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how to stop/manage taking my neighbours parcels?

(38 Posts)
becstarlitsea Sat 10-Jul-10 11:37:54

This is driving me insane. I live in a block with 18 other flats. They order lots of stuff over the internet to be delivered to their flats, and they work long hours. The delivery men (whether postmen, DHL or other couriers), ring every bell in the block when there's no answer from the flat they're delivering to. And I'm the only one in during the day, but I'm trying to work from home, and the buzzer goes every half hour or so. I used to take these parcels in an attempt to be neighbourly. But over the past couple of years I've started to regret this. First when a neighbour accused me of stealing her £500 shoes she'd had delivered (I hadn't taken in that parcel, had never seen said shoes), then when a parcel containing sth very bulky and expensive was sitting in our flat for a week (our flat is far too small for us, we don't have room to store things, and surely this item wouldn't have been covered on our insurance if we'd been burgled) while I tried to get the person it belonged to to answer the door and come and get it. When they did come they acted like they were doing me an enormous favour and complained that I hadn't carried it down the stairs to their flat. And most of all I regret it because it's just too much, they're just buzzing all day and I can't get any work done. I am not the concierge!

So now when the buzzer goes, the conversation goes:

Deliveryman: Parcel for you
Me: Which flat?
D: Ermmm. For you.
Me: Which flat number is on the parcel?
D: Flat 16
Me: Ok, that's not me. Can you leave a note for them?
D: Can't you take it?
Me: No
D: It's very small.
Me, Sorry I can't take it. (I hang up)

Buzzer goes again immediately. I ignore it.
Buzzer goes again and again and again. I answer it.

Deliveryman: Look it's very small, if you could just sign for it (etc etc)

There's an iphone coming to a flat in this building which they have been on at me about for weeks now. I don't know the neighbour it's coming to. The deliverymen try to get me to take credit cards FFS! Most of all I just want to be left alone to work. I don't want to be mean to my neighbours, just not to be disturbed constantly.

I suspect there's a simple sensible way for me to deal with this. WWYD?

southeastastra Sat 10-Jul-10 11:41:53

do you have a managing agent? i would bring it up with them. maybe your block could get a shared parcel drop type thing. or you could charge £1 for every parcel taken in

littleomar Sat 10-Jul-10 11:44:13

don't answer the door

thisisyesterday Sat 10-Jul-10 11:47:01

hmmmm I think I would speak to all the neighbours and tell them the problem. Then I would put a polite notice up on the outside of the building saying DO NOT ring on number x unless the parcel is for you

if they keep doing it then report them to whatever company they work for

thisisyesterday Sat 10-Jul-10 11:47:16

you could also suggest they get parcels delivered to their workplace instead?

Carbonated Sat 10-Jul-10 11:48:08

Can you turn your buzzer off during working hours, unless you are expecting a parcel of your own? I wouldn't take a single other parcel, it's not worth the hassle for you and your neighbours sound like a PITA.

becstarlitsea Sat 10-Jul-10 12:06:00

Unfortunately our buzzer doesn't have an 'off' switch, it's not very high tech - just one of those phone things with a 'door open' button. If I don't answer the door I miss my own parcels and post (inc. for my work), and the buzzer is so loud that it's disturbing even if I don't answer it. I hardly ever see my neighbours as they all work during the day. I could write them a note, but need to strike the right tone - don't want to create an atmosphere.

How about:-

Dear neighbours
I've been having problems with delivery people with parcels for other flats repeatedly ringing my buzzer during the day, when I am trying to work from home. I wouldn't mind if this was an occasional thing eg once or twice a week (some of you know that I've taken parcels in for you before), but it is every day, several times a day and it's becoming stressful. If you are having something delivered would it be possible to give your work address as the delivery address? Or could you please put a note asking for it to be delivered to your flat only? I can't accept deliveries any more as it is making it impossible for me to work, and I'm concerned that some of these items might be valuable and not covered by our household insurance. Thank you for your understanding. Becstarlitsea in FlatX

senua Sat 10-Jul-10 12:13:08

The idea of delivering to work is a non-starter. To foil fraudsters, a lot of places will only deliver to the address where the credit/debit card is registered.

pavlovalover Sat 10-Jul-10 12:15:08

I like your note, but would change a few words and the order to make it absolutely clear you won't be dealing with any of these deliveries in the future:

"...I will not be accepting deliveries any more as it is making it impossible for me to work, and I'm concerned that some of these items might be valuable and not covered by our household insurance. If you are having something delivered I suggest you give your work address as the delivery address, or put a note asking for it to be delivered to your flat only. Thank you for your understanding. Becstarlitsea in FlatX

DuelingFanjo Sat 10-Jul-10 12:18:02

could you put a note on your door saying 'please do not ring to leave parcels for other flats'?

Danthe4th Sat 10-Jul-10 12:19:07

They could pay extra to have it delivered at a time when they will be in or a saturday delivery.
The delivery men usually are the same ones so telling them all once or twice should get the message across.

thisisyesterday Sat 10-Jul-10 12:20:23

yes, i'd put what pavlova suggests

i've NEVER had a problem getting people to deliver to a work address, and my mum always does it as there is never anyone at her house

you normally will be asked for your home addres, which should match the credit card address, but then be given the option of delivering elsewhere

domesticslattern Sat 10-Jul-10 12:40:24

You sound very nice! Every half hour or so would drive me insane!

