Missed Royal Mail Delivery – Exploring Your Options

Click on Image to connect to the blog Missed Royal Mail Delivery

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Picture this: you eagerly awaited the arrival of a package, but unfortunately, you experienced a missed Royal Mail delivery. Now what? Fret not, for in this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a journey to explore your options and ensure your precious parcel safely reaches your hands.

We’ll cover everything from arranging redelivery to understanding the reasons behind missed deliveries and preventing future occurrences.

Key Takeaways – Missed Royal Mail Delivery

  • Dealing with missed Royal Mail deliveries involves arranging a redelivery or collecting the package from the local delivery office within 18 days.

  • Strategies such as creating a secure delivery space and utilising Royal Mail’s Local Collect service can be employed to prevent future missed deliveries.

  • Human error, package size, and technical issues are all factors that can lead to delayed packages. Understanding these is essential for devising solutions.

Dealing with Missed Royal Mail Deliveries

An old man using his smart phone to track a missed royal mail delivery package.

Missed Royal Mail deliveries can be frustrating, but there are several ways to address the situation. In most cases, when a delivery attempt is unsuccessful, a red ‘Something for You’ card is left at your address, indicating the missed delivery and providing further instructions. But what if you didn’t receive a card? Don’t worry; you can still arrange a redelivery or collect your package from the local delivery office.

Dealing with a missed Royal Mail delivery involves either reaching out to your local delivery office or initiating a redelivery request online. You have 18 days to collect your package from the local customer service point or arrange a redelivery before it’s returned to the sender. Keep in mind that it takes two working days to arrange a redelivery, so plan accordingly.

Contact Your Local Delivery Office

Should you wish for a direct conversation, your local delivery office is readily available. You can visit the Royal Mail website or the Post Office website, both operated by Royal Mail Group Ltd, to find their general enquiry form and the contact information for your nearest Delivery Office or local Post Office branch with a post office counter.

Additionally, you can search our help centre in the personal customers help centre for further assistance or search this site for more information.

When collecting your missed package, you’ll need to present valid identification, su.ch as a passport, driving license, Post Office EasyID, or Yoti (Digital ID). If you wish to authorise someone else to collect your package, you must print and sign a collection authorisation form, nominating the person to collect. They’ll need to present their own identification, along with a copy or photograph of your identification.

Don’t become a victim of a Royal Mail Email scam, read our informative article.

Request Redelivery Online

As another option, Royal Mail’s online redelivery service allows you to set up a new delivery time. Simply dialog to provide details with the following details:

  • Name on the item

  • Delivery address

  • Date of attempted delivery

  • Item number

Be sure to have all the necessary information on hand, as it’s crucial for a successful redelivery.

Remember, the time taken for redelivery can differ based on various factors like your location, package type, and chosen delivery method. Royal Mail strives to deliver items within three business days of the requested date. This is their standard goal for any delivery.

To ensure your redelivery arrives punctually, consider selecting an alternative delivery method that best suits your needs, like having your redelivery delivered to an alternate address or collecting it from a local Royal Mail delivery office.

Tracking Your Missed Package

A woman tracking a missed Royal Mail delivery package online using  a laptop

It’s beneficial to track your missed package to guarantee its safe and secure arrival. You can utilize Royal Mail’s tracking service to monitor the details of your feedback package’s journey, or you can contact the sender for additional information.

Possessing the tracking number provided by the seller is beneficial for security reasons and to confirm the package is delivered to the right recipient.

Using Royal Mail’s Tracking Service

To use Royal Mail’s tracking name service on our website, you’ll need the reference number on your proof of postage. This tracking number is typically between 9 and 27 characters and can be found on the confirmation email or order invoice.

By utilizing Royal Mail’s tracking service, you can ascertain the current status of the package, including its location and estimated delivery date.

Contacting the Sender

In some cases, contacting the sender of the package may be necessary to obtain the tracking number or any additional information regarding the missed delivery. The tracking number plays a crucial role in Royal Mail’s delivery process, allowing both the sender and recipient to monitor the package’s journey and status during transit.

