Post Office – Live Tracking, Track and Trace Service
Post Office Mail Tracking
The Post Office tracks and traces delivery of letters and parcels sent with the Royal Mail and Parcelforce. The tracking system may only be used to trace and track shipments tendered to or by the user when using Royal Mail or Parcelforce for delivery. Using the Post Office’s tracking system or information available from the system for any other purpose other than personal use is prohibited. A Royal Mail or Parcelforce tracking number is required in order to check the delivery status of an item. To track an item sent with the Royal Mail or Parcelforce.
Post Office Mail Services
The Post Office accepts post and payment on behalf of the Royal Mail and Parcelforce, both of which are divisions of the Royal Mail Group. Services include ordinary and guaranteed mail for delivery within the UK and abroad. Postage stamps are sold at Post Office branches, which also accept applications for mail collection and redirected mail on behalf of the Royal Mail. Commemorative stamps and other Royal Mail products are also sold at Post Office branches.
Mail information and services are available at individual Post Office branches, as well as online of the Post Office’s website. Mail services and products, as well as other services provided by the Post Office, vary depending on individual branches. Main branches typically offer the Post Office’s full range of products and services. In towns, branches are generally open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturdays. In county areas, branches are open for fewer hours. Post Office branches are typically closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Company Information and History
The Post Office estimates that more than 20 million people in the United Kingdom use the company’s services in any given week. Founded in 1986, the retail post office company delivers both in-store and online services. Post Office Ltd became independent from the Royal Mail Group in 2012, although it continues to issue stamps and handles letters and parcels on behalf of the Royal Mail.
Services are delivered through a number of local branches that are directly owned by the Post Office or operated for the company through business agreements. There are approximately 11,500 Post Office branches throughout England, Scotland and Wales. About 300 of these branches are directly managed by Post Office Ltd and are officially known as Crown branches. The majority of the remaining Post Office branches are franchise operations or run by a local sub-postmaster or operator.
According to the Post Office Annual Report and Accounts 2013, the Post Office’s revenue was £1.234 billion in 2013. This represents an increase of £74 million or 6.4 percent compared to the previous operating year. These figures include an increase of £30 million in the Network Subsidy Payment from the UK Government to the Post Office. The company’s operating profit was £94 million in 2013, while the Post Office’s operating loss for its network of Crown branches was £37 million.
Post Office Letter and Parcel Services & Prices
Prices for letters and parcels depend on the destination, as well as the size and weight of the item. Additional services such as signed delivery will also impact the cost. Letters and parcels may be sent to any address within the United Kingdom and around the world. As of June 2014, First Class mail rates are from 62 pence, while Second Class prices range from 53 pence. Signed and guaranteed special delivery options for UK delivery are also available. Standard international letter rates start at 97 pence, while tracked and signed rates begin at £5.97. The cost of sending a parcel with standard delivery within the UK starts from £2.80.
Parcels are delivered with the Royal Mail or Parcelforce, while regular post is delivery only by the Royal Mail. A range of guaranteed and confirmed delivery options are also offered. Express delivery is available for next day delivery, including options for guaranteed timed delivery with Royal Mail or Parcelforce. Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed ensures items are received before 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. the following day, with prices starting from £6.40 for 1 p.m. and £18.18 for 9 a.m. for items sent within the UK. Express parcels with Parcelforce are sent with guaranteed next day delivery by 9 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, or by the end of the day. Next day delivery with Parcelforce is available from £16.49. Two-day delivery is also possible with rates from £11.99 for delivery within the UK. International rates depend on individual destinations.
Current postage prices for letters and parcels are found at www.postoffice.co.uk/price-finder. The online tool uses information such as the size, weight, destination, timing and other optional services such as signed delivery to determine an accurate rate for sending an item.
Post Office Post Code Finder
The Post Office offers a convenient postcode finder for personal use only. Users are limited to searching for 50 postcodes each day. To find a post code for any address in the United Kingdom.
Businesses are not permitted to use the Post Office’s post code finder tool. In order to find a UK post code, businesses must use a designated supplier that searches for this type of information. For more information for business-related post code searches, visit the Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit.
Prohibited Items by Post Office
The Post Office will not accept letters or parcels that contain illegal or potentially dangerous substances, items or goods. Examples of prohibited items include dry ice, environment and medical waste, controlled drugs and narcotics, and corrosive substances. For information about restricted or prohibited items including a list of banned items.
Post Office Banking Services
The Post Office offers a variety of personal and business banking services on behalf of partner banks. Over 2,100 Post Office branches also have on-site cash machines, most of which are operated by the Bank of Ireland. Branches provide a range of free banking services that allow individuals to access their personal and business bank accounts, as well as collect cash from government benefits, pension or tax credit payments.
