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Ecommerce Forum

Customer Details Query

 3:04 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

when we receive orders from the USA, they often don't bother with city and state information. can someone tell me if
is a valid postal address? would an item shipped to an address without a city or state actually get there ok?



 3:07 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I highly doubt it, unless the postman is feeling very nice and feels like spending extra time finding the town.

If you are trying to ship a product to someone and you have the ZipCode, you can go online and find the town and state by entering the ZipCode.


 3:16 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

In the UK, a postcode / zipcode, can pin you down to a certain part of a street, within the UK, unless you are very well off and own an extremely large house, then you can get one for yourself.

It is possible for parcels to get anywhere, but the postcode / zipcode is important if other information is lacking, hence, state / county, in which the town, just happens to be one of 15 all over the country.


 3:25 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

thanks for the quick replies guys.
now can anyone tell me why a customer would enter a partial address when ordering products that would be delivered by post? how do they expect deliveries will be made if they dont put their full address in?
the only people i've noticed doing this are americans. not sure about some other parts of the world as i dont know their address systems.


 3:25 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I agree with Caine that it is possible to pin it down, but the question is if the postal service will take the time to do so, or if they will return it to the sender.


 3:30 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

In the US, if you have the zip -particularly the full zip (9 digits)- you theoretically have everything, but I agree that you should do a reverse lookup [usps.gov].


 3:46 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I think it may depend upon where in the U.S. the addressee lives.

We just moved to a small town in Maine earlier in the year. I have gotten several pieces of mail delivered which has just my name, street name, and zip code. Of course, there are about 2,000 people in the entire town, and the town's two "postmen" are sisters.

When I lived in Albuquerque, I would often have clients call because mail was returned by the post office because it didn't have the correct apartment number on it.

Technically, a ZIP code should take the place of the city and state. That's what they said when they started the danged things, anyway.

If you have the ZIP code but not the city and state, you can go to [usps.com...] and get look it up.

click watcher

 3:57 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>>>now can anyone tell me why a customer would enter a partial address when ordering products that would be delivered by post?

no idea, what i have learnt though is the golden rule...

validate all forms, eg FORCE the user to fill in all fields.
and make sure you have fields for all required bits of the address, name, street name and number, town, state, zip, country and not a generic box where they fill it all in at once.


 6:38 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

no matter how well you idiot proof your site, there will always be one idiot who goes above and beyond the call of duty to confound your genius ....... ho hum


 7:35 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've seen some sites that make the zip code
required and once they enter that it automatically enters city/state.


 7:46 pm on Dec 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

I use +javascript form validation [google.com], works great.


 3:38 pm on Jan 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is how it works at the USPS. A scanner reads the address, it looks for a zip code be it 5 digits or 9 digits. From the zip code, the city, state is derived. So, if the zip is valid the scanner NEVER looks at the city state. The problem occurs when the zip code is NOT valid, then the city state field is required.

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