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I have my books sent to me at work, and my work is in the middle of a huge biomedical complex, so the c/o line of my address has my building, suite, and room info on it. I've noticed that occasionally I get books where this line isn't on the address. They're standard PBS printouts, so it's not a problem with someone hand addressing it. I've checked the "Details" link of the request, and the c/o line is missing there, too.
It seriously annoys the mailroom people, since they have to find me among the 4,000+ people who work on in this campus. The last book like this has simply gone missing - I don't know if the mailroom people rejected it or if there was some other problem.
This only happens very occasionally - less than one in ten books. Does anyone have any idea what might be cauing this?
I know that some programming requires "Attn Acme Smith Company" as opposed to the "c/o Acme Smith Company" because the c/o affects the coding, which in turn affects the printing of the address. Whether this is the case here, I dunno..but try removing the c/o and replacing it with "Attn" and try it once to see.
Also, check your address via usps.com - with the building complexes, often to get the perfect zip+4 you have to have just the right formatting, and nowadays they are using "Bldg 100-200" to represent "Building 100, Suite 100" as an example. Mail can be returned to sender if it is processed through an automated center and the name of the company and the address aren't exact.
Last Edited on: 11/6/07 11:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Calen's advice for making sure your address has the correct ZIP+4 is good and you should do that; but it might also be a bug in PBS. If you can figure out which kind of wrappers show up without the C/O line, that should help Robert fix the programming. It could be
- printable postage wrappers
- delivery confirmation wrappers
- plain wrappers without any PBS features
- wrappers printed from the "backup wrapper" screen
- wrappers where you clicked "send to an alternate address" and then entered your regular address
- addresses printed by other programs (Paypal, etc.). This would be user error rather than PBS error.
In response to Calen, the problem is with the c/o line provided by the PBS software, so I have no control over formatting. The zip+4 idea would be a good one in most contexts, but my situation is a little different - all of our campus mail is delivered by the USPS to an on-campus mailroom, which then sorts it for individual buildings, offices, etc., so the zip+4 is completely ignored. I think we have our own dedicated zip code anyway.
In response to Cathy (roughly in reverse order of suggestions);
- I'm quite sure the problem is a PBS error, since the problem shows up on-screen when I ask the PBS software what address the book was sent to. All of the problem books have had PBS wrappers.
- I haven't ever clicked "send to an alternate address", so this isn't the problem.
- there's been no correlation with whether the sender used delivery confirmation
- I can't remember if there's been any correlation with printable postage, and of course I don't know if the sender used the "backup wrapper" screen. I'll try to keep better track, and perhaps PM senders to find out if they're doing anything non-standard whenever this problem shows up.
Thank you to everyone for the ideas, and I welcome more suggestions. I'll try to provide more info as I get it. I can only guess how hard it must be to identify an odd programming glitch when it only occurs unpredictably.