Rochdale businessman told to pay over £500 to redirect post after following guidelines and closing his companies

Date published: 09 April 2020

A Rochdale businessman who has closed both his businesses in line with the government’s coronavirus guidelines has slammed Royal Mail for withholding his post – and being told he must pay over £500 to redirect it.

Asif Ali, who runs the Burford and Brooks estate agents and ladies’ fashion retailer EndBoutique, both on Cheetham Street in Rochdale town centre, closed the two companies following guidelines from the government, but has been unable to access his post as he does not have a slot for post in his shutters.

Mr Ali said: “I spoke to my postman and Royal Mail customer services on Monday 30 March, and explained I don’t have a letter box and the shutters will be down, so I was concerned how I would get my post.

“I was told to take two letters per business along with identification and I would be able to collect it from the Royal Mail depot. I have been down to the depot on three separate occasions and the depot have refused to hand over my post, saying I need to contact the customer services.”

Eventually, Mr Ali says he was told by customer services that “there is no reason why the depot are not giving me my parcels” and raised a complaint.


End Boutique premises on Cheetham Street
EndBoutique premises on Cheetham Street


He says he was then told he had two options: for Royal Mail to keep his post until the Cheetham Street businesses reopen and can be delivered, costing £60 per business, or for Royal Mail to redirect the post, costing £216+ VAT for each business for a three-month redirect.

“The first isn’t possible as I need the post urgently and can’t have it sat there for months. I asked why I couldn’t pick it up at the depot like everyone else, and the response was because I didn’t have a calling card.”

He continued: “How can Royal Mail think it’s acceptable to charge us for a redirection which is due to no fault of our own. My businesses are closed and not making any money, yet they expect me to pay over £500 just to receive post when I could collect it from the depot for free.

“This is absolutely disgusting: the government said let’s help each other at this difficult time yet Royal Mail have no morals and want to profit from it.”

Royal Mail has been contacted for comment.

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