Options available to couriers if you are out

Everyone has been out when a parcel has arrived. Whether out at work, away on holiday, popped to the shops, or gone to fetch the kids, we can’t be at home 24 / 7. Although tracking updates have got better and better where parcels are concerned, sometimes these are still inconsistent and incompatible with peoples plans and lives. If a courier does turn up at your door and you are not there to answer, what options do they have available and how do they arrive at their choice? Our latest blog post will take a look at this.

1) The ‘safe place’

Many people know they are going to be out in advance of a parcel arriving and will have likely allocated a dedicated safe place for their parcel to be dropped off. Sometimes people forget or don’t specify however. Where possible, a courier will always try to leave your parcel in a safe place (over a gate, in your porch etc,) but it does depend on the contents of the package and whether a signature is required.

2) Neighbours

Dropping parcels off to neighbours in your absence is always a good option and many couriers regard this as better than the safe place. Someone has actually physically received the parcel and it will be kept safe behind the locked door of their house. Some couriers will automatically try neighbours to look after your items while you are out, even if you have not specified this option. However, neighbours might be out, not everyone gets on with their neighbours, so there are still always factors to consider which can make this less than ideal at times.

3) Try again

Some couriers will come back later or the next day, leaving a card to say they have called and you were not in. This can be a good strategy as the card can bring it to the attention of the receiver once they return home, and give them time to make arrangements. Many companies do this less these days in our experience, because they are so busy.

4) Hold the item at a location such as post office or delivery office

This is becoming an increasingly popular option. Items are taken somewhere to be stored and the onus is then placed on you to collect them. Strict (and short) time limits can be in place with these options, so ensure you pick your item up quickly.

5) Return to sender

If all the above fails, the ultimate last option for a courier is to send the item back to where it came from – assuming it has a sender’s address which not all parcels do! This is not ideal for anyone. The recipient doesn’t get their package, it wastes time for the courier, and it can cause complications between the sender and receiver in getting money back etc. Most people expect their parcels to arrive or at least will retrieve them if they are out. Surprisingly however, this option does get used by couriers more often that many might think.

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