A FED UP couple have had their phone number changed without their consent, their water bills cancelled and their post delivered to the wrong address for more than ten years – all because a new road built nearby has the same postcode.
The couple live at 12 Marshfield Way, but around ten years ago a new street was built off Marshfield Way called The Paddocks, Marshfield Way, which also has a number 12.
They have dealt with the confusion by taking post and deliveries to the right addresses between them, but the confusion over their addresses has also led to further mix-ups with other utilities companies.
Now Mr and Mrs Dean are calling on Royal Mail to finally end the madness after their neighbour at the other number 12 ordered a set of garden furniture, only for the table to go to the right address while they ended up with the chairs.
When a new neighbour moved into the other address they decided to bring their old telephone number with them, but a mix-up led to the Dean’s number being disconnected and replaced with another number.
The first they knew of it was when they saw an engineer climbing a ladder against the telegraph pole outside their home.
On two occasions not having their own telephone number caused serious distress for their family.
“My son was very ill, he had cancer of the liver and lives in Inverness – they couldn't contact us," said Mrs Dean. "It was awful because he was so ill.”
And their daughter was in Sharm El Sheikh during the terrorist attack and had been trying to call home but again, couldn’t get through.
The Deans have their own phone number back for now - but their direct debit payment for their water bills were recently cancelled.
Mr Dean said their regular postman, is aware of what is happening, but if another postman steps in for the round then mix-ups occur.
At the end of last year the Deans took their frustration to North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson who got a response from Royal Mail on the matter.
“Royal Mail told us that we have got to get 100 per cent agreement from everyone to get the postcode changed," said Mr Dean.
"I don’t want to be going around with a list, besides it doesn’t affect two thirds of the people on the road, but the ones it does affect are thrown into absolute chaos.”
Mrs Dean said there was no disagreement with the neighbours, as they were facing just as many problems as they were, but having their phone number changed had caused a lot of stress.
He said: “Royal Mail have said it is down to whoever built the road, I can’t get the logic of it.”
A spokesman for Royal Mail said “We are sorry to hear of the problems Mr and Mrs Dean have experienced with their postcode. We are investigating and will work to rectify this issue as quickly as possible.”