back to article All I want for Christmas is a delivery address that a delivery courier can find

Below the note is scrawled an ominous threat: "We know where you live." Instinctively I look up and down the street in case I can spot who might have just stuffed the note halfway into my letterbox. Is anyone hurrying away, suspiciously covering their face? An unmarked van parked opposite with darkened windows? Nope. I re- …

  1. John G Imrie

    Oh dear

    Video unavailable

    This video contains content from ITV_plc, who has

    blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Oh dear


      The URL appears to be: "The Prisoner 1967 Open Title"

      I'm guessing ITV got it blocked in the UK, as they presumably own the copyright here.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Oh dear

        It's alright, now I know what it is, I can see it perfectly well in my head without the help of youtube...

        Dooo, dooby doo dooby doo dooby dooo...

        1. Christoph

          Re: Oh dear

          I was at University when the Prisoner first aired. We were doing an experiment that required liquid helium to cool it. The gas that boiled off was collected in a large latex balloon, a couple of feet across. But the recovery system hadn't been finished, so the gas was then just allowed to escape.

          One time I took the full balloon out of the lab and sent it bouncing down a very long corridor.

          Someone came out of a door at the far end and saw this large white sphere bouncing towards him along the roof of the corridor.

      2. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: Oh dear

        I am not an unauthorised IP number, I am a free man!

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      Have one of these for The Prisoner reference.

      The Prisoner and The Avengers were a refreshingly challenging difference: TV shows which required some modicum of thought on the part of the 12 year old viewer. Two of my favourites.

      Why, yes, I did appreciate Mrs Peel...what teen boy wouldn't?

      1. wjake

        Re: Oh dear

        Emma Peel = M Appeal = Male Appeal = some reason for blokes to watch the show!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Mrs Peel's Moke

        A recent issue of the Mini Moke Club magazine carried a picture of Diana Rigg standing beside her Moke at her villa in the Canary Islands(?), if I recall correctly (April issue?).

        In the June issue, there was a feature on this new Moke, a couple of pages of the article are shown here...

        Somehow the side aspect is not quite right - for me, the definitive article is an "English" Moke with 10 inch wheels. As for the front - in my biased opinion, a bit brutal.

    3. Pangasinan Philippines

      Re: Oh dear

      Works for me in Philippines


    4. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      It doesn't need to work for me - I've got the box set !

      1. TheProf

        Re: Oh dear

        Me too.

        Currently watching one episode a week. Just like when TV ruled the earth.

        Checkmate next. Can hardly wait for Sunday evening.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh dear

        I have photos and Standard-8 cine film of my white 1967 Mini-Moke. Nice and minimal - none of the roll-bar stuff. The 997cc engine gave an interesting power to weight ratio - but far better fuel economy than my 1956 86" LandRover. The former for summer - the latter for winter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh dear

          I've used my Moke in winter without side screens - 3 layers of clothes and a hot water bottle stuffed under the jacket, and on one occasion having to do an early start, a balaclava.

          ps - another AC, not the above

    5. illiad

      Re: Oh dear

      goggle search shows plenty, but EVEN the BBC (who it was made by!!!) cannot show it!!! :O

      search for a 'tube video' app on mobile, most of them can find AND play it!!!! :E :E :E

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh dear

      When that happens to me (typically US content in the UK, and increasingly some EU content), I just virtually relocate to an American (or European) city via VPN.

    7. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      More reason the copyright system on YouTube is ridiculous. Which is why more people should move to lbry.

      I did a video showing the security issues of a private parking enforcement company's website. Hadn't warned them as they gave no address to contact (part of the issues as that was a breach of GDPR) was up for over a year. All my own work. Until one day got a notice that I had a copyright strike on my channel. It was the parking company claiming the video was theirs. It got removed and I couldn't fight it as my objections kept getting rejected by their bots. Gave up and waited for the strike to be removed. Wrote a blog post about it and put the same video on lbry instead. I'm too small for anyone to notice but made me feel better :)

      Ironically their site still suffers from security issues.

  2. Matt 52

    3 words

    It's beyond me why all courier companies don't allow you to provide a what3words location for delivery. It's not like they'd even have to pay for the service as there's a re-implementation in GitHub (pballett/whatfreewords). A relatively small cost of implementation versus a comparatively huge cost of repeated delivery attempts - no brainer?

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: 3 words

      Because there are enough collisions of closely related words in the vicinity and it is thus unreliable?

      See an article on ElReg about... a month or so ago? Soemthing with rescuing people in the mountains.

      1. Cuddles

        Re: 3 words

        Even aside from the issues with what3words, I'm not clear how that would help matters anyway. The problem is that we have a short alphanumeric code specifying a precise location, but delivery drivers are frequently unable to use them competently. Replacing that system with a slightly different short alphanumeric code really isn't going to help matters. GPS coordinates or a grid reference would be much better than what3words, but still do nothing to address the actual problem that gig workers on low pay and rushed times have little incentive to actually do the job properly.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: 3 words

          The problem is that postal address to GPS (ie WGS84) coordinates is unreliable or expensive and done by the brilliant IT dept of a national post service.

          What3words would presumably ask you to find your own address and at least check it's vaguely correct on the map. Rather than entering 100West 100Ave, precise name of local municipality rather than name of city.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 3 words

          I live in central London in an apartment block on a street that is 2 blocks long. There are 2 hotels and this apartment block on the street. We still get courier companies putting statuses of "Cannot find address".

          One week I had a delivery on Monday with the other package scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. The Tuesday delivery didn't arrive but did get a status of "Cannot find address". Both packages were to be delivered by the same delivery company

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 3 words

            Some delivery companies have a real-time map page that shows where the van is - and where you rank in the delivery order.

            Once waited outside my house for 30 minutes as the van was flagged as being just round the corner - and the delivery stop was one before mine. What I hadn't realised was that the block of 200 flats round the corner counted as one "delivery stop". The driver explained the almost Sisyphean task of traversing corridors and lifts with repeated armfuls of packages from his van parked outside.

            1. illiad

              Re: 3 words

              I was working in a first floor office with big picture windows of the street below.. I saw the a**n van turn up, then proceed to deliver many packages to all the other addresses! about an hour later, he got to us!!

              ... unlike *other* times, when they did not even bother to use the LIFT, just left it in the building entrance!!

              and then there was a complete computer failure, where it thought it could deliver to my nearby post office on a SUNDAY, and somehow I had got in (when they were closed up!!) and signed for my package! :O

              the GOOD thing is, they actually let you 'chat by text' to them, explaining the faux pas.. :) :) But be nice to the poor chatters, they CANNOT receive anything vaguely looking like a web address! , even if it has a DOT in the middle!! :) much confusion until I realized!!!! :P

              so be careful about 'Monday delivery' they may 'upgrade' it to Sunday, then hilarity ensues!!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: 3 words

      Maybe they'd get better results with four words?

