About The Royal Mail Redirection Service
The British Royal Mail service offer a redirection services of their own. You can set up a redirection from any address in the UK. You will need various forms of ID depending on whether you apply online, in person at a Royal Mail Post Office or by post.
Here’s the official blurb:
“With our Redirection service, we’ll send mail addressed to you at your old home, to your new home, for a small fee. You can set up a Redirection for one, three, six or 12 months and renew it for up to a total time frame two years. The Home Office recommends Redirection as a way of ensuring mail arrives safely and to help prevent any issues with identity theft / fraud.”
Prices start from about 8 GBP per month. This is very reasonable. It can also be used by businesses.
A service like this means that you can still get your mail, easily, when you move home or move to a new business premises. It’s important to get the initial application right with regard to the name of the person or business whose mail you want forwarded. Otherwise, it might be still sent to your old address or held in a sorting office.
This is fine, unless it doesn’t work. Royal Mail are a very large company and sometimes users of its redirection service slip between the cracks. Redirections don’t work, or work partly and some of your mail winds up at your old address or you get other people’s mail as well. One online poster said he had a chat with his postman and suddenly the volume of redirected mail increased substantially!
Royal Mail will use the information you provide to update a number of databases, from TV Licencing, social security (and successors) and also credit referencing agencies. This is for the stated purpose of fraud prevention. They get paid for this and it’s mentioned in the small print of their service details. So it’s not very good if you want to avoid creditors or the like.
Another online forum user mentioned a trial staged in 1999, where 20 pieces of mail sent resulted in 4 items being delivered the following day, 6 within 7 days, 3 took 3 weeks and 7 items disappeared. Not great, if you are expecting important mail via this service.
Personally, I would make sure that important entities like banks and utilities know your new address and Royal Mail can handle the less important stuff. Another idea is to develop a good relationship with the residents of your old address, leave some prepaid envelopes with them and get them to forward yur mail to you.
Another option is to set up a mail redirection service with Registered Address Ltd. This means that wherever you go, your mail can follow you. All you have to do is update your forwarding address with them. The service can run as long as you want and they take care to ensure its forwarded correctly and in good time.