postcode validation of addresses
The system automatically downloads the address from our website but without validating that the postcode matches the address. We get many addresses entered incorrectly by the customer and using the billing address with the different delivery postcode. The postcode and address do not match but Royal Mail is not using any checks or validation to check the postcode and address match. This means I am having to check all addresses one by one to see if they 'look' ok. We get quite a lot that are incorrect but they always got flagged up on DMO when we entered the postcode and could see the delivery address that we were given did not match the postcode. But now the incorrect address can easily be used for the delivery label without any checks and sent out to an address that does not exist.
Thank you for your suggestions. We are planning to introduce post town validation to help ensure your order data is as correct as possible.
We will provide further updates as soon as we are able, but we expect this feature to be completed as soon as possible.
@Cameron Amazon take 15% of your sales and should provide you with the correct information, why do you think it is the responsibility of Royal mail?
I totally agree with you about the badly formatted addresses supplied by customers of Amazon & eBay, but this is NOT a Royal Mail problem.
Each day I pay staff to manually check all invoices prior to printing labels, incorrect addresses are put to one side and corrected, those that can not be corrected are contacted.
Pre-Internet I ran a business which had 200,000+ addresses, all addresses were input using a PAF file address system (which was not cheap).
If you have your own website it is also YOUR responsibility to make sure you use a service to add the customer address in the right format before passing it to Royal Mail.
We process just under 2,000 Amazon orders per month. I cannot believe how many people manage to enter their addresses incorrectly. We don't have the time to manually check every address.
If Royal Mail implemented this into Click & Drop it would massively decrease the number of undeliverable returns we receive as well as lowering our re-postage and refund costs.
Roger Genders commented
The Post Office system states it support international postage. Unfortunately, you have to enter a valid UK post code - so the system is unworkable
Good idea, as I keeping getting parcels returned to me for an incorrect address. Then I have to pay the postage again to resend them! Amazon orders are the worse!
But the previous RM system had postcode validation. Why reomve it for C&D?
I don't usually side with CS but this problem is not really a Royal Mail problem, they are not at fault.
It is down to us to supply RM with the data in the correct format, if that data is being passed from ebay, Amazon then it is really a problem with the market place not using software to populate the addresses. On your own websites you can install this software so you capture real addresses.
Years ago I used a program called Quick Address to enter, check and validate 200,000 addresses on my mailing list, it cost me money but also helped me save money when posting out by mailsort.
It would be good to see RM do something, but it really is not down to them, we pay eBay, Amazon etc enough money, they should provide us with better data.
This needs complete address check... not just post town. We import orders automatically and then get screwed up by the auto manifest and can't edit the address and land up double charged.
Totally unacceptable that this has not been done from the very start.
Great idea! :)
Given the importance Royal Mail put on getting the post code correct, you would think that the all new Click & Drop system would know the difference between an incorrect post code and a correct one. Can't believe this function still isn't available.
I do think click and drop should AT LEAST check the postcode and town are valid. Surely it would help a lot with sorting ?
DMO did do basic checks, so why not just add these back ?
I cant stress highly enough how this is the number one feature that needs to be prioritised for this app. Even if it just raised a red flag against any address that does not match at least 3 lines of the database reference so admins can check themselves. How you have thought it was sensible to create a platform that allows mail to enter your system without any reference check is completely beyond me. Such a big margin for error. I have installed a postcode finder and forced it's use on checkout, but it still isn't stopping errors. Honestly, forget everything else and crack this nut ASAP!
This is a basic requirement. It never fails to amaze me how many customers don't know their correct postcode or have basic information such as house number or street name, etc missing from their address. It is more common than many people think and causes all sorts of problems in trying to locate wrongly delivered orders, having to resend duplicate orders, retrieval of orders, etc. In short it amounts to poor customer service - all for the lack of a basic feature that would eliminate the vast majority of such cases!
This would be a great feature.
Unfortunately most of our customers don't seem to be able to type their address properly [especially seems to be eBay customers, they're not exactly our smartest purchasers].
The amount of times I have to reformat a postcode because it's been typed incorrectly or remove extra "flourishes" from their address is beyond a joke.
A customer address comes in as
top flat honeysuckle lodge 11 belmont road exeter
When all that's needed is:
11 Belmont Road
I'm sure most items fomatted in this way do get to the destination on time, but EX12 refers to Seaton not Exeter, and could easily end up with an item being misdirected [and inevitebly a late delivery defect on eBay because it's of course our fault and not the customer's for not being able to type their own address properly]...
Then there's those sort of people that feel they need to 'embellish' their address [i.e anyone within about 100 miles of London simply needs to put London in their address... last time I checked Basildon is in Essex, not London!] or put in a nonsense property name that's not on the official postcode database.
Another issue I often see is customers in the Channel Islands, often format their address as something like this
12 High st
St Peters Port
The system then picks it up as a normal domestic order so no CN22 is generated. This mostly seems to come from eBay, as eBay incorrectly classifies CI as international postage and wants to charge our customers. Can't really blame customers for tweaking their addresses in this way because they know it doesn't cost us any more than a domestic order to post, but I feel this should be something Click and Drop should be able to handle [or even Royal Mail could get onto eBay to get them to update their systems so CI customers don't have to pay extra postage - I imagine we would see an uplift in custom if this was the case!]
Formatting these addresses is a huge waste of time when the system really should be able to do it automatically.
Steven O'Neill commented
C&D desperately needs address verification to identify when postcodes/addresses are incorrect. We process 100’s of orders each day via the API so it’s far too time consuming to cross-check them all. More parcels are being returned with ‘address does not exist’ and customers are losing patience, as are we. The competitors are doing this already, this may be a deciding factor to move away from Royal Mail. I really hope this is added very soon.
Steven O'Neill commented
This is an essential feature that needs to be added. The competitors are already doing this, it’s far too time consuming to check 100’s of address each day. This may be a deciding factor for us to switch to an alternative provider.
Gemma Hammond commented
The DMO would address check and this is essential for us as we import addresses in to the system. Without this we would have to manually check a mailshot campaign which could be 3000+ addresses and that simply isn't going to happen. Address check is needed.
Seems a backward steps if that's the case. Was only two years ago Royal Mail forced us to rewrite all in house databases to be compatable with DMO and then on a whim they replace it with something far less functional.
Robert Hodgson commented
As Royal Mail considers themselves the guardians of the PAF (Postcode) file it would be trivial for them to check the postcode when you import orders. It is in EVERYBODYS interest to get this right.
Some basic pattern matching on the address fields would be good too. Imagine how many items of mail this might affect on a daily basis. This isn't difficult.
A year later and C&D customer support have not even bothered to respond to this.
In March I will be visiting the Internet Retailing Expo and be speaking with MyHermes.
Royal Mail delivery offer a great service but I find it let down by their Customer / Buisness Support teams
Agreed- The outgoing DMO system automatically resolved any address issues, including correcting postcodes to capitalization, plus there is a facility to use the postcode to Auto populate the delivery post town / city.
Its a real pain having to manually amend eBay addresses and we are now having to use the CSV import to correct some of these issues - Not ideal when your shipping 100's of parcels a week !!