If tracking your package isn’t possible, getting in touch with the sender becomes important to ensure your delivery’s receipt.

Collecting Your Package from a Post Office or Customer Service Point

A young woman collecting her package from a depot

In case arranging a redelivery to your address isn’t feasible, package collection from a Post Office or customer service point remains an option, even if it’s a different address. To do so, you’ll need to provide valid identification, proof of address such as a utility bill, and the P739 ‘Something for You’ card left by the delivery personnel.

Required Identification

When collecting your missed package, Royal Mail accepts various forms of identification, such as:

  • A valid passport

  • A driving licence

  • Post Office EasyID

  • Yoti (Digital ID)

You can use a digital format of your identification document, like the Post Office EasyID app, website is used for identity verification when collecting parcels.

If you’ve misplaced your debit card or identification and need to collect a package, it’s best to contact Royal Mail directly to inquire about their specific procedures in such scenarios.

Collection Timeframes

It’s important to be aware of the collection timeframes for missed packages. Royal Mail retains packages for 18 days before returning them to the sender. Parcelforce Worldwide, on the other hand, retains packages for 120 days before returning them to the sender if no return address is provided.

Please note that these collection timeframes may be altered during holiday seasons, so always consult the official websites of Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide for detailed information on collection times during those periods.

Preventing Future Missed Deliveries

Box with fragile tape on it left in a safe area as no one at home when delivered

Avoiding missed deliveries in the future is important for a smooth parcel reception experience. In this section, we’ll explore strategies like establishing a safe place for deliveries and utilising Royal Mail’s Local Collect service to ensure your packages reach you without any hiccups.

Establish a Safe Place for Deliveries

Setting up a designated safe place for deliveries is a great way to ensure your packages are securely delivered and easily accessible. Suitable locations include sheltered, waterproof areas of your property, such as a garage, shed, or a secure box. You can use Royal Mail’s Safeplace service to nominate a preferred delivery location, such as a safe place or with a neighbor.

Use Royal Mail’s Local Collect Service

Another option to prevent missed deliveries is using Royal Mail’s Local Collect service. This service allows you to have your item delivered directly to a Post Office branch for collection. By selecting this option when ordering items from businesses that offer Local Collect, you can conveniently collect your parcels from your local Post Office branch, providing more flexibility and control over your deliveries.

Understanding Reasons Behind Missed Deliveries

A young woman ordering goods and checking delivery dates online and by telephone

Understanding the reasons behind missed deliveries is key to effectively addressing the issue. In fact, if you’ve ever missed a delivery, you know how frustrating it can be. These reasons can range from human error to package size or technical issues. By gaining a deeper understanding of these factors, we can identify solutions and prevent future occurrences.

Human Error

Human error is an unavoidable aspect of any delivery process. Misreading addresses, incorrect sorting or scanning of packages, and mistakes in scheduling or route planning can all contribute to missed deliveries.

Acknowledging the possibility for human error allows us to empathise with delivery personnel and motivates proactive efforts toward solutions, like reaching out to the delivery company or identifying communication errors.

Package Size and Technical Issues

Package size and technical issues can also lead to missed deliveries or lost packages. For instance use on this website, Royal Mail has specific maximum dimensions and weight limits for packages to ensure efficient handling and delivery.

Unfavorable weather conditions, such as snow, ice, and heavy rainfall, can also affect delivery services, as they pose hazards for postal workers and hinder access of goods and services to certain areas. Comprehending these challenges aids in devising effective solutions, like choosing suitable shipping methods or giving precise delivery instructions.

Learn how to protect yourself from a Royal Mail Fee To Pay Scam.


In conclusion, dealing with missed Royal Mail deliveries doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By exploring options like contacting your local delivery office, requesting redelivery online, and tracking your missed package, you can take control of the situation and ensure your parcel reaches you safely.