      1. illiad

        Re: 3 words

        you haven't tried it.. it can only *provide* the words, cannot get an address from them..

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: 3 words

          Wrong. I just tried the app on my Android phone.Entered a 3 word address. Up came a map with that precise location. Then as a second test I searched for a location in the what3words website. Used the words it gave me on the phone and they matched location, as I expected. In Hendon.

          I also tried variations on the words. And two very close variations came up, both in Australia, so on the other side of the world. And both in very different parts of Oz. Northern Territory and NSW respectively.(I admit I have no idea how far apart those are.)

    3. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: 3 words

      So, you are suggesting that they avoid purchasing a pricey commercial license by using a free knock-off of a company's product?

      What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    4. Tom 7

      Re: 3 words

      3 words? So you use your phone GPS to translate your location into 3 words to send to someone else's phone , which could locate the GPS perfectly accurately! And the GPS could even provide altitude which would give the courier the excuse not to find your address from the off. Pointless app.

      .We have a local group on FB which is basically a place for people to ask whose got their delivery or to try and track the drivers who cant find even obvious addresses in broad daylight.

      1. illiad

        Re: 3 words

        the problem with GPS, is that it often is not accurate enough, IF you can get a GPS signal!!!

        AND most do not have the latest ££££ phone, if they even have one!!

        Now, what is easier to say / remember ??

        what three words



        ??? you can see why it is used.. and even when they have your door number, they get lost... :)

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can they find my phone?

    I had it when I came in from the car but now it’s vanished.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Can they find my phone?

      This is why you need a land line as well. Just ring the mobile. Now where's the DECT handset...."

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Can they find my phone?

        Down the back of the sofa (Either way you'll probably find one (Icon) there).

    2. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: Can they find my phone?

      If you have android

      Hit up Google (I know I know) and type find my phone

      There is an option to locate but also to make the phone ring even if its on silent, which is kind of disturbing as it means google has much more control over your handset than people realise...

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Can they find my phone?

        google has much more control over your handset than people realise

        Err, I assume they have total control over my handset... after all, they wrote the OS.

        1. Tom 7

          Re: Can they find my phone?

          Samsung seem to have more control - added icons for items I never use that I cant get rid off and demand to be properly set up when accidentally triggered.

          1. illiad

            Re: Can they find my phone?

            just remember to say NO to any Samsung app!!!

  4. Gomez Adams

    As a delivery driver of many years experience 99% of the time the problem lies with the customer who fail to have adequately clear signage as to where they live. OK, if they live in a communal building then it may be down to the management company / housing trust / etc which have failed to sign which of several blocks is which or which is the entrance to particular flat numbers but in that case the residents should be complaining to them to get it sorted rather than moan about delivery drivers left wondering which mole hill is which.

    BTW putting a house number on the side of the house or on an open gate neither of which is visible from the road is not a clever idea. Nor is allowing that bush in the garden to overgrow the house sign.

    Finally, delivery instructions which say it is the house with the blue car on the drive is not much good if the car is not there or it is a dark evening on an unlit village road. Nor instructions which say it is the third house in the left but which do not say which direction that is coming from.

    1. My-Handle

      What about "The larger of the two semi-detached houses, on the right, immediately after you turn off the main road, directly opposite the farm drive"?

      For context, there are only three houses on my road within a quarter mile (two of them being the aforementioned semi-detached). There is only one farm. Everything else is open fields. Yet, I still end up with a handful of delivery drivers on the phone to me explaining how they can't possibly find my house, I must have my own address and directions wrong.

      Inevitably, the driver has misunderstood the instructions (we've had "semi-detached == bungalow", looking at the end of the road furthest from the main road, and on one occasion being on an entirely different road half a mile away).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "I must have my own address and directions wrong"

        I once had someone in a call centre tell me I must have had the day and month of my wife's DoB wrong. I can only assume he wasn't married.

        1. My-Handle

          Extra points if your wife was born on or after the 13th day of the month.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            It wouldn't have happened then. Data entry had just swapped the day number and month number.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "and on one occasion being on an entirely different road half a mile away)."

        I had a courier phone me from 30 miles away. He was in a similar sounding, but differently spelled town with a significantly different Postcode in a different county.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've had similar...

          Entered the customer's postcode into the Parcelforce site, selected the correct number from the list... turned out it was the postcode, number and street were all correct, just the town was wrong.

          Also had one something like Broadway House, Broadway Rd but the postcode was for an oil refinery. Tried searching for Broadway House and found 2 separate hits on 'The Broadway'... at each end of a 10 mile road

          "But we've always used that postcode"

    2. KarMann Silver badge

      Other options

      It's not always that simple, and not necessarily the fault of either the resident or any management [sic]. In my case, much frustration has resulted from Royal Mail, the council, and the door all disagreeing with how my domicile should be addressed. It goes beyond delivery, it also gives me trouble with getting bank accounts and such. Quite frustrating, indeed.

      1. Dabooka

        Re: Other options

        I've had this too.

        Recorded slightly differently with the two organisations which matter. Still causes occasional grief but now I pretty much know how to deal with it, and if a company is awkward I ether go elsewhere or send it to my mums!

      2. KarMann Silver badge

        Re: Other options

        I should also add, even beyond that confusion, rather often (though blessedly not as often as used to be the case, for some reason), even though the aforementioned confusion comes down to whether my address is "Flat, ${N}" without a flat number, or "${N}A", they'd be going to the gated block of flats next door at ${N}+2, and wondering why I hadn't given an access code, then either giving up or calling me to let them through the gate, at which point I'd have to (usually) patiently explain to them that ${N} ≠ ${N}+2, and that just might be why they can't find the place, and maybe they should try next door?

        1. Tom 7

          Re: Other options

          We have some new builds near here with bizarre numbering and even more bizarre signage of the same. One has all the odd numbers down one branch and all the even numbers down another branch but 32 is in the odd numbered branch so if you follow the sign to even numbers you cant find it. Well you can cos the lady who lives there has an air horn she toots off when she sees her delivery or taxi attempting to drive off.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As a customer I've had my share of issues on badly signed new housing developments which were not on any maps but my current 40 year old house is on a straight road in a small village, no long driveways, just a line of semi detached houses.

      I repeatedly find that delivery attempts go to a street of the same name in the next town.

      1. Stoneshop

        I repeatedly find that delivery attempts go to a street of the same name in the next town.

        Once met a woman, name of $SURNAME living in $VILLAGE. Unfortunately there's also a village $SURNAME with someone with the surname $VILLAGE on a nearly identically named street as she lived on.

        Even a decade after postcodes had become common they regularly received each other's mail.

      2. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

        The first house we ever bought was a new house on a new estate. The builders had all the houses numbered by plot number, and had no number 13 for superstitious reasons. Once actual postal numbers were assigned later, there was no such superstitious nonsense. Because we all moved in and set up accounts with utility companies based on plot numbers, for years, those of us living in houses numbered 13 or more kept getting our neighbours' bills through the door. Convincing a utility company that they have your actual address wrong was very very hard.

        Our water meters, outside in the pavement were all numbered up by original plot numbers. I still believe that years later when the meters were read (manually, by someone lifting the covers and reading the dials), numbers 13 and above we're getting the wrong bills.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My house deed records show the original plot numbering was different from the conventional house numbers finally assigned.

          No such luck across the road though. Looking at their block's floor plan you can understand how someone allocated numbers 2 to 12 - which unfortunately made the front door order as 2,4,6,10,12,8. It doesn't help that the doors for 2 and 8 are out of sight on the sides of the block. Many times I see a delivery person standing looking confused - especially when they want #8.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            2, 3, 4 all on the same side of the road- 4 has two front doors, BTW, or at leas two doors facing the road. 1 is would the back. 1a and 1b are further back down the road and on the other side, fortunately nobody went as far as issuing negative numbers. All the rest have names, not numbers. On an adjacent road the second of only two houses is 16. Fortunately it has a name as well so to avoid confusion the number is on the back door out of sight.

            1. Potty Professor

              House numbering systems.

              I used to deliver for a pharmacy. One street I used to visit regularly had odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right - except - 1a and 1b was a new pair of semis in the garden of number 2, and so they were on the even side of the road.

              Similarly, I lived in a house that was on a street that had been built firstly from the west end and later completed from the east end. Ours was the last pair of semis built, and due to a mix up with the numbering (the later plots were bigger than the earlier), our half of the building was number 42 and the other half was number 36. We had a lot of people (not just delivery drivers) wandering about looking for numbers 38 and 40.

        2. druck Silver badge

          It's normally the other way around, the builders aren't superstitious and use plot number 13 so they can count correctly, but then some complete cockwomble in the council thinks 13 is unlucky, and makes it number 15 instead.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Near me, they built a new bypass across what was previously flood plain/agricultural land.

        I was off up North on one occasion to a place I'd never been before, so had decided to set my TomTom up for the occasion (this was when they were like miniature CRT TVs and needed a suction cup the size of a saucer to hold them on the windscreen, hence the reason I rarely used it).

        The bypass had been open for over 12 months, but TomTom reckoned I was driving across a field, and it didn't like it judging from how the pointer kept trying to jump across the screen to get on a road it knew about about a quarter of a mile away.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Hmmm. Long after the new M1 M6 junction s/b had been opened (years in the building) my Honda's built in Satnav (Garmin I think) which had been updated, still tried to send me down the old route, and didn't seem to realise it wasn't on the M6. That being said the Honda satnav is pretty much crap generally. We use Waze now.

          1. BenDwire Silver badge

            If you think Honda sat-nav is bad, try using a 10 year old Land-Rover one!

    4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      As a delivery driver of many years experience 99% of the time the problem lies with the customer who fail to have adequately clear signage as to where they live.

      As someone who lives as a tenant of a building that has a name, not a number, principally because it existed before buildings had numbers, and which has the name clearly on the gate, facing the road, in painted raised lettering, I call bollocks.

      50% of couriers have no problem finding it, 49% go to the "centre" of the postcode, which is some shops about a quarter of a mile away, and Yodel throw it into a black hole.

      1. GlenP Silver badge

        We have the same problem at work*, despite huge great signs. Drivers get to the middle of the post code, assume they're in the wrong place as it's a housing estate and panic or give up instead of driving to the end of the road.

        *Named building as it predates not just numbering but the street it's on!

        1. John 110

          Our local hospital has the postcode of the premises that housed the NHS Health Board in 1969, when the place was planned (a building which is no longer NHS premises two or three miles away). When I worked there, we used to put the actual area postcode on our email sig labeled "for SatNav".

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            We have to use the post code of a second hand car dealer over the road. Not a great look for an international hi-tech manufacturing company...

            1. ChrisC Silver badge

              Same here...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            A lot of National Trust sites use two Postcodes, one for their official postal address and one for SatNavs showing where the vehicle entrance is. NT sites are often "off road" by some maps so the driving directions take you as close as possible by public road then say "drive off road to destination". Meanwhile, 3 miles away on the other side of the Estate is the actual entrance with the private driveway leading to the car park.

            (Other public and private tourist destination with the same issues are available)

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              When I was visiting a new school, either in my career as a peripatetic specialist or after I'd retired and was working for a while as a supply teacher I'd often arrive at the post-code of a school to find that the entrance was nowhere near, or even completely invisible.Frequently I'd be somewhere round the back of the school. Sometimes there would only be a footpath to get to the road that the actual school entrance was on. And yet that was the official address. Once I drove up and down a road that had nothing that even resembled a school on it. I eventually found that there was a narrow alley between two houses, unlabelled of course, that ran down a steep hill and into s grove of trees. And there nestled the school. Another one was on the opposite side of a small council carpark, that had no direct access to the school and you had to walk to the end of a long road, left and left and back again to find the actual entrance.

            2. the Jim bloke

              A couple of decades ago, before mobile phone nav apps, the missus and I did a driving tour around bits of the UK. Navigation was by a handheld Garmin connected by cable to a laptop (with no in-car charging ability, so trying to find our accommodation for the night as the battery drained was.. stressful.)

              Many of the locations we wanted to visit were under the care of the national trust, and the signs/entry points for the British ones were uniformly inconspicuous or outright concealed.

              Someone believes in security through obscurity.

              The Welsh and Scottish actually had visible signposts.

          3. Tom 7

            I live in the sticks and the postcode can be huge. I took my kids to a pool and the sat-nat chose the bottom left corner of the postcode to go to and I ended up on the top of Dartmoor but fortunately could see the pool from the road on the way down but only cos the sun was in the right place to bounce off the sloping roof.

      2. ChrisC Silver badge

        As someone who lives as a tenant of a building that has a name, not a number, principally because it existed before buildings had numbers, and which has the name clearly on the gate, facing the road, in painted raised lettering, I call bollocks.

        As someone who's OH is a delivery driver, and who therefore occasionally gets to see the manifest data she has to work from, I'm left in no doubt at all that in some cases, even if the house name/number was emblazoned across the sky in 1000 foot tall neon lettering, with a giant arrow pointing directly at the front door, some parcels would still end up being misdelivered, because the problem is sometimes that, having carefully entered your address details into the online shopping site, said site then mungs them up completely so that when the shipping label is generated (and the corresponding details passed onto the delivery company), it bears about as much resemblance to a correctly formatted address as my bank balance does to a pleasantly large number...

        And given that she only gets paid if either a parcel is delivered, or 3 unsuccessful attempts to deliver have been made, at which point she's allowed to flag it as "undeliverable, return to sender", it really isn't in her best interests to deliberately fail to deliver anything, Bear in mind she's GPS tracked, so the company wouldd know if she was simply sitting at home tagging each parcel as "couldn't deliver" for 3 days straight so she could get them paid out as undeliverable without actually having to spend 3 days driving around trying to deliver them. No, she *has* to go out, drive the route, burning diesel that she pays for out of her own pocket (no company vehicles or mileage expense claims here), and hope that everything can be delivered first time in order to minimise her expenses and thus maximise her take-home pay.

        Granted, some of the stories she brings home from the depot make you realise there are some complete chancers out there who will do the bare minimum required (if even that) for however little time they remain in the job before they get bored/are kicked out, but it's also become very clear to me just how many of the people she works with are in it for the long haul, genuinely do want to do a decent job and get parcels to people ASAP, and will go out of their way to do so.

        TL:DR - don't presume that a failure to deliver to a clearly addressed building must therefore be the fault of the courier, the problem could lie somewhere else in the delivery chain with the courier being stuck in the middle genuinely unable to do anything about it...

        1. My-Handle

          After having panned some delivery drivers upthread, I have to concur with your statement above

          As a web developer for a custom-built ecom site, one of my first tasks was un-munging the way it processed addresses. For some god-unknown reason, both the website and the system that processed orders dealt with "address lines 1 to 5" in a sequential fashion in how they loaded the information into and out of the database. At some point along the way, one of them had gotten confused. We ended up getting a swap between house number and street, and a three-way shuffle between city, country and postcode (in different directions, depending on the period the order was placed). As a quick bodge, I wrote some "postcode detection" code to figure out which way to un-shuffle the screwup before sending the data on, but we eventually burned the entire wreck and replaced it with code that actually addressed each piece of information appropriately.

          I can only imagine how that mess would have looked to a delivery driver.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            I've dealt with a situation in which addresses had been set up in an accounts system like that. The lines were too short and not enough of them so wither lines would get wrapped or concatenated just so all the text could get fitted in. I'm not sure it explained an address at High Street, Somerset. That must have been down to lack of geographical knowledge.

        2. Must contain letters

          Well said, thank your OH, and others like her for doing that job, It’s not glamorous, but we rely on people like her to do the right thing.

        3. Tom 7

          I was taking the dog for a walk one day, our shared drive is 1/2 mile long, as I got near the adjoining public road the dog pulled into some long grass where a parcel for us was hidden! Things are a bit better now as often delivery is accompanied by a photo and we can head off up the drive to find our delivery nestled by one of the gates to other farmers fields along the adjoining road.

          I did find a parcel for next door up there which turned out to be a very expensive catalytic log burner which went walkies before they could retrieve it. When the replacement arrived it was dropped on our lawn and whoever nicked the other one must have had a crane - it must have weighed 400lbs or so!

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "the "centre" of the postcode, which is some shops about a quarter of a mile away,"

        That sounds like a cheap, old SatNav still using only 5 character Postcodes. They only work properly if you enter town/street/door number and fail if the property doesn't have a door number. But will still get closer than using a 5 char. Postcode. A full postcode should generally get you on the correct street and correct part of the street if it's a long one and almost all modern SatNavs use full 7 char. Postcodes. It' helps if the maps are upgradable AND upgraded when available, not left "as is" for years.

        1. Ivan Headache

          I’ve just had to fill in a ‘passenger locator’ type form for a visit to Malta.

          It’s a print it out, fill it in and present at immigration style thing with little boxes in which to enter each digit of my name, date of birth, passport number, email address, street address, inside leg measurement, etc.

          It was carefully designed by an idiot who hadn’t checked how many digits were in a passport number, or how many digits could be in a London postcode or that folks could have an email address longer than 10 characters when take up over half of the little boxes.

          To make matters worse. No one asked to see it when I got there.

          1. Tom 7

            There's a similar problem turned up with two of my banks. I had 2 lloyds accounts and when they split the company they sent one to TSB. The home phone number I use is UK style staring with an 0. Now they want the number with +44 international style for Visa to do the payments and of course it doesnt work. TSB seem to have automatically updated their number properly but lloyds haven't and they've just closed the local branch and when I try and change it online it cant seem to phone me with the one time password!

    5. Terry 6 Silver badge

      This makes sense. From the perspective of being a dad of teenage kids, just a few years back, there are a lot of houses with numbers that are invisible, missing altogether, tiny, in a dark place or obscured. OTOH I've recounted here the story of the delivery driver determinedly placing a package for me (x3 delivery attempts) in an old recycling bin next door- despite me having seen her and asked if the parcel she was holding was for my number!!!

    6. Timbo

      "BTW putting a house number on the side of the house or on an open gate neither of which is visible from the road is not a clever idea. Nor is allowing that bush in the garden to overgrow the house sign."

      I quite agree.

      In the past I used to do installation work in customers homes and working in/around leafy Surrey in the winter, where I had appointments during the darker days of winter.

      It was almost impossible, trying to find "named" houses (such as "Dunroamin") on private estates, where the house names were not lit or even easily visible (if attached to the house) from a distance down their long driveways and on cold, rainy dark evenings.

      So, you could easily be driving up and down the road, looking for said house for ages. This could look very suspicious to any "neighbourhood watch" members. In the end, it was sometimes easier to park up and then walk up and down the road to find the right house (and usually getting soaking wet from the rain in the process) :-(

      And note this is all in the days before mobile phones, public access to GPS and any sort of "internet". Delivery drivers might have it slightly easier due to tech, BUT from my recent experience (as a receiver of parcels), they now have bigger workloads and far more parcels to collect/deliver on each shift.

      PS: If you are guilty of living in such a named property, pop outside and make sure the bloomin' house name (or house number) is large enough and clearly visible and positioned near to the pavement, rather than nailed onto the front of the house.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Councils are switching to using LED street lights. These are more economical - partly because the downward beam has little side spillage. Previously adequately illuminated house fronts are now in inky darkness. When I am expecting a late Tesco delivery I make sure my outside drive lights are lit.

        The solar powered house number illumination is unreliable - so needs wiring into the garage. That won't help with delivery drivers who dead reckon the house numbers - and neighbours who don't bother with number signs.

    7. Kubla Cant

      My address is $NUMBER High Street, $VILLAGE. The house is in the middle of the village and abuts directly on to the High Street, with no front garden. It has a sign on the front wall with $NUMBER in digits four inches high. Despite this I get people (notably, an electric meter reader for whom I stayed home specially) telling me they can't find the house.

      I suspect that it's the fault of the Royal Mail. Before postcodes. they insisted that addresses include a "post town", often a place some way off that was only associated with a location by virtue of the fact that mail was sorted there. Despite the fact that mail is now sorted by postcode, a designation that specifies a much smaller area than the post town, there still seems to be a rule that an address must include a post town.

      Online address lookups will often return $NUMBER High Street, $POSTTOWN $POSTCODE, without the village name. The result is people who don't navigate by postcode expecting to find my house in $POSTTOWN, 15 miles away.

      1. illiad

        er, by 'posttown' do you mean eg TW ?? this covers a large area from hounslow all the way to richmond surrey!!

      2. Potty Professor

        Distant delivery

        I once had a notification by email that my parcel was going to be delivered within a certain 1 hour time slot. I waited by the window of my office at the front of the house, and waited - and waited. I then received an email notification that my parcel had been delivered and left in the porch. This was accompanied by a photograph of the parcel resting on the mat in a porch that I don't possess. I phoned the delivery couriers and was told that their driver had left their depot at 8 AM and delivered to my address at 11AM. I retorted that, as their depot in Cornwall is over 250 miles from my address in Shropshire, he must have been averaging over 80MPH to get here in three hours. Turned out they had delivered it to a different address in a similarly named town in their area, and not to me at all.

    8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      House name, in letters 6" high by the side of the road. It doesn't help when the delivery company insists on the drivers using the company supplied GPS coordinates which are wrong, despite of several attempts to supply the correct ones. The better drivers ring for directions, some just text or dump the package at some other door. We've even had a package left on the bin of the neighbour across the road in clear sight of our own sign.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        It doesn't help when the delivery company insists on the drivers using the company supplied GPS coordinates which are wrong

        It also doesn't encourage the drivers to break that rule if the company uses the GPS tracking data from their handset to check how close they were to the provided delivery coordinates when they marked the parcel as having been delivered, and can flag up any apparent discrepancies as a reason to investigate the peformance of that courier.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "investigate the peformance of that courier."

          That requires a company that cares about the performance of anything.

          This has been escalated to the company more than once, not only by me but also by vendors. That's escalations known to me. I'm sure it must also have been escalated by countless others.

          Do they care? No.

          If I think the vendor is going to use them I'll either ask them if they can use someone else or consider a different vendor if possible.

    9. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Did food delivery for a while (Circumstances) last year, trying to find houses in the dark (Google Maps doesn't show newer address's well, or has the location wildly inaccurate).

      One person in the near dark of her corner bi-level home decided that Numbers shaded in with pen in the window nowhere near the door was sufficient signage.

      She did not respond well to "I'm driving in the dark, in snow, -30C outside looking for a house number (Nowhere near a street light & most people put on the door\exterior lighting if waiting on food) a window just below the roof is not a place I would be looking".

      Oh & those that think rocks with the house number on them, angled up at 45 degree's & covered in snow are helpful.

      Oh & those house designers\developers that use a black & metal house number plaque as signage, with lighting that brilliantly washes out the number in the dark or is not illuminated at all.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Oh & those house designers\developers that use a black & metal house number plaque as signage, with lighting that brilliantly washes out the number in the dark or is not illuminated at all.

        Or just people who want to put up a cutesy sign but haven't worked out that the bloody thing needs to be actually, well seen

    10. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      experience is the key

      "who fail to have adequately clear signage as to where they live"

      How about a large sign out front that says "I live here."?

      Seriously though, for an *experienced* delivery driver, most errors will be on the customer side. For an inexperienced driver, it's the other way around. I suspect Mr. Dabbs's packages have started arriving not because of any systemic improvements, but because over time the inexperienced drivers have acquired, er, experience.

    11. Boo Radley

      As a taxi driver I frequently have customers giving me complex instructions on how to find their place, when all I need or want is their god damn address. In all my years I've never failed to find an address when it's given properly.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Your customers probably have experience of other drivers.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge


        1. illiad

          Re: ObXKCD

          for those that dont do links.....

          " hey I need to send you a letter, where should I send it??"

    12. DJV Silver badge

      I used to live at the address "30 Thor Close" - trying to get people on the phone to write it down correctly was a bit hit and miss as they'd write down 34 and then ask for the road name again. I think we had to resort to saying, "The road is called Thor Close, that's T-H-O-R and the house number is thirty, that's a THREE followed by a ZERO." But even that wasn't enough somtimes...

      1. herman

        “Somtimes” explains it. You need an Apache speling module.

  5. Chris G

    A lawn 2.7 Km away

    Luxury! Spanish couriers will use any excuse not to deliver and return a packet to it's country of origin, including (but not limited to), recipient was out when the recipient was waiting at the gate for 4hours and saw the van drive past, house marked with wrong number, no answer to phone call, Google maps location does not exist and don't like the colour of the house.

    I try to arrange to not have deliveries but prefer to collect items from the relevant depot, oddly some of them won't disclose the whereabouts of the depot.

    Even in the sixties, I had to wonder what Patrick McGoohan was smoking when he wrote The Prisoner, he could have made more money selling that than from acting.

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: A lawn 2.7 Km away

      Apparently they had a couple of those Spanish delivery drivers at one of the Dutch couriers. Despite living at a most accessible location almost in the middle of a major city, that courier scored highest by several orders of magnitude in the "can't deliver, won't deliver" ratings. Okay, it was a former office building, but even offices are not unknown to receive the occasional parcel, and its street number was clearly visible on an awning over the front door, a single number half a meter high. On a major access road into that city. Still, "couldn't find the address". Another nice one "Driver was told no-one lives there any more". Err, by whom?

      Collecting parcels from their depot? 30km away shortest distance, 40 if you took the more sensible route avoiding a congested bridge, then straight through the centre of the next city over. No, repeat delivery was not in their book. Thank you so much, Navigational Nitwits.

      1. KarMann Silver badge

        Re: A lawn 2.7 Km away

        Another nice one "Driver was told no-one lives there any more". Err, by whom?
        By the person who lives there, obviously.

        1. Stoneshop

          Re: A lawn 2.7 Km away

          By the person who lives there, obviously.

          Definitely not, as that would have required ringing the doorbell to get one of us to open it. There had been no ringing at all that day.

      2. Tom 7

        F'ing Awnings!

        I went to a mates 50th in Amsterdam and had got a very detailed headmap of where the pub I was to meet him in was. Couldn't find the bugger. Went back to my hotel and checked directions and set off again still couldn't find it. Then I bent down and looked under an anonymous awing to see the pub name beautifully etched on the windows invisible to anyone more than 4 feet tall.

        Strangely I could read it when I left!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A lawn 2.7 Km away

      "return a packet to it's country of origin"

      Luxury. Amazon packet origination (AFAIK) in the UK scheduled for delivery to an Amazon locker (so absolutely no excuse for not finding it) in the UK. Next heard of in France. Meanwhile it was marked on their system as to be returned so I was sent an address label to return an item I didn't have and a courier arrived, unbidden by me, to collect the parcel I didn't have and wouldn't have wanted to return if I had it.

      It should be obvious to their S/W designers that the driver shouldn't be allowed to sign off the delivery at a locker location until all expected packages have a locker number assigned. It also should be obvious that the system shouldn't collapse into a heap on a failure and send an undelivered package to $RANDOM-LOCATION or generate returns. But then I've seen Amazon search results...

    3. John Presland

      Re: A lawn 2.7 Km away

      Odd. In seven years in Spain I've only once have a courier fail to phone and find us.

      1. Chris G

        Re: A lawn 2.7 Km away

        I live 16Km from the town that is my post code, in the region in which I live, it is standard to try to arrange collection rather than delivery.

        My Spanish neighbour moved in two years ago and came to ask me if I recieved Amazon packets so I replied the only courier service who delivers without a hitch is DHL.

        The others vary from not very good to not at all.

        One company that is psrt of a Europe wide group is renowned for return to sender for any address that is not on a main road or in a town, regardles of sending whatsapp or any other locations.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "Sorry you were out when we called."

    I have to say I am enjoying these tales of delivery drivers being unable to find an address - it brings back a wonderful nostalgic glow for the days when we in Blighty had things like delivery drivers, petrol for their vans, and goods for them to deliver to us.

    OK, maybe i'm exaggerating a little here. A minister has just been on the telly to tell us that "we’ll be able to buy things, there will be food on the table" this Christmas. Which is totally reassuring, that he felt it necessary to have to do that.

    1. H in The Hague

      Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

      "A minister has just been on the telly to tell us that "we’ll be able to buy things, there will be food on the table" this Christmas."

      Yup, they've made that possible by simply allowing EU hauliers to operate in the UK pretty much as before:

      I guess that's one way to make Brexit work. Not sure UK hauliers are exactly thrilled by that.

      Have a good weekend, and one of these -->

      1. BenDwire Silver badge

        Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

        Not sure UK hauliers are exactly thrilled by that.

        Indeed not. Brexit has had the (unintended?) effect of exposing the poor pay and conditions* of the haulage industry, masked by cheap migrant labour willing to do the job regardless. The unions want better pay and conditions* and are using the current shortage situation to drive (ahem) improvements. All this seems familiar to anyone who lived through the 1970s, so we can all expect a rough ride (ahem again).

        Of course we can pin the blame on Brexit, but consider that the EU27 isn't suffering in quite the same way as they continue to use cheap (exploited?) labour - hardly something to be proud of.

        Change is obviously required.

        *e.g. The lack of HGV parking with toliets and shower blocks

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

          The "cheap migrant labour" isn't coming any more because they're paid more in EU countries. And why would they want to come when their last experience in the UK was sat in a disused airfield on Christmas Day without any food?

          EU countries can work their way around problems getting someone from another country to cross the border make the delivery, the UK can't do that any more. However the EU has realised that Something Must Be Done, hopefully before everything goes horribly wrong as it has in the UK.

      2. Chris G

        Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

        The minister is demonstrating that he has taken back control, now johnny foreigner is back in because the.minister said so.


      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

        "there will be food on the table"

        Providing we have the fuel having a few local farm shops that do their own butchery should help ensure that. But I'll still be unhappy if Lidl can't get supplies of their hideously addictive mini stöllen.

        1. Dwarf

          Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

          If they got their mini stöllen then presumably they :

          1. Are not doing many deliveries

          2. Won't be doing any more until they get a new van

        2. Tom 7

          Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

          But ironically your xmas morning bacon will be imported from the EU while we are burning pigs here.

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

      Two stories, both about "You were out" cards.

      The first one was when we got one of these cards through the door when there were 5 people in the house (and I was actually in the room next to the front door myself), and two dogs who diligently listened to the slightest noise at the front door to alert us. The driver must have not slammed his van door, tiptoed to the front of the house, and slipped the card through the small gap in the letterbox without opening it, and obviously ignoring the door bell and door knocker.

      The second story is when I saw the van pull up, and opened the front door just as the driver was writing the card, before he even got close enough to ring the door bell.

      He seemed very frustrated, screwed the card up and almost threw the package at me before storming off down the short path.

      We have several Amazon drivers who don't even attempt to ring the door bell, and just leave the package in the designated safe location and then mark the delivery as complete some time later (probably after he as done all the ones in the area). Mind you that is better than marking the delivery as complete some time before actually delivering the package. In this case, I think it's so he can apparently meet the impossible schedule set by the company,

      1. Boothy

        Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

        I've had similar. I work from home, if I'm expecting a parcel I listen out, only use one ear piece on a headset if on a meeting etc. and my door bell is rather loud, very unlikely I could miss it inside the house.

        Head to the kitchen to make a coffee, and there's the card! "Sorry we missed you...", what! When did you

        turn up! It's not like it's just once either.

        Do they do this on purpose for some reason? Why don't they ring the bell, or at least knock loudly!

      2. Franco

        Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

        The difference in service between companies is incredible. When I bought my new laptop the address label was misprinted over multiple lines, so there was the house number, town and postcode but not the street address. The courier yelled at me when he arrived as if this was my fault (this was the latest in a long line of terrible service from UPS and their couriers).

        About a week later I was WFH and nipping out to the supermarket as I'd run out of milk and wanted coffee. The postman was pulling into my street in his van as I was pulling out, saw me and waved me down as he had a package for me which he gave to me in my car.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

          At least one of our posties knows the relationship between us and our daughter who lives about a mile away and has been known to deliver to the other when one was out.

        2. Tom 7

          Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

          One of our posties puts the mail in the box on the wall, climbs up the steps, through the gate, opens the conservatory door and gives the dog a biscuit bone. All the other posties get a good barking at but you can only tell this one has arrived by the beating of the dogs tail on his cage!

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

      I have had six deliveries from two different companies this week, at two different delivery addresses, all on time, so no problems here...

      1. Jess--

        Re: "Sorry you were out when we called."

        A company once sent a parcel out to me with only $surname, PE22 as the address.

        We all assumed it would never arrive but 2 days later it was handed to me by our usual postman.

  7. Warm Braw

    Sounds like the perfect solution to Christmas gift-giving

    I quite like the idea of handing some money over to a company and their then depositing gifts randomly on the doorsteps of unknown strangers. It would make the whole ritual consumption process much less of a chore and remove all of the responsibility for unwanted presents.

    Or maybe we could collectively fund the breaking open of some of the stranded containers at Felixstowe and have a sort of festive-tat-based pick-your-own.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like the perfect solution to Christmas gift-giving

      Or we turn the whole thing into a Secret Santa. Everyone gets a container number at random and have to go to the port, find the container and take the contents home.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like the perfect solution to Christmas gift-giving

        I hope mine is a drug dealer's payment container.

