07th December 2018

Sack full of postal tips from The Consumer Council

Many of us will be sending cards and parcels through the post this Christmas. The Consumer Council is urging people to follow some simple guidelines to ensure cards and parcels arrive safely, on time and help you save money. They can also help if things go wrong.

Kellin McCloskey, Head of Postal Services at The Consumer Council said: “Our research showed nearly half of consumers (49%) that send parcels say competition in the parcel market is limited. Consumers may not be aware there is a range of parcel companies to choose from which could help you save money this Christmas by shopping around. In addition there are also other steps which you can take to ensure your cards and parcels arrive safely and on time.”

To help consumers get the most from the post this Christmas, The Consumer Council has put together some top tips to ensure cards and parcels arrive on time and save you money: 

  • Shop around. Shop around postal operators and brokers.
  • Post early. If you can post early so you avail of economy postal services such as second class mail.
  • Check last posting dates. Royal Mail’s last recommended postal dates for the UK include: Second Class -  Tuesday 18 December and First Class - Thursday 20 December.
  • Use correct address. Make sure you use the full address list, including a postcode  and put a return address on the back.
  • Ensure items are correctly packaged. Ensure parcels are suitably packaged and fragile items are clearly marked. Also be mindful of sending dangerous or prohibited goods.
  • Get right postal product. If sending valuable or time-sensitive items, choose the right postal product and level of insurance cover to meet your needs.
  • Check postage is sufficient. The cost will depends on size, weight & service used.
  • Proof of posting. Ask for a certificate of posting and tracking reference numbers and keep until you're sure the item has been delivered.

Anyone who wants to know  more about getting the most from their post can download a free copy of the Consumer Council’s ‘Sending Letters and Parcels’ guide via the website or request a copy by contacting 0800 121 6022, Twitter (@ConsumerCouncil) or Facebook (Consumer Council Northern Ireland).