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to think i was right?

28 replies

badmummy101 · 19/05/2011 12:53

we have lived in our house for over 6 yrs. we STILL get post for the old owner. stuff from barclays and scottish widows and some other company.
everytime we get it, i mark it return to sender, and put that the person has moved. this is about once a month.
we just got another one.
so i opened it, to find a number and give specific details to the company that this person, with xyz reference number etc no longer lives here and to give them the last known address.
the woman on the phone was SOOO rude to me.
spouting that i had broken the law, that it was up to the named person to inform them of change of address, and that i couldnt make changes.
now i KNOW you dont open other peoples post.
but this has been going on for 7 yrs come sept!!
they ignore the letters being returned and send them out again!!
i have had loads.
was i totally in the wrong? should i just bin anymore letters?

OP posts:

aldiwhore · 19/05/2011 12:55

You're not totally in the wrong although I believe it is illegal to open another's post I also know how frustrating it is to keep getting someone else's mail years after they've moved. We still get the old tennants mail 7 years on AND some for the man who lived here 20 years ago who's long dead.

Bin it, or take slight pleasure in writing angry RTS messages.

I bin ours now.


poorbuthappy · 19/05/2011 12:56

We have the same thing at our house!
I don't even look at the name on the envelope, I just open everything...and once opened something from norwich union advising that they were going to take £350 from a bank account on a certain date. The name was not a previous owner so I rang them and told them that the letter had not reached the intended recipient and that they needed to find another way to contact them. They were quite grateful that I had contacted them!

But I know its wrong and illegal, but in my world YANBU!


badmummy101 · 19/05/2011 12:58

today was a credit card statement and a pensions statement.
how the hell do the people they are meant for not notice they havent had their statemtns to nearly 7 yrs????
( suppose they could also use online banking...)

OP posts:

badmummy101 · 19/05/2011 12:59

i was also slightly worried that they are still using this address, so if they have bad credit and we apply for something it could show up cause its held at our address.

OP posts:

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 19/05/2011 13:04

I open mine too, been here 6 years and still get them. Frequently get letters saying that the bailiffs are coming for the previous owners.
I know its illegal but tough shit, I think I have a right to know in advance if bailiffs are coming to my house!!
I did RTS for about 2 years, but its all debt post, I'm sure they dont want the company to know where they live now! Angry


coastgirl · 19/05/2011 13:10

I actually looked up the law about this and it is NOT illegal to open someone else's mail, only to do so with malicious intent. You didn't open it for that reason so you did nothing wrong. I'm sick of people declaring it illegal when it's nothing of the sort!


badmummy101 · 19/05/2011 13:15

oh. i didnt know that coastgirl.

OP posts:

themildmanneredjanitor · 19/05/2011 13:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LindyHemming · 19/05/2011 13:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allsquareknickersnofurcoat · 19/05/2011 13:20

I open mine too, been here 6 years and still get them. Frequently get letters saying that the bailiffs are coming for the previous owners. In fact I also had one this morning
Tough shit if it is illegal (good if not!), I think I have a right to know in advance if bailiffs are coming to my house!!
I did RTS for about 2 years, but its all debt post, I'm sure they dont want the company to know where they live now! Angry


Peachy · 19/05/2011 13:21

They will say its illegal and try and scare you into paying up

Ignore them. happened to us in the past and if you refuse to play along they go away


WobblyWidgetOnTheScooper · 19/05/2011 13:25

Aaaargh sympathies!

We have this with previous tenants AND on the phone (different address, but BT recycled the number iyswim) it is so fucking annoying! Mail seems to have died down (thankfully as at both our previous homes we've had bailiffs turn up!) but we get around 2 calls a day. Mostly debt companies and utilities. She's clearly changed numbers to avoid them chasing her. Worst part is the calls often come from call centres with people who barely speak English and don't seem to understand the fact that MRS XXX DOES NOT LIVE HERE AND NEVER HAS!!!


aldiwhore · 19/05/2011 13:25

Thanks coastgirl I am looking forward to opening everything now and phoning the companies! Actually, that makes me a bit sad doesn't it? But its been 7 years!


WobblyWidgetOnTheScooper · 19/05/2011 13:26

FWIW on the mail thing, we've phoned up a few people and they have always been grateful - so OP it sounds like you were unlucky speaking to a grumpy moo.


HeidiKat · 19/05/2011 15:31

I bin anything that comes for the previous owners, we have been living here for 4 years and if the can't be bothered to inform people that their address has changed it's their problem, no hassle to me to put it straight in the recycling bin.


ShimmeryPixie · 19/05/2011 15:35

It is not illeal to open the post if you have reasonable excuse. Customer services people who come out with this line all the time and it really gets my back up.

Also -they have an obligation under the data protection act to keep their databases up-to-date. Do what I did with Eon - threaten to report them to the data commissioner unless they remove the address/redirect the post away from you.


ShimmeryPixie · 19/05/2011 15:36



CordeliaCatkin · 19/05/2011 15:41

I do this too! We get letters for the person who sold to the couple who sold to us! Once we even got a card for the people before that. Most of the ones we get are debt ones and I have rung up the companies and informed them that he is not here. i also rang his university to stop them sending the newsletter. Everyone has been grateful to me - and the letters do seem to have tailed off. He hasn't lived here for at least 12 years and i am not wasting my time with the return to sender nonsense.


badmummy101 · 19/05/2011 16:11

how many people dont get mail forwarded or inform the people who send them post? i mean ffs, its not junk mail. this was from a bank!! how have they not noticed!?

OP posts:

coastgirl · 19/05/2011 16:23

From the Postal Services Act (2000), here (bold mine):

"(3)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."

So if you weren't trying to do anyone harm it is NOT ILLEGAL to open someone's mail. I feel like getting posters made up because this causes so many people worry after they've moved house. It is entirely reasonable of you to open someone's mail if you think it's something that needs dealing with.


squeakytoy · 19/05/2011 16:27

We got a direct debit mandate from a mobile phone company delivered here. I didnt even read the name on the front, as I saw the company logo and assumed it was my own bill.

We have lived here 8 years and the previous owners supposedly moved abroad so I rang O2 straight away as I was concerned that it was possibly someone doing a scam and using the name to get credit.

They were quite interested in the information.


manicbmc · 19/05/2011 16:28

That's good to know. I keep getting mail for the long dead last tenant. I shall open them, call the company and tell them.


coastgirl · 19/05/2011 16:30

That law is to stop people opening parcels that were wrongly delivered and keeping the contents, basically, or using letters to commit fraud.


harassedinherpants · 19/05/2011 16:39

Not only are we getting mail for one of the past occupiers, but one company has managed to get our home phone number. When I explain I just get a sarky comment, so now I just hang up. And the post now goes in the bin!


SnoozleDoozle · 19/05/2011 16:56

been in our house for 8 years, and still getting post for the last occupiers. Have been returning things for years marked 'no longer at this address' to no avail, so eventually started opening it and informing the companies directly. They were grateful for the information, its a matter of common sense really - if I was trying to defraud them, I'd be wanting more stuff sent to my house, not less.

More worrying was the ongoing problem we had with the DHSS when someone who had never lived at this address (only 2 occupiers since it was built) managed to take out one of those emergency hardship loans, give our address as his contact details and then not make any attempt to pay it back. It was a nightmare sorting that one out.....

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