ZIP code

All posts tagged ZIP code

After being told that my packages were undeliverable, I did what scientists due: I researched it. I called the USPS station that delivers to my house in Michigan and asked them if the address was good. It took me a while to get there, at least three phone calls, but Jeremy answered the phone and asked me right off the bat, was I getting any mail there. Yeah, I get baskets of junk mail. Then, dude, the address is good. We deliver if the address is good. Your address is fine, ma’am. You have a good carrier and that route is a nice one. Thank you for confirming, Jeremy.

I called Aetna back. This time, I asked for a supervisor, who swore up and down she would call back in 40 minutes. After about two hours, I called again, and as usual, the third time was the charm. I somehow to get connected to the actual pharmacy service (instead of “customer” service), and spoke to a guy who not only could see the entire file, but started from scratch with the data, checking and double-checking the address information. We got as far as the ZIP code when he asked me if my town was near Akron, MI.

Any modern piece of software that ends up printing a shipping label has a neat feature called ZIP code cross-check. This automatically populates the city field based on the ZIP code entered. Pharmacy guy found the error with minimal effort – the city that was typed into the manual entry field was different than the city from the ZIP code, because the ZIP code had not been transcribed properly. One digit was off.

I’ve reconfirmed that address with at least five Aetna reps over the last two months. Not one of them noticed the ZIP code error. This kind of issue is what software is supposed to fix for us – to reduce the impact of human error. In this case, the software worked fine. But apparently it required its user to understand the importance of what it was doing. This is just more proof that there is still no cure for stupid.