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Topic: Zip + 4

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Subject: Zip + 4
Date Posted: 1/12/2015 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2014
Posts: 65
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OK, I changed my TO address on a shipment so that my mother would receive the books.  We both live in the same town, so I stopped changing the address after I changed the street address.  I just noticed that The TO address now has my zip + 4 code, not hers, which is different.  The books have already been shipped, so I can't change it now.  WIll this matter, and, if so, what can I do about it?  The main five digit zip code is the same for both of us, only the + 4 part is different.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2015 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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The books will get there. They may take one extra day if you and your mother have different mail carriers.

However, it is a bug in the PBS software that it didn't update the plus-4 part of the ZIP code when it validated the new address; so you should report it so they can fix it. To do that, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the Contact Us link under Company, then use the Send Us Feedback button.

Date Posted: 1/12/2015 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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If it's a package, it probably won't affect the shipping time at all.

if it was letter mail or flats, it might affect it.

most letter mail is DPSed (delivery point sequence) they are sorted on machines down to the carrier's line of travel, so all the carrier has to do is pull the tray, take it to the street and start delivering.

flats (large envelopes) are sorted similarly, but not to the same extent. usually just routes in major cities have DPSed flats. 

the DPS machines use the +4 to get the mail into walk sequence

parcels are only sorted to the 5 digit zip code, then they are further sorted to the carriers at the station/branch. That sort is done by hand, and the clerks look at the name/address not the + 4.

Subject: Zip + 4
Date Posted: 1/13/2015 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2014
Posts: 65
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The books arrived OK!!  I did make a report to PBS as well to alert them to the problem.

Last Edited on: 1/13/15 1:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/14/2015 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,785
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Brandy, the info you shared above is very educational - thank you!  I include zip + 4 for family members I mail cards to frequently, thinking it would assist them to move quicker through the USPS system. Now I know the real use for those last 4 digits.