Why compulsory post/zip code boxes?

  polymath 21:05 13 Sep 2005

I live in the republic of Ireland, where there are no postcodes except in a few cities (and even Dublin has only numbers 1 to about 20).

On paper forms, we can put whatever we like (eg an explanation) on the postcode line, but web forms don't have much room, and they sometimes even reject a bit of garbage as an 'invalid post/zip code'.

No doubt this beef seems very trivial, but I'm afraid I can't help feeling irritated by it!

I suspect that someone once designed the generic database that everyone seems to use, and nobody's given it any thought since, apart from Irish organisations and maybe other countries' (does every country in that generic drop-down list really use post/zip codes?)

I'm a Brit, and remember the introduction of postcodes, with the Post Office's 'Use Your Postcode' campaign. But who, with a postcode, would now decide to omit it if they want something to get to them through the post? And that's about the most usual reason for using a web form.

In case you think we're deprived, postcodes just aren't necessary in most of Eire. We don't want them, and our Post Office doesn't want them. The only people here who think they want them are the direct mailers. But the people in each rural location are so mixed that I don't think it would do any good.

Thank you for the soapbox, if you got this far - I feel much better now! And the situation does make for some entertaining address lines on our post (some database out there has my postcode as 'I haven't got a b').

  polymath 21:09 13 Sep 2005

I forgot to ask - at what point does one tick a Speakers' Corner topic as resolved?

  Pooke 21:25 13 Sep 2005

Postcodes make the post easier to deliver, I can tell roughly by looking at a postcode where an area is. The system makes sense, there's plenty of areas or streets with same name.

Perefct example, there's a Rathcoole in Dublin and there's a Rathcoole in Belfