What Checks and Balances Should Mailers Take?

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What a sad story ("Eziba's Meltdown: Mailing to the Wrong File Ended a Catalog," Jan. 31)! We suppliers who try so diligently regard this kind of tragedy deeply. But what was the cause, and how could it have been avoided?

Well, there was little comment in the story save Andy Ostroy's "the checks and balances that should be in place weren't." Also: "It's anyone's guess ..."

Not enough.

I've been racking my brain to figure out how to guard against this. If this was a solo house mailing ("run my L18M buyers") with no merge, how do you check and balance? Only thing I can think of would be to get the count in advance (knowing it to be correct) and clearly instruct the mail house to confirm upon receipt. Let's try to learn from this. What are those checks and balances that the mailer should take? Or must we simply trust the service bureau?

Rich Reinhart, List Counsellors, Allentown, NJ,


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