don't succeed we'll try and try again
We make every effort to make sure your mail arrives safely, so we'll keep it for 18 days. After that, we'll return it to you if you put your address on the outside, and we'll attach a sticker explaining why we couldn't deliver it.
If you haven't put your address on the outside, we will send mail to our National Returns Centre for processing. They will open the mail and return it to you if your name and address is inside. If it's a newspaper, magazine, advertising or greeting card, however, we will dispose of it.
The last resort
If there is no return address available and the contents meet our storage criteria we may hold the items for up to four months (for First class, Second class or Recorded Signed For™ it’s two months) pending claims via customer services. If it’s not claimed within that time, unfortunately we’ll have to dispose of it.
Finding out more
Elsewhere on royalmail.com
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