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like the perfect solution to Christmas gift-giving

          I would just as happy if it was the container with the drugs. Now that's what I would call a White Christmas. ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We've Left It With A Neighbour...

    That was my favourite one from a few weeks ago.

    'You were out when we called. We left your parcel with a neighbour'

    Riiight. But which one?

    After knocking on three doors, two one side, and next door on the other (who was not at home when I knocked), I discovered it was the fourth neighbour who had it.

    Lest this should still seem a minor issue, the neighbour who had it is the one who has previously expressed a lack of enthusiasm for taking in other people's parcels and mail, though they mellowed ever so slightly when we took in parcels for them.

  9. Eclectic Man Silver badge


    I recently needed a minor operation (nothing serious)* so I booked a taxi to take me from home to the minor operations surgery, giving the full addresses of both my home and the surgery to the taxi company. The taxi company was very interested in the postcodes, which in hindsight should have been a warning.

    Well the driver turned up on time, as I was waiting outside, and we set off. I checked that we were going to the surgery and he repeated the postcode. So we set off, for the postcode on the sat-nav. Anyway, going up the road to the location I spotted the building - it was the one with the large sign on the front, and said "There it is, that's the place." We drove straight past. I said "you've just driven past it." To which he replied "do you want to go to the post code or the building?" I wanted the building where I had the appointment, which seemed to annoy him a bit, but he did eventually turn the taxi round and stop outside it.

    I took the bus home.

    Let's just say if I need a lift again, I'll check whether the taxi company drives to post codes as located on a sat-nav, or the actual address I give them first.

    *Successful, stitches came out after a week, and it seems to be healing nicely, thanks.

    1. Stoneshop

      seems to be healing nicely, thanks

      Is that about the taxi driver?

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Postcode

      I have suffered weird minicab drivers over the years who take the most bizarre routes, get lost and then keep asking "Are we there yet?" like a bored child. I even had one who drove all over the place through unfamiliar streets before angrily demanding: "Don't you know where you live?" All I could do was reply weakly: "Yes I do but it's not here."

      I have never had a problem with a licensed cabbie. They're all mad bastards and jolly expensive but they have the skills to do the job properly.

  10. Andy Non Silver badge

    Your parcel has been delivered

    I've had that message a couple of times from Amazon. Er, no it hasn't, we've been in all day and nobody has knocked on the door or rung the door bell. End up chasing Amazon customer services who reassure me the parcel will be delivered within 48 hours. The following day a note through the letterbox from an Amazon delivery driver saying we were out, except we were in again all day. Sigh.

  11. Evil Scot

    Use Gods' own Messenger

    Then you are sure to get the parcel.

    1. KarMann Silver badge

      Re: Use Gods' own Messenger

      Hermes, the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology? Umm, no thank you, all the same.

      1. Tom 7

        Re: Use Gods' own Messenger

        Hermes and DHL are the ones most offten asked for on the local moan and groan FB page. I think they select their drivers by their cussedness factor. Even had one angrily demand that I put up a sign on the next door neighbours gate so they didnt try and deliver my stuff there. We did have a sign with the name of the property on but delivery drivers kept running over it when reversing.

  12. Dr_N

    "Simply turn it on, wait for it to count down to zero and then blow until it beeps,"

    Sage life advice for multiple scenarios.

  13. LastTangoInParis

    Some countries are worse

    In South Africa, the state run postal service is so bad nobody shipping in country uses it. If mailing from outside, though, you don’t have that luxury. This is the actual journey of a parcel from UK to a large city in SA, as revealed by the tracking data. Flies to SA, so far so good. Sits at international airport hub for a couple of months. Eventually shipped to post office local to the recipient, literally round the corner. On the same day, the post office return it to the airport hub, who then eventually sends it back to us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some countries are worse

      About a decade ago I was expecting a parcel delivery from USA to my office. Eventually a card arrived stating that the parcel was waiting for me to collect it from the Royal Mail sorting office as duty was payable. I popped round that lunchtime to be told that the parcel had been returned to sender earlier that day as it had sitting awaiting collection for 2 weeks - this was the day *after* a 10 day sorting office strike had just finished!

      It seems the notification card was supposed to go out the day the strike began so it actually sat there instead awaiting the end of the strike yet on their 1st day back at work they still returned the "undelivered" parcel after the usual 10 days period awaiting collection. The RM guy didn't even see anything wrong with what had happened...

      "Me: So this card didn't go out until yesterday because of the strike? Him: Yeah"

      "Me: I got the card this morning and came round in a matter of hours Him: Well we returned it earlier today as the 10 days had passed"

      "Me: And even if I had received the card before today I wouldn't have been able to collect the parcel due to the strike? Him: Yeah"

      "Me: And yet you still sent it back after 10 days despite the 10 day strike? Him: That's the rules"

      After all that I then had the "fun" of dealing with a refund from the USA company who issued a US Dollar cheque......

  14. Zebo-the-Fat

    I recently moved house, the new place had just a name, no number. It had a nice clear large sign with the house name on it, screwed to the wall directly behind a large bush... invisible from the road!

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Some houses here have really BIG house numbers on the building or as giant garden features.

      A little overpowering at times (Wouldn't want it for myself).

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "We know where you live" conceys no information on a note through the door. "We know who you are" is the one to worry about.

    1. Gerhard den Hollander

      ``we know what you did'' is even more worrying


      ``we know where the bodies are buried''

      is also a good one

      (the correct answer likely to be ``at the cemetry'' )

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I occasionally got things delivered to my place of work - a hospital, It even has a nicely signposted A&E.

    I got orders failing with comments like "no such address", "building closed" and "nobody there". We are open every day of the year round the clock. If there was nobody here, you would hear about it on the news!

    Sometimes they would hand things to the first person they came across who looked like they might work in a hospital.

    Then, they set up some Amazon lockers here. We still get those comments but much less often.

    A new problem that I sometimes get is that it refuses to accept the lockers as a delivery point as this order is for delivery only "not collection"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work in a late 60's building, we've always used the address 2 [street name]. Recently a new block of student flats got built next door, shortly after which some of our post started going missing. When we queried Royal Mail, they informed us that number 2 was actually the new block of flats next door, we'd never actually been allocated a door number, we were just known by the building name.

  18. John Sturdy

    In pleasant contrast

    I lived for several years in rural south-west Ireland, where my most specific address was which townland (division of a parish) I was in --- in my case, it referred to all the houses on a particular hill, regardless of which part of the road network it was on (there were roads onto the hill from either side, but none across it). No house numbers there; in fact, there's a phrase "living in the numbers" referring to urban living, where the houses have numbers.

