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.

Security is important, so check!

When we are out, we want to keep our houses as secure as possible. Advertising you are out or away and no one is at home is not a good idea for obvious reasons. Just as you would cancel the milk and newspapers if away, it is worth taking the time to double check that nothing is due to be sent out in parcel form. Having a parcel sitting in front of your door on a main road for several days is the last thing you need! If you know in advance, you may want to consider using a same day courier service which can mean you get the item quickly before you go.

Inform neighbours / family

If you know you are due to have a parcel delivered, talk to your neighbours or someone trusted in your street. It can be something as simple as re-directing the parcel to their address while you are out. This can also apply to family members too, and many couriers have the facility where they can re-route parcels to cater for this circumstance.

Your work venue

Depending where you work and whether you have a physical office, having the parcel sent there is another good option to be stored while you are not around. Many people have parcels sent to work normally anyway, but this does depend on your relationship with your employer and whether it can be kept safe.

Ask for the item not to be sent until after you get back

Contacting the company who will be sending the item out and asking them to ‘hold’ it for a specific time can also work and be a good idea. This option saves everyone time, because there is no wasted delivery on the courier’s side and you don’t have to inconvenience neighbours or family, whilst having the benefit of knowing the item will be kept safe until you return. Some couriers and even the Royal Mail also have a facility where they can store your parcels for you (there is usually an additional charge however,) but this is another avenue worth investigating if you think it will apply to you.

Have it sent to where you are

This is probably the least popular option because it depends on whether you are in the UK or not and whether the item has been dispatched or not as to whether the delivery address can be changed. If all the above options fail, there is a possibility that you can just change the delivery address to where you are staying and have it sent there instead. Depending where and how late you have left it, there is almost certainly additional costs to be considered, but when security is important as we have already mentioned, this can be a small price to pay!

So you are out or away, the courier visits your door and gets no answer. What next?

Some further options available to couriers if you are out

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) 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.

3) 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.

Are you looking for a same day courier? Click our dedicated link to find out much more information, along with how you can book us to help.

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