USPS Plans Tool to Correct Address Typos

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The U.S. Postal Service debuts an address correction service July 17 that aims to fix minor errors in mailers' address lists, such as incorrect or transposed letters in a street name, missing directionals and abbreviations that prevent accurate barcoding.


The USPS said the Address Element Correction Service Level 2 tool will improve the speed and accuracy of mail delivery and can avoid repetitive correction of the same customer record. AEC II enhances the existing basic service, begun in the early 1990s.


"Major mailers have been asking us to create this service for them," said George T. Hurst, brand manager of direct mail at the USPS.


The postal service said millions of addresses in mailers' files have been examined and corrected with the tool, which produces a diagnostic report about the mailers' list management practices. Current electronic success rates average 35 percent to 50 percent of the previously unmatched addresses.


With AEC II, bad addresses that the basic service cannot resolve are submitted electronically to delivery offices for correction. Delivery units perform this correction through information from carriers and clerks.


Hurst said the new service is one of several tools that the USPS is working on to reduce undeliverable-as-addressed mail. At the National Postal Forum last spring, Postmaster General John E. Potter said he wants to cut UAA mail 50 percent.


Pricing for AEC II will be $15 per 1,000 records submitted, plus 25 cents per record that has to be resolved by delivery field personnel. The maximum number of records permitted per file for AEC II processing is 15,000.


Customers also submit a minimum fee of $25 to initiate AEC II processing. That fee includes resolution of up to the first 100 records resolved through information from carriers and clerks.


Customers make this initial payment and all subsequent payments through a postal service Centralized Account Processing System account or valid credit card.


All subsequent fees for AEC II-resolved records are prepaid weekly before updated address information is returned to the customer.


Basic AEC service will remain available at the current pricing.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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