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To have opened someone else's post?

(24 Posts)
IzzyMunchkin Mon 10-Aug-15 15:30:06

Really trivial in the grand scheme of things, but has been bothering me this afternoon.

I got a parcel through the door this morning, opened it up to find a dvd I hadn't ordered. Checked the name thinking it must have been DH and it was for a house in the same town as mine but completely different road, post code etc. I googled the address and it's only 5 roads away so on my way to the shops I thought I'd pop it in.
I knocked on the door as obviously it was open and I didn't want them thinking it was the postman or whatever.
A lady answered and I explained what had happened and apologised.
She started bloody shouting at me! shock Telling me I had broken the law by opening her post, what kind of person does that, it's her personal business, I had no right. Basically just a long rant about what a terrible person I am!
I was just standing there like an idiot listening to her. When my brain started working again I pointed out I would never have opened it if I had realised and I had gone out of my way by about 2 minutes but that's not the point to make sure it reached her safely.
I decided to walk away and that was that.

But it's really annoyed me! WI really that U to have accidentally opened it or was she U for the way she reacted?

I wondered whether she was embarrassed but there was nothing untoward about the DVD!

In our house I open all the post. If I left my DH's for him to sort out it would sit on the hallway table for months! So I don't usually check the addressee. I will now though!

SaucyJack Mon 10-Aug-15 15:32:23

Technically she's right, and it is illegal. Bit bloody rude of her though to have a go when you'd taken the trouble to go over there and give it to her.

Shit happens smile

TenForward82 Mon 10-Aug-15 15:32:54

Yeeeeeeeeeah, you made a mistake, wasn't the end of the world. She over-reacted.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 10-Aug-15 15:33:18

I don't open any mail if my name's not on it, what you did was automatic for you in your house.

She should have been grateful you went to the trouble of finding her, cheeky cah!

Scarydinosaurs Mon 10-Aug-15 15:34:49

You didn't do it on purpose! What a rude woman!

What DVD was it??

laffymeal Mon 10-Aug-15 15:35:54

Don't give it any headspace. If you get any more post for her, keep or bin it.

Bailey101 Mon 10-Aug-15 15:36:39

It's not illegal to open someone else's post, it's only illegal if you have unlawful intentions or use the information in the letter for toot own illicit gain.

DoreenLethal Mon 10-Aug-15 15:36:43

It is not illegal to open someone else's post.

Gruntfuttock Mon 10-Aug-15 15:37:26

In her place I'd have thanked you very much for going to the trouble of bringing it round to me. Isn't that what any reasonable person would do?

The woman was probably as stupid as those people who dial a wrong number and then get angry with the person who answers:- "Well if it's a wrong number why did you answer?"

LurkingHusband Mon 10-Aug-15 15:38:04

Well I for one wouldn't bother myself delivering any misdirected mail in future, just bin it.

That said, I wouldn't have opened it by accident. But that's only because MrsLH and I share the same initial, so a lot of post can be ambiguous.

At our previous address, post seemed to end up at random flats. People always passed on the post with no problem. But it was curious that in 5 years of this, the only letter that "accidentally" got opened was a bank statement for MrsLH.

IzzyMunchkin Mon 10-Aug-15 15:38:35

Glad it's not just me that thinks she was a bit OTT!

I know you're not supposed to open other people's post, I guess I should be checking the labels but I've never had to before. Will make sure I'm extra careful from now on.

scary it was Insurgent. Which I am dying to see, incidentally! grin

FinallyHere Mon 10-Aug-15 15:38:50

^ this

And continue being lovely to everyone else in the world: i say this as it was a very kind thing to take it round to them, rather than just put it in the bin. I can see you might want to just put it in the bin next time anything addressed to them is put into your house in error.

ImperialBlether Mon 10-Aug-15 15:42:55

I would have shouted so the neighbours could hear "Look, the fact you're watching pornography is really nothing to do with me!"

SideOrderofChips Mon 10-Aug-15 15:56:04

God ive done that before! We have a service here called text and collect. I collected my parcels, opened them all and one was an engraved item i hadn't ordered engraved for people i didnt know. checked the address and it was for someone with a similar surname 3 doors down from us. So i took it round and explained and the lady was just grateful to get her gift.

IzzyMunchkin Mon 10-Aug-15 16:00:09

Ha! imperial I wish I had done that!

WitchofScots Mon 10-Aug-15 16:04:30

She WABU, YANBU. Daft woman, she's lucky you took it round.

LurkingHusband Mon 10-Aug-15 16:15:05

Speaking for myself, I'd much rather a neighbour re-delivered an item, than returned it, and left me to wait for it to be redelivered.

Bearing in mind there's no obligation to immediately return the item (you can guarantee this is where a "reasonable time" isn't defined, and a court would have to decide).

MrsLH and I can go weeks without going near a postbox. Especially since they withdrew them all from the nearby supermarkets.

Findtheoldme Mon 10-Aug-15 16:18:12

Silly cow on a power trip throwing illegal comments around.

LazyLouLou Mon 10-Aug-15 16:29:22

If it was not done maliciously it is not illegal. It is illegal if you ‘intend to act to another’s detriment' but, as you then took the time to deliver it to her, you did not act illegally.

Print out the below and pop it through her door (and then run, obviously) smile

Postal Services Act 2000

Under the Postal Services Act 2000:

“A person commits an offence if he, without reasonable excuse, intentionally delays or opens a postal packet in the course of its transmission by post, or intentionally opens a mail bag.”

“A person commits an offence if intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.”

This, in essence, means that if you deliberately intercept, throw away or open somebody else’s post you are likely to be breaking the law...

However, sometimes people accidently open other’s post, and they should not face criminal punishment. For example, if somebody receives a lot of post and therefore opens it quickly, it is quite likely that they may open another’s post (which may have been incorrectly sent to them) without looking at who the letter is addressed to.

Clearly, in this situation it would be wrong to face criminal punishment for opening another’s post. But this highlights the difficulties faced by those who would attempt to prove someone’s intent to act to a person’s detriment.

scarlets Mon 10-Aug-15 16:31:26

Might have been a pirate DVD. She sounds like the type.

TenForward82 Mon 10-Aug-15 16:31:43

Oooh, I like the 'post it through her door' option, although I'd rather stand on the step and watch her read it.

Binit Mon 10-Aug-15 16:34:03

What a fucking rude, nasty bitch!
You were really nice.
I've had this before, ordered something from amazon, it arrived as promised addressed to me in a box. Fine, but at the bottom of the box was a sealed small parcel addressed to someone else! I just shoved it into a post box. People can be really shitty.

I did something kind for a family today. The man thanked me profusely and the woman looked at me like I was a murderer! People can be weird.

HighwayDragon Mon 10-Aug-15 16:36:49

I regularly open the previous occupants post, in case it's debt letters, it has been a few times, I just cannot be arsed with dealing with debt collecters on my doorstep.

IzzyMunchkin Tue 11-Aug-15 07:31:44

LazyLouLou the way she reacted when I delivered something that was hers, I dread to think what she'd do if I posted something like that! Maybe I should leave it on the doorstep, ring the bell then leg it behind the hedge to watch her face grin

One good thing that has come out of it though, I was telling DH on the phone yesterday what had happened and mentioned I wanted to see the film and should've just kept it for myself He popped in to sainsbury's on the way home and bought it for me smile

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