Royal Mail: An Update Will Only be Provided When We Attempt to Deliver Your Item

Kiragu Sylvia

Royal Mail’s “an update will only be provided when we attempt to deliver your item” is a less-than-helpful message. It leaves you checking your tracking repeatedly, hoping in vain for more information.

But what exactly does this status imply?

Put simply, it indicates the service used is not trackable. You’ll only get an update when the carrier actually tries to deliver your item.

Until then, your package is traversing Royal Mail’s network untracked.

This article dives deep into this Royal Mail tracking error, unveiling what causes it. You’ll learn how and when to react should you get this error for your parcels.

What Does it Mean by an Update Will Only be Provided When We Attempt to Deliver Your Item?

This confusing tracking message is essentially Royal Mail’s way of saying the service used for your package cannot be tracked in real time.

It only applies to their “Signed For” delivery option, which has limited tracking capabilities.

With Signed For mail, the tracking number is scanned at the very beginning when posted at the Royal Mail collection office. After that, it won’t be scanned again until the actual delivery attempt at your address.

How Long Does Royal Mail Take to Update Tracking?

Royal Mail’s tracking update speed depends on the service used. For premium options, tracking updates are real-time, so you can follow your item’s journey. 

However, it’s a different story with Signed For Delivery.

The packages travel incognito through the sorting centers. The tracking status stays stuck on “update only on delivery attempt” during this hidden transit period.

So, from when it leaves the initial postal office until the carrier takes it out for delivery, you are in the dark tracking-wise.

How to Deal With “An Update Will Only be Provided When We Attempt to Deliver Your Item” Royal Mail Tracking Error

Contacting the sender and lowering your expectations around holidays are some of the ways you can deal with the error
Contacting the sender early on and lowering your expectations around holidays are some of the ways you can deal with the error. Image: Canva/yuriz

Do the following if you have Royal Mail delays:

1. Contact the Sender Early On

If you receive the “update only on delivery” message, contact the sender right away to inform them.

They can verify the service purchased and the expected delivery timeframe. They can also check if Royal Mail has delivery problems on your behalf.

This provides context while you wait without updates.

2. Extend Delivery Expectations Around Holidays

Be extra patient during busy seasons like Christmas. With surging volumes, standard delivery windows may not apply.

Royal Mail Second Class aims for 2 to 3 business days but around holidays give it 1-2 weeks before worrying.

3. Watch For Delivery Deadlines

Royal Mail recommends allowing up to 30 working days before reporting an item lost. But for online purchases, the deadline may be sooner.

On eBay for example, you have 30 days from the estimated delivery date to file an “item not received” claim under their Money Back Guarantee.

So while patience is key, don’t let delivery fall outside the window for buyer protection before taking action. Know your rights and deadlines.

4. Have Someone There To Accept It

Make sure someone is available when delivery is attempted.

If a Signed For item is undeliverable on the first try, it gets returned to the office with no scan update generated. You’ll be left in limbo unless you’re home to receive it.

What Does Delivery Attempted Mean on Royal Mail?

Delivery attempted means the carrier was unable to deliver the package due to a number of reasons
Delivery attempted means the carrier was unable to deliver the package. Image: singletrackworldforum

It means the mail carrier tried to deliver your item but was unable to for some reason. Some common reasons for a failed delivery attempt include:

  • No one was available to accept the package. Delivery staff will only deliver an item requiring a signature to the addressee or someone authorized to receive mail.
  • There was no safe place for the parcel to be left. If an item doesn’t require a signature, Royal Mail can leave it in a safe location on your property. This is if no one answers the door. If they can’t find a safe place, they will rather return with it than risk being stolen or damaged.
  • Extreme weather prevented delivery. During severe storms or icy conditions, it may be hazardous for mail carriers to make deliveries. Attempts will resume when it’s safe.

Unless circumstances change, Royal Mail will likely try to deliver your package again the next working day.

So make sure someone is around to accept it or provide a safe place for the carrier to leave it unsupervised. See what other tracking statuses mean here and how to know if an item has been delivered by Royal Mail.

Conclusion

So there you have it. You now know what the Royal Mail tracking error of “an update will only be provided when we attempt to deliver your item” means.  Arm yourself with patience and use the above tips to get the most visibility possible. Before you know it, that long-awaited delivery attempt update will arrive.

Share This Post:

Posted Under

Related Posts

Leave a Comment