Policy on staff emptying post boxes accepting letters

Edward Betts made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail Group Limited
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The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I just took a letter to my local post box. There was a lady emptying the postbox. I waited patiently for her to finish with my letter in hand. She turned to me and said "I'm not allowed to take that letter from you." I placed my letter in the post box.

Can you tell me when this new policy was introduced?

Yours faithfully,

Edward Betts

Royal Mail Group Limited

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Dear Mr Betts

Thank you for your request for information received on 22/05/2009, which
we are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Act
you should expect a reply from us to be sent by 22/06/2009, which is
twenty working days from receipt of your request.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
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Yours sincerely

John Cere
[1][Royal Mail Group request email]
Freedom of Information Unit

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 148 Old Street, LONDON


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Royal Mail Group Limited

Dear Mr Betts

I am writing in response to your enquiry dated 21 May 2009 regarding
postmen and women accepting mail directly from customers. You explained
that a member of our staff collecting mail from a Postbox informed you that
she was unable to take a letter from you directly. You asked when this
policy was introduced.

Royal Mail has not introduced a specific policy that covers this situation.
Customers in rural areas can hand mail carrying appropriate postage
directly to postmen and women as long as it is not to bulky or heavy.
However, we generally ask customers to post mail items in a Postbox or at a
Post Office branch. This ensures that an item of mail enters the system at
a proper ‘access point’ and is handled in line with the correct procedures.
This is important for example, in cases where an item could subsequently
become delayed or go missing. Similarly, customers should not stop our
collections vans to hand over their mail for both safety and security

I hope this suitably answers your enquiry. If you have any concerns about
the service you receive from us or wish to comment about a member of Royal
Mail staff you can contact Royal Mail Customer Services on 08457 740 740 or


If you are dissatisfied with this response for any reason, you do have the
right to request an internal review. In which case please write to the
Head of Information Compliance, Royal Mail Group, Company Secretary's
Office, 100 Victoria Embankment, LONDON, EC4Y 0HQ. An internal panel will
then review the request, and you will be advised of the outcome.

If, having requested an internal review by Royal Mail, you are still not
satisfied with our response you also have a right of appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Telephone: 01625 545 700

Yours sincerely

Colin Young
Freedom of Information Unit
[Royal Mail Group request email]

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in England
and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,

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