New build owners struggle to complete orders

Seventy-four per cent of new-build home owners have had difficulties ordering goods and services, according to research by Royal Mail.

Among the 124,000 residents of houses built in 2009, 71 per cent had problems ordering goods, 51 per cent experienced difficulty setting up utilities and 34 per cent struggled to arrange financial servicecs.

Problems arise when a company fails to recognise the postcode because they do not have the latest address data in their system. As a result, they could be losing out on one of the most significant buying triggers among consumers. One in five of those surveyed said they  purchased from a company that could recognise their postcode, rather than persist with their first choice. One in ten chose to buy on the high street, rather than online, to avoid the problem.

Three quarters (76 per cent) of the issues with orders occur within the first two months of moving to a new build, although 17 per cent of consumer say they are still having problems six months on. Retailers had failed to accept a postcode from 52 per cent of potential shoppers, with TV or telephony providers failing for 47 per cent.

Steve Rooney of Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit said: “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. 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.”

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