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Some time ago, during a meeting with a PR agency, I remember the Account Director telling me she’d moved into her new home in a brand new development the previous week. She revealed that things hadn’t gone quite as she’d hoped.
After just a couple of days, she discovered two things; firstly, she appeared to be the one person to have moved in and secondly, whenever she tried to order things and connect those all-important services online, it wasn’t as easy as she’d expected as her new address was not being recognised.
Luckily for her, by telling me about the problem, I was able to get her new address added to our Postcode Address File (PAF), Royal Mail’s database of 29.6 million UK addresses and 1.8 million Postcodes, and start the process of resolving the matter.
Having the correct address and Postcode on PAF is absolutely essential and it’s clear from this case that there can be considerable problems if your details aren’t on the file or up to date.
In the case of new developments we’re normally informed that an address is capable of receiving mail by our postmen and women – they capture details of thousands of address changes every year whilst out on their walks.
Sometimes though, the householder will know that an address is ready to receive mail or has changed before anyone else does. On these occasions, we recommend telling us directly. Whether for a business or residential address, simply use the short online form on our website to report it to our Address Maintenance Team.
You should use the online form to report details of changes to a business name, of properties converted into separate dwellings, missing, incorrect or incomplete addresses. If your request relates to the change of property name or street name however, you will need to contact your Local Authority, as they are solely responsible for this.
After having submitted the information via our online form, you will get an email from our Address Maintenance Team to confirm we’ve received your request and we’re working on it for you. We’ll drop you another email within two working days to confirm the outcome of our investigation, or in some cases, to request further information.
Changes to PAF may take up to five days to come into effect and to appear on Royal Mail’s Postcode Finder. However, it will take longer for the PAF changes to filter out to other organisations.
Around 40,000 organisations in the UK access PAF, most using the data in an addressing solution purchased through a PAF Solutions Providers. Many of our Solutions Providers take updates to PAF on a daily or a monthly basis, others less frequently. The frequency with which PAF users receive updates to their solution determines when the changes are incorporated into their systems.
Using our online form: www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/update-your-address is the most efficient way to inform us if your address is incorrect, incomplete, missing or needs to be updated. If you need additional support or have further questions just drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.
Marketing and Communications Manager