Three quarters of people living in new build homes face difficulties when ordering products and services

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Three quarters (74 per cent) of residents of newly built homes have experienced difficulties ordering goods and services, research from Royal Mail revealed today.


  •     51 per cent have difficulty setting up utilities
  •     71 per cent experience problems ordering goods
  •     34 per cent have difficulty with arranging financial services

Three quarters (74 per cent) of residents of newly built homes have experienced difficulties ordering goods and services, research from Royal Mail revealed today.

The study revealed that 124,000 households may have experienced problems because businesses fail to update their databases with details of new build properties, and so have difficulty in recognising a potential customer's postcode. For these would be customers, the problems do not become apparent until they find they are unable to complete their purchase online or over the telephone.

The biggest problems occur when ordering goods, which caused difficulties for 71 per cent of people surveyed, whilst half (51 per cent) had experienced problems setting up utility services. A further 34 per cent reported difficulties with arranging financial services, such as setting up insurance for their new home.

People moving into a new build property have a particularly high demand for new products and services, from ordering furniture to setting up their utilities. Despite this demand, the research revealed that 52 per cent of people reported problems when ordering from retail companies, while 47 per cent had experienced problems with TV or telecoms companies.

In many cases these problems have had a direct effect on customer loyalty, with one in five saying they had opted to purchase from a provider who would accept their postcode rather than persevere with their first choice. In addition, one in ten chose to buy their goods on the high street rather than shop online, in order to avoid ordering problems.

While the majority of ordering issues (76 per cent) occur within the first two months of moving into a new build property, 17 per cent of people were still experiencing problems six months later.

Royal Mail manages the UK's most complete and up to date address and postcode database. Its Postcode Address File (PAF®) contains all 28 million UK residential and business delivery addresses and 1.8 million postcodes. It also has information on over 1.3 million business names. PAF® is the key addressing component used in rapid addressing systems, in Satellite Navigation systems, and for maintaining records in customer databases.

Steve Rooney,from Royal Mail's Address Management Unit commented:

"Our research shows that a worrying proportion of businesses are failing to update their records with postcodes allocated to new build addresses. Moving house can be a stressful experience and retailers, utilities and services providers in particular need to make sure their customers can get the services that they need to settle in to their new home.

"Correct addressing also plays a crucial role in any marketing or customer communication campaign, and it isn't just new build properties that can be overlooked. PAF® is updated 25,000 times a week on average, so failing to invest in the most recent data means that businesses may miss out on potential sales.

"Businesses should ensure their files are updated with the latest information from the Royal Mail's PAF® file."

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