I would also be much more abrupt with deliverymen when you find out it is not for you. "No I cannot take it, good bye." Then ignore any repeated buzzing.

They get the message quite quickly I find.

BouncingTurtle Sat 10-Jul-10 12:48:37

As someone else who work from home, you have my deepest sympathies. I do get fed up of people trying to leave parcels here, and I can't turn my doorbell off!!

there are some good solutions here, I wish I could offer anyone.

Many companies DO deliver to alternative addresses, Amazon do, as do Shop Direct (who I work for), and they can pay for premium delivery.

I do like the start charging idea - after all you are not obliged to take these parcels in and you are running a business from home!

said Sat 10-Jul-10 12:50:35

SOme workplaces will not accept personal mail at all though. But I'm sure most people could think of at least one alternative address. What a pain for you

NetworkGuy Sat 10-Jul-10 14:10:18

If it wasn't for the concern about 'creating an atmosphere' I'd say you charge 10 pounds because of the interruption to your work day.

However, I suspect that would not go down well.

Can understand problems over delivery (first at least) not being allowed at work (by card company rules to reduce frauds) but the impact is always on you, and then there's the insurance aspect, ingratitude, and lack of reciprocation.

Wonder what they would do if you worked in an office too, and no-one was home to accept parcels and recorded delivery etc.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 10-Jul-10 14:21:27

A local post office will hold parcels for you for 50p. Tell them to drop it there. Personally I now refuse all parcels for my neighbour because the lazy cow won't walk all of 20 metres to our front door to pick up parcels despite the fact the delivery man leaves her a card hmm

I would suggest you get in touch with the companies involved and ask for a note to be put on the route log to the effect that 'if you ring X's bell and the parcel is not for her, you'll get a kick up the arse'

I wouldn't bother mentioning it to the neighbours, they'll just roll their eyes and ignore it as you've established yourself as the helpful sort and they won't believe you really mean it (sorry). Also it's not actually their fault the couriers are wankers is it?

And refuse point blank to take any parcels, and tell them to stop harassing you, or let them in, let them come up and then say 'well leave it outside the flat then, I'm not signing for it' and close the door.

NetworkGuy Sat 10-Jul-10 14:33:19

Yes, wmmc is likely to be right - neighbours won't accept a change in the status quo now you have been helpful.

The Post Office idea sounds a good one (though depends on when people actually get home - after 5:30pm and it's as good as locked away until Saturday, anyway).

louii Sat 10-Jul-10 14:37:41

I would agree with the poster that said buzz them in then say oh this parcel is not for me and refuse to take it. A few times doing this then I am sure couriers will stop asking you.

gorionine Sat 10-Jul-10 14:44:24

I would do exactly like you really, say "no it is not mine" and then just ignore subsequent requests.

When I am not home to receive a parcel there is a note through the letterbox saying that I can :
- ask for the parcel to be delivered at a different time
-ask for the parcel to be redelivered to my closest post office and pay a 50p charge to get it back from them
-go myself to the sorting office wih a proof of ID and pick it up

Simple enough really. Your neighbours mail is not your problem. WWMC idea of writing a little note for the delivering companies a good one.

becstarlitsea Sat 10-Jul-10 18:57:17

wwmc, you have summed up my whole problem - I establish myself as the 'helpful sort' then get resentful when people proceed to take the piss. I need to practice just saying 'no' don't I?

mutters 'no I'm not coming down for that parcel' over and over to herself.

Glad I haven't had a stream of 'oh you selfish cow, why don't you just take their parcels', which part of me worried about. I suspect that is the same part of me that worries about saying 'no' to taking the parcels...

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sat 10-Jul-10 19:06:27

There's some law saying that the postperson (politically correct here) must only deliver to the address on the envelope, surly this must apply to parcels aswell? maybe the delivery people could get into legal problems if they deliver to someone else's flat (insurance etc)?? You can't 'legally' accept them, it's a legal minefield out there, unsolicited goods and all that. Something for you to look up wink

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sat 10-Jul-10 19:22:24

It appears that parcelforce delivery folk get a bonus if they don't return parcels back to the depot.
There was an Act to make the carrier take care of parcels/letters in their care (ie, not leaving them with a neighbour) but this was repealed in 2000 by the Labour government so this no longer applies.

Stick a note on the door saying you are not the concierge.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 10-Jul-10 19:57:54

belle is right actually, you become the bailee in accepting the goods which makes you responsible for them (trying to remember law school a long time ago)

So unless you have adequate cover you absolutely should not accept them. I happen to have this cover as part of my insurance but I still won't do it anymore unless it's for the nice family over the road.

UPS, and DHL both give bonuses to drivers who return with empty vans!

becstarlitsea Sat 10-Jul-10 20:01:48

Ahh, that bonus thing makes a lot of sense. Now I understand why they keep buzzing and hassling.

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