How is Recorded Delivery handled in New York?
January 5, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

What happens to a letter sent via Royal Mail's Recorded Delivery to the U.S.?

I got some important mail to my old address in England which I've had a friend forward to my new address in New York. They took the liberty of sending it via Recorded Delivery since it was important, but I can't find any information on how it will be delivered. I'm sure the Royal Mail won't be sending a guy to New York to get my signature, so what will happen? Who will deliver it? Will they come to my door expecting a signature? They quoted my friend 3-5 days for delivery and today is the 5th business day since and it isn't here yet, so I'm starting to get slightly concerned.
posted by nostrich to Grab Bag (2 answers total)
Check the tracking number on the Royal Mail website. If there isn't a tracking number then it went by regular (untracked) Airmail, in which case 5 days is pretty normal, and 2 weeks is not unheard of.

If you have a a tracking number then check the receipt: does it say "Recorded Delivery" or "Airsure"? The post office should not (and in fact cannot) accept international Recorded Delivery, because the first thing they do is make a note of the destination UK postcode. "Airsure" is the international equivalent of Recorded Delivery. Paying the extra fee for Airsure buys you expedited international delivery, tracking and a signature on delivery. If it did go Airsure then 5 days is indeed toward the upper end of how long it should take.
posted by caek at 9:13 AM on January 5, 2012

It's worth bearing in mind that the definition of 'business days' gets ever so slightly kerfutzed over the Christmas/New Year period. That is to say, if I posted a letter first class within the last week or so within the UK, I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if it took the best part of a week to turn up. If it were me, I wouldn't start to get seriously concerned unless it hasn't arrived by the coming Monday/Tuesday, but whether that's rational or not probably depends on which of the two posting methods aforementioned by caek was used.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 11:55 AM on January 5, 2012

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