    In pleasant contrast to many of the stories here, my postal deliveries started arriving before I had thought of going round to the local Post Office to tell them which house I was in... the postman spotted a new name, and delivered to the house which had been unoccupied for a few weeks but now had someone in it. But that's an advantage of having a local postman, which delivery companies don't have the target density to do.

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: In pleasant contrast

      No house numbers there; in fact, there's a phrase "living in the numbers" referring to urban living, where the houses have numbers.

      Contrasting this was the address of a colleague of my father, who for a good while lived at $VERYSMALLVILLAGE 14. As I recall there were three more or less distinct roads of which one partly unpaved, but apparently no one had seen the need to name those in any way, and just consecutively numbering the houses was the result.

      1. Stoneshop

        Re: In pleasant contrast

        Looking at a map I see that there are indeed three through-roads enclosing a triangle, all bearing the name of the small village. There are also four dead-end side roads, but it's quite common that those carry the name of the through-road which they attach to.

        There are at least five more villages in that area with multiple roads around them carrying the village name. I suppose the people who managed to live there had more urgent things to care about than thinking up street names.

      2. Potty Professor

        Re: In pleasant contrast

        I once took my family to a holiday home in a small village in Germany, so small that its address was 17 $Village, $Posttown. Luckily, it also had a Post Code, which took us into the village, and as there were only about 25 houses in the village, we didn't have much difficulty finding it.

  19. Blackjack Silver badge

    All I am saying is, there is a reason I painted my house green.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Now no one can find you in the forest?

      1. Ivan Headache

        It’s the house full of tomatoes.

  20. whileI'mhere

    It's vocal CORDS!

    Vocal chords? Really, Dabsy?

    I despair.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's vocal CORDS!

      He sings in three-part harmony.

  21. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder if I could change my house name and whether "Only approach up the hill, second on the right past the farm and if you see an empty field on your right you've gone too far" would be too long.

    1. Stoneshop

      There must be a single Welsh word meaning exactly that

      But I doubt it'd be much shorter. It would also be rather unpronounceable except for native speakers of Welsh.

      There would also be a single German word for it, but you'd have run out of air at least three times already before you've pronounced the first half.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couriers storing pictures of your house

    Anybody who is fed up with this practice by privacy invading delivery companies (Hermes, I'm looking at you) can try this free signage:

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Ah, "The Prisoner", what a TV show... It seems all the staff was massively under LSD for the last episode. This also makes it a monument of the 60s.

    Bonjour chez vous!

  24. The Mighty Spang

    Uber Eats/Deliveroo/dominos/pizza hut absolutely hopeless I've given up on food delivery

    So I live on a busy main street in the centre of a city. Entrance is at the rear of a converted building so in hole in the wall to a rear car park and you're there. only exit off the street on that block.

    Apart from the post office being useless with post as usual getting buildings mixed up (it took 4 attempts to get a letter from a town 15 miles away once), don't have much problems with bad post delivery with amazon, ups, dpd, even hermes. Have like 90% hit rate with co-op delivery, but get the occasional numpty.

    Now in the direction to find place I fill it in every time. Enter car park off main road, its opposite the hairdressers, then turn left. Easy.

    But all food delivery are hiring - lets be frank here - people who cant read speak or understand English. If they haven't understood the simple instructions, phoning me up and asking for directions when I cant understand you and you can't even understand the simple instructions gets us nowhere. last time i just hung up, got a callback from an operator, explained the problem, explained how to find it, they agreed it was very simple, they called the driver back and tried to explain it, got nowhere as well.

    Ive often though about the problem because lets be honest if i crap out with a heart attack and call the ambulance its gonna take them a while to find the place. some app where people can upload photos, directions etc would be great. But its the underpants gnomes question, how do you make money to keep it running let alone pay people. how do you stop fake uploads for your annoying neighbours sending people on a wild goose chase?

    if you charge then somebody else will want to create a similar app. and then others. splitting the market would just reduce coverage and nobody is going to sign up 4 times to put that info in.

    there is money to be made if companies got together and invested in there. there are probably plenty of people like me who have given up trying to use these services.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Uber Eats/Deliveroo/dominos/pizza hut absolutely hopeless I've given up on food delivery

      WHAT3WORDS will work. But only if you take extra care with the word variations. They're meant to be sorted out so that similar combinations (cock.ball.kick and cock.ball.kicks) are impossible distances apart, as in countries or continents. But unfortunately there are reports of some being just too close to be sure you're at the right one, even nearby towns.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Uber Eats/Deliveroo/dominos/pizza hut absolutely hopeless I've given up on food delivery

        Or simply give the GPS coordinates of the entrance. W3W will be reduced to that anyway so cut out the non-standard middleman.

        1. H in The Hague

          Re: Uber Eats/Deliveroo/dominos/pizza hut absolutely hopeless I've given up on food delivery

          "W3W will be reduced to that anyway so cut out the non-standard middleman."

          Technically speaking that is quite correct. However, we are dealing with people so we have to consider more than just technology. And some people find words easier to deal with than numbers.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Uber Eats/Deliveroo/dominos/pizza hut absolutely hopeless I've given up on food delivery


            W3W was apparently designed for places that that don't have or don't quite correspond to a postcode. Worldwide.

            And while map references are probably more professional most humans will have stopped remembering how to use them let alone locate where they are with them by the age of 16.And reading aloud thtree words without mangling them is - if not guaranteed by any means- easier to get right than a list of co-ordinates' digits.

            So near Hendon Central

            Lat/Long: would be 51.58259964,-0.22862820

            W3W is edit.trick.ships

            Which is the more useable?

            But it's "trick" and "ships" not chick chicks ships tricks etc.. You do have to be careful. edit.tricks.ship is New S Wales. edit.trips.trick is Norfolk and so on. I do think they should have omitted those final s words. And maybe some confusable sounds- [trips.trick] is asking to be confused with [ trip.tricks ] [trick.trips] etc etc.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Found it.

    It was down the back of the sofa.

  26. heyrick Silver badge

    I live in the country, in the back of beyond. My address is quite literally house name, postcode, town.

    The number of times I've had big parcel carriers claim to deliver a parcel, then report that my address is missing or incomplete is annoying. To that end, on my Amazon account is a note to the delivery companies (you can add this as special instructions) that names them, tells them that the address is valid and correct, and if they have any doubts just look it up in Google Maps.

    I find the smaller carriers are much better in this respect than the big companies that notice the address isn't eight lines long and simply don't bother.

  27. wjake

    This doesn't help:

    I live in an apartment at a street address.

    Do I put the apartment # at the end of the street address on Address Line 1?

    Or do I put the apartment # on Address Line 2?

    With or without the word Apartment, or Apt. or a # sign or no # sign...

    Not that it matters, any combination comes back as "Invalid Address"

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