Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ofcom refer Declan to the Postal Redress Service to solve the problem with our mail from HM Revenue and Customs (WITH UPDATE 29/11/2016)



On 19 October, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) put a stop on any correspondence being issued automatically to us until they can verify our Mailboxes Etc (MBE) address through the Royal Mail database. On 22 October, MBE UK Chairman Simon Cowie wrote: "I can't see a solution to this at the moment. We have no power to make Royal Mail change their database, nor to make HMRC accept our [Kings Cross location] address for their records." This morning Ofcom referred Declan to the Postal Redress Service (POSTRS) to solve the problem with our mail from HMRC. Declan lists the details in his application to POSTRS as follows:

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have put a stop on any correspondence being issued automatically to me until they can verify my Mailboxes Etc (MBE) address through the Royal Mail database.

I rent a mailbox (Suite 101) from MBE at their Kings Cross location, 254 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JY. Currently, 254 Pentonville Road does not show on Royal Mail records under postcode N1 9JY. There are several flats at 252-254 Pentonville Road, N1 9JY, but no 254 Pentonville Road. On 22 October 2016, MBE (UK) Chairman Simon Cowie wrote: "I can't see a solution to this at the moment. We have no power to make Royal Mail change their database, nor to make HMRC accept our [Kings Cross location] address for their records."

According to Thames Water's website, there is an address for MBE Kings Cross (i.e. Business Mail Solutions Ltd, 254 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JY), but this address was rejected by HMRC because it could not be verified through the Royal Mail database. On 28 October 2016, HMRC Customer Service Manager Stephen Hughes wrote: "We have continued put a stop on any correspondence being issued automatically until your address has been updated."

On 18 November 2016, I requested from Royal Mail Chief Executive Moya Greene a full and final response from Royal Mail to my request that 254 Pentonville Road shows on Royal Mail records under postcode N1 9JY, so that I can receive my mail from HMRC. On 22 November 2016, I received Royal Mail's deadlock email. It informed me that, in accordance with a request from MBE on 21 October 2016, 254 Pentonville Road shows on Royal Mail records under the new postcode N1 9FQ.

I cannot use the new postcode N1 9FQ because it does not appear on MBE's website. I also cannot use the original postcode because 254 Pentonville Road is missing on Royal Mail's database under N1 9JY. MBE's website lists its Kings Cross location address as below:-

Mail Boxes Etc. London - Kings Cross
254 Pentonville Road
London
N1 9JY

I simply request that 254 Pentonville Road shows on Royal Mail records under postcode N1 9JY, so that I can receive my mail from HMRC. In a telephone conversation with Royal Mail Address Management Unit Manager Denise Boulter on 16 November 2016, I was told that the company did not have a complaints procedure for such a request (transcript available upon request).



UPDATE 29 November: This morning we received an email from Simon Cowie informing us that MBE had just changed the postcode on their website to N1 9FQ. Hopefully, this now solves the long-standing problem we have had with our mail from HMRC to our mailbox. Only time will tell I guess. This is Declan's email this afternoon to HMRC Chief Executive Jon Thompson:

29 November 2016

Dear Mr Thompson,

I wrote to you on 27 September 2016 about my concern that HMRC letters addressed to me had been returned to HMRC undelivered.

According to SAIL Business Solutions Ltd on 27 September, their postcode had been used by HMRC as my own for the second year in a row. Subsequently, HMRC put a stop on any correspondence being issued automatically to me because 254 Pentonville Road was not showing on Royal Mail records under postcode N1 9JY.

This morning Mail Boxes (UK) Ltd changed the address on their website to N1 9FQ to reflect its listing on the Royal Mail Postcode Address File since 21 October 2016 (please see MBE's email below). I therefore confirm my business address and personal contact address for HMRC records as below:-

254 Pentonville Road, Suite 101
Islington
London
N1 9FQ

Please would you provide me with a letter confirming that HMRC have the correct address above and that HMRC will not change my address again without notification from me. I also request the removal of the stop on my correspondence from HMRC.

Yours sincerely,

Declan Heavey
Managing Director
Network for Church Monitoring

29 September: Complaint to HMRC Chief Executive Jon Thompson: Declan is still waiting for assurance that HMRC has our correct address