Personal banking services at Post Office branches include free cash withdraws and deposits over the counter or with cash machines in branches. According to the Post Office, over one million cash withdrawals are made from the company’s network of branches and cash machines each day. Business banking services are also offered at many Post Office branches. These services include deposits and withdrawals for business bank accounts. Businesses can also make free balance inquiries at a local branch. Local Post Office branches also deliver convenient change services for businesses.
Local banking is also possible with Post Office current accounts. These accounts offer no hidden charges and make is possible to manage money at any Post Office branch, online or over the phone. Current accounts are available in 110 Post Office branches, as of June 2014. Standard Accounts offer free everyday banking, including a debit card, cheque book and an overdraft of 14.9 per cent EAR. The Packaged Account includes extra benefits for a low annual monthly fee, including European Multi-Trip Family Travel Insurance as well as Rescue Plus Breakdown Coverage when driving at home or abroad. Identify theft protection and discounts on holidays and travel are also offered with the Packaged Account. The Controlled Account protects individuals from unexpected bank charges and overdraft for a low monthly fee. All current accounts are provided by the Bank of Ireland.
For individuals without a bank account, the Post Office offers a card account that is designed primarily for receiving pensions, benefits and tax credits. The Post Office Card Account has no overdraft facility and no charges are levied for the account. No credit checks are made when applying for a card. Card accounts may be used to take out cash or check account balances at any Post Office branch. The Post Office Card Account is offered in partnership with J.P. Morgan Europe.
Personal loans are also available through Post Office branches. Applications may also be made online at the Post Office’s website. Loan amounts range from £2,000 to £25,000 with fixed monthly repayments over one to seven years. They are generally available to UK residents over 21 years of age with a regular annual income of £8,000, although certain restrictions may apply. Post Office mortgages are also offered through local branches. Personal loans and mortgages are provided in partnership with the Bank of Ireland.
Post Office Travel Insurance
Single trip travel insurance is available from the Post Office. Annual multi-trip insurance plans are also provided with the Post Office. These insurance plans provide coverage for up to 31 days throughout the year. Three levels of coverage are offered, including basic, classic and premium. Classic and premium options feature medical, emergency and associated expenses coverage for up to £10 million. Insurance coverage with a basic plan includes at least £5 million medical cover when abroad in case of an accident or injury. Coverage for travel within the UK is up to £10,000.
Additional benefits of Post Office travel insurance plans include coverage for trip cancellation or curtailment, delayed or missed departures, trip abandonment after 12 hours, and hospital benefits. Coverage is also provided for personal accident, death, loss of limbs or sight, and permanent total disablement. Classic and premium insurance plans also provide coverage for personal belongings, delayed baggage, personal money and documents, loss of passport, legal consultations, mugging, homecare, catastrophe, scheduled airline failure, and hijack, kidnap and illegal detention cover. Premium plans feature additional coverage for financial failure and pet care. Optional winter sports cover and golf cover, as well as extended baggage coverage, may also be purchased with classic and premium plans.
In addition to travel insurance, the Post Office offers a variety of other products include life, home, pet, motor and business insurance. Life insurance cover is available from £5,000 to £500,000 with fees starting from £5 per month. Car insurance plans include a courtesy car, coverage against vandalism, windscreen repairs and overseas cover for trips taken within the European Union. Van insurance coverage is also available for businesses. Pet insurance includes vet fee coverage for up to £5,000 as well as death coverage for up to £1,000 for pets aged 8 or under. Business insurance, which typically includes public liability insurance to protect a business, is also offered for self-employed, tradesman, shopkeepers, homeworkers, landlords, property owners, offices and surgeries. Building and contents cover is also available for businesses.
Life insurance plans offered by the Post Office are provided by Aviva Life. Home and auto insurance plans are arranged and administered by BISL Ltd., while pet and travel insurance are provided in partnership with AXA. Business insurance plans are administered by Gallagher Heath Insurance Services.
Post Office Travel Money
Local Post Office branches provide foreign currency for travellers. Travel money can also be purchased online with the Post Office. Nearly all currencies are available from the Post Office. Foreign currency is delivered without a fee at home or a local Post Office branch. Next day delivery of travel money is also provided when purchasing foreign currency. Rates are increasingly competitive when greater amounts of foreign currency are purchased. The Post Office also issues travellers cheques in six currencies (U.S. Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan and Pound Sterling).
Between £400 and £2,500 in travel money may be purchased online up to five days in advance. Next day delivery is guaranteed when foreign currency is purchased before 3 p.m. on a business day. Delivery on Saturdays is also available. All foreign currency purchases made at Post Office branches are not charged a commission fee. Foreign currency can be purchased with cash or using any Visa or MasterCard credit card.
Post Office Credit Cards
The Post Office Credit Card is provided in partnership with the Bank of Ireland. The credit card is available with no fees on any purchases made overseas in a foreign currency or when shopping in the UK, online or by phone. There is also no cash fee when using the card to buy travel money from a Post Office branch. Users pay zero per cent interest on all purchases for the first three months. There is no annual fee for the Post Office Credit Card, which also provides free purchase protection insurance. As a MasterCard affiliated credit card, the Post Office Credit Card is accepted in more than 32 million locations around the world. As of June 2014, the current interest rate was 17.8 per cent APR and the base credit limit was £1,200.
The Post Office also offers its Travel Money Card Plus, a prepaid MasterCard. Cards are available in eight currencies, including Euros, US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, South African Rands, Swiss Francs, and Pound Sterling. The maximum amount that can be placed on a card when apply at a Post Office branch is £750, while anyone applying online can load between £50 and £5,000 on the card. Top-ups can be made online at the Post Office website, using the Post Office’s Apple or Android app, by SMS, or by phone to the Post Office’s contact centre. Cash machine fees apply per withdrawal and daily cash limits also apply. A three percent cross border fee is also levied when using the card in a country other than country whose currency is loaded onto the card.
The Post Office Money Card can be loaded with cash and used in a similar way as a credit or debit card. The prepaid card is offered in partnership with MasterCard and is accepted at all locations where MasterCard is accepted. Individuals must be a UK resident and over the age of 18 in order to apply for a Post Office Money Card. No credit check is made and a bank account is not required to request a Money Card. Money can be added to the card via SMS, online at the Post Office website or at any Post Office branch. There is no fee when loading the card online or at a Post Office branch.
Other Post Office Services
Post Office branches provide a range services on behalf of the government. Branches will check and send applications for Her Majesty’s Passport Office, the UK Border Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Most Post Office branches offer the DVLA’s renewal service for photo card driving licences for ten years through approximately 750 Application, Enrolment and Identification (AEI) booths. Applications for new, renewal and replacement passports can be made at local branches. Other government services include receiving benefits, state pensions and tax credits through Post Office Card Accounts as well as making UK residency applications at around 100 branches. Fishing licenses are also issued by the Post Office on behalf of the Environment Agency in branch locations within England and Wales. Certain Post Office branches also issue international driving permits, which can be used when travelling abroad.
Several bill payments are also accepted at Post Office branches, including bill payment for government organisations such as utilities and local authorities. The Post Office works with more than 300 local councils to support branch and online applications. Where agreements with local authorities and housing associations exist, rent and council tax services may be paid at Post Office branches. Post Office branches also sell stamps and vouchers for essential local authority services, such as home care and Meals on Wheels.
A number of home landline phone and broadband internet packages are offered by the Post Office, as well as stand-alone telephone and internet plans. The landline telephone service is branded as Post Office HomePhone. Telephone and internet plans may be purchased online or at a Post Office location. The Post Office also operates a directory enquiry service for residential and business numbers. Enquiries may be made for a fee by calling 118 855. The company also sells affordable refurbished computers with Get Online @Home online and at certain local branches.
Other products available through the Post Office include mobile top-ups for prepaid mobile services and UK or international phone cards, which are sold at local branches. Certain Post Office locations may also sell postal supplies such as envelopes, office supplies including paper, stationary, inks and toners, and office equipment. These items, as well as stamps and collectibles from the Royal Mail are also sold via the Post Office’s online shop .
Post Office Jobs and Careers
Post Office Ltd employs almost 8,000 people. The company also works with thousands more through its franchise and other business operations. Head office roles include human resources, finance, communications, market, sourcing and managed services, legal and compliance, supply chain management, sourcing and managed services, property management, security, and IT and change management. There are also management and customer services employment opportunities through the Crown network branch, as well as Post Office’s financial services.
Job opportunities with the Post Office range from full-time and part-time positions to casual work opportunities, particularly during the Christmas period. Work experience placements may also be available at Post Office locations. For information about Post Office career opportunities, visit the Post Office Career Website.
Post Office Contact Information
- For general Post Office enquiries and feedback, call 0345 611 2970 or Textphone on 0345 722 3355.
- To write, send a letter to Post Office Customer Care: FREEPOST, P.O. Box 740, Barnsley, S73 0ZJ.
- Additional information about the Post Office’s products and services is also found online at www.postoffice.co.uk.
- To find contact information for a local Post Office Branch, visit the branch finder.