Moreover, by understanding the reasons behind missed deliveries and taking preventive measures like establishing a safe place for deliveries and utilising Royal Mail’s Local Collect service, you can minimise the chances of future missed deliveries.

So, the next time you miss a Royal Mail delivery, don’t despair – armed with the knowledge from this guide, you can confidently navigate the process and reunite with your long-awaited package.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you miss Royal Mail delivery?

If you miss a Royal Mail delivery, you can arrange a redelivery via their website, have it delivered to an alternative address or to a Post Office. If you don’t make arrangements, your item will be held at the local delivery office for 18 days before being returned to the sender. If nobody is home when delivery is attempted, a ‘something for you’ card will be left.

Can I pick up a missed delivery from Royal Mail same day?

Unfortunately, you are unable to pick up a missed delivery from Royal Mail same or next working day. However, you can collect your item from your local customer service point the following working day.

What happens if you miss a Royal Mail delivery but no card left?

If you miss a Royal Mail delivery and no card is left, you can check the tracking status of your package online. Sometimes, the delivery driver may forget to leave a card, or the card may have been misplaced. In such cases, you can visit the Royal Mail website and enter your tracking number to get more information about your delivery. Additionally, you can contact Royal Mail customer support for further assistance and to schedule a redelivery or arrange for collection from your local sorting office.

How late do Royal Mail deliver?

The Royal Mail typically deliver until 3pm in cities and 4pm in rural areas, however, late delivery may occur if the couriers run behind schedule. They also offer a special delivery guarantee of 9am-1pm the following working day.

How do I find out where my Royal Mail parcel is?

To find out where your Royal Mail parcel is, you can track the types of cookies item using the reference number on your proof of postage. You can also contact the Royal Mail team for more information via their Help Centre or Business Help Centre.

How long does Royal Mail retain a missed delivery before returning it?

Royal Mail holds a missed delivery for 18 days before sending it back to the sender.

Do Royal Mail sometimes deliver late?

Yes, Royal Mail may occasionally deliver packages later than the expected delivery date due to various factors such as high volumes of mail, weather conditions, or logistical issues.

Usefule External Reference Sites

  1. Royal Mail Official WebsiteRoyal Mail
    • The official Royal Mail website is the most authoritative source for information on what to do if you miss a delivery. It includes details on how to collect a missed parcel or how to arrange a redelivery.
  2. Citizens AdviceCitizens Advice
    • This website offers advice on consumer rights in the UK, including what to do if you have problems with mail delivery. It can provide guidance on how to handle issues with missed deliveries.
  3. Which?Which?
    • Which? is a consumer advice website with a wealth of information on postal services and consumer rights. They may have articles or advice on how to deal with missed deliveries and how to complain if necessary.
  4. MoneySavingExpertMoneySavingExpert
    • Founded by Martin Lewis, this site offers tips on saving money and consumer rights. It might have specific advice on dealing with missed deliveries and how to avoid any potential costs.
  5. Post Office UKPost Office
    • As a retail partner to Royal Mail, the Post Office website can provide information on what services are available if you miss a Royal Mail delivery, including where to pick up parcels and how to arrange redeliveries.
  6. Consumer Rights – Which?Consumer Rights
    • This section of the Which? website is dedicated to consumer rights and could provide detailed information on the legal aspect of missed deliveries and how to exercise your rights.
  7. OfcomOfcom
    • As the regulator for communications services in the UK, Ofcom’s website might have information on the standards Royal Mail must adhere to and what to do if you believe they have not met these standards.
  8. ResolverResolver
    • This is a free online tool for making complaints. Their website may have a guide on how to make a complaint about a missed Royal Mail delivery and can facilitate the process.
  9. Money Advice ServiceMoney Advice Service
    • This website provides free and impartial money advice. While not directly related to postal services, it may offer advice on managing disputes and financial implications of missed deliveries.
  10. Trading StandardsTrading Standards
    • Trading Standards work to protect consumers and businesses by ensuring that traders operate within the law. While they don’t deal directly with Royal Mail, they can offer advice on consumer rights and how to make a complaint.
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