You’re probably living somewhere where there’s at least one neighbour who lives just next door. And, while neighbours aren’t always a terrible thing because they come in many forms and sizes, the shape and size that all wishes to prevent is the bothersome one. This particular woman in the story recently related a tale about their new neighbour, who turned out to be quite unpleasant in his attitude to online shopping and package delivery.
We have recently moved. There are five houses in the cul de sac. Three in a row – ours is the last one – then two much posher ones behind a somewhat scary looking gate which has not been there that long (5 years perhaps but houses are very old)
Said gate is electric and there are separate doorbells/intercoms for the two houses on the entrance to the gate.
Very soon after moving in – having had brief but very friendly interactions with the neighbours – it became clear that the intercom/doorbell for the gate was not working properly. There is a barrage of deliveries from DPD, Hermes, Royal Mail etc. Delivery men asked if we would take them, we agreed assuming that the doorbell was not temporarily working properly. Bear in mind that in virtually all cases I believe they were in, but no way to let them know other than shouting or jumping over a high wall (not realistic as there is a spiky hedge on the other side).
Next time I saw them I shouted over the wall and mentioned that I had parcels, they came to collect and I made a joke about the bell not working. I expected a ‘yeah sorry we’re on with that’ but actually got words to the effect of ‘no it hasn’t worked for years and we don’t intend to get it fixed’. I was so gobsmacked I didn’t know what to say.
So basically there is no way of accessing their property when the gate is shut which is almost all the time unless you actually call from your mobile to say you’re at the gate in which case they will open it for you. I see visitors pulling up and calling and then being let in. Clearly delivery men don’t do this. So they mostly knock on ours instead.
Had an interesting discussion with a royal mail man today who was trying to deliver a signed package. They have apparently arranged redelivery three times and each time despite them blatantly being in he has failed to be able to deliver. After three times it returns to sender so he said he would be doing that. Am just baffled you would order a package online knowing that there would be no way to get it delivered unless your friendly neighbour took it in.
to be clear I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with occasionally taking in parcels. Used to do it quite often in old houses but neighbours used to do the same. It was an occasional, not regular thing. Here it’s a daily occurence and they will never be able to return the favour for us.
I suspect previous neighbours may have just been happy to take them. That’s all fine but it doesn’t necessarily follow that we will do it. Although there are two houses beyond the gate all the packages have been addressed to one, it would appear that the other doesn’t order parcels. That’s fine but I still find it odd that it just isn’t possible to access either house.
Am I being unreasonable to not want to take in all the parcels? And if I am not being unreasonable how do I approach this with them, bearing in mind we really want to foster friendly relations with all neighbours, not least as some work will be done later this year which could be noisy/disruptive. DH suggests the passive aggressive approach of just refusing to take any more. I’d prefer to be a bit nicer about it but not sure how.
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: