Our postcode changed without warning: Why has this happened?

Everyone in my block of flats had their postcode changed without notice.

This meant heaps of mail was lost and people are on a wild goose chase to find who has their post.

When we contacted the Royal Mail, we were told it was because there were too many flats registered to that postcode.

Is this a common occurrence? And why were we not informed of it prior to the change?

Chaos: Letters have been going missing after a block of flats had their postcodes changed

Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: This is a frustrating scenario to find yourself in.

You say no one in your block was given any warning your postcode would change. You only discovered it after receiving notice from the TV licencing company advising you were no longer covered.

Along with some neighbours, you decided to find out what was happening and contacted the Royal Mail, the Land Registry and your local authority.

The Royal Mail is responsible for creating and maintaining 1.8million postcodes across the UK.

The company then advised you of your new postcode, adding only to say how important it was to put as much detail as possible when sending post, including postcodes. 

However, it did not offer any explanation for the changes or why you hadn’t all been notified well in advance, to change things like bills, bank details and online deliveries. 

This response did not seem sufficient considering, currently, no one in your block knows what postcode to use – their original one or their new one.

Letters have now been delivered to the wrong flats with mass confusion breaking out. 

With no official documentation to say your postcode has been changed, many in your block have been left still searching for missing letters. 

This could pose some data issues as your personal information could have been put through someone else’s door in error.  

At present, all of your official details, for example, with banks, employers and doctors, are of the old postcode.

This means it will be a long process of contacting all relevant parties to update your details.  

You added that, strangely, the flat block next door to yours, which was built after yours, has not had their postcodes changed.

The Royal Mail said it tries not to change postcodes but sometimes it needs to alter the way it routes mail to provide a better service.

For example, if a new delivery office is built or if it runs out of postcodes to allocate to new homes and businesses in a developing area. 

It is also possible for a local council to prompt a change by re-numbering buildings or re-naming roads. 

Many residents were confused after the TV licencing firm said their licence was no longer valid

Many residents were confused after the TV licencing firm said their licence was no longer valid

A Royal Mail spokesperson replies: We try not to change postcodes unless absolutely necessary as we realise the disruption this can cause for impacted businesses and residential addresses as well as our own operations.

For that reason, changes are very rare. For operational reasons, we were forced to reclassify a number of flats as individual delivery points rather than viewing them as one single delivery point in a building. 

This meant there were too many delivery points in the associated postcode.

Whenever we need to make changes like this, we try to let customers know as soon as we can.

Unfortunately an administrative error meant that we did not send out the notification letters to customers as we had intended to. 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

We are working on informing all impacted customers as quickly as possible.

Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: The Royal Mail admits it should have notified you of the change earlier but didn’t which would explain the shock of having your TV licence revoked. 

It now seems like you will be stuck with your new postcode and should set about letting all relevant people know.

You may also have to knock on a few doors in your block first to track down mail already delivered to the wrong person. 

Whilst this is frustrating, it is up to the Royal Mail to decide whether to change postcodes – it’s just a shame it didn’t deliver the information to you all well in advance.  

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