The report examines the nature and extent of mail delivery problems experienced by domestic mail consumers in Northern Ireland. Specifically, it assesses how flats with shared access can present particularly intense delivery obstacles affecting Royal Mail and householders alike. It looks at how householders respond to these problems and makes proposals for a way forward in identifying and implementing solutions to the access and delivery issues most commonly experienced at flats.
Our research has found that while there is a generally high satisfaction level with Royal Mail’s performance, some consumers in flats, particularly those with a common front door, are experiencing problems with the delivery of their mail. From the postal survey we commissioned
- 5,000 questionnaires were issued to consumers living in flats: 120 were returned by Royal Mail, of which 70 were recorded as ‘address inaccessible’
- 61 per cent of respondents reported receiving other people’s mail to their home
- 29 per cent of those in flats with a common front door report having had their mail delivered to another address
- 29 per cent of those with a common front door also reported delay in receiving mail
- Lost mail is reported by 21 per cent of those in flats with common front doors
Problematic mail deliveries to flats is recognised by Royal Mail and the Regulator Ofcom. They have agreed that residents in timelocked/entry phone/restricted access premises, or those with a communal delivery hall should be excluded from the official quality-of-service survey sample. This is used by the independent research contractor, Research International, to measure the performance of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) postal service.
As the needs of postal consumers change with the rise in online fulfilment mail and decline in standard letter mail, it is emerging that traditional delivery solutions are not meeting the needs and lifestyles of today’s consumers. In this report, Consumer Focus Post recognise that to improve mail deliveries at flats both now and into the future a suite of solutions are required, as well as commitment from wide-ranging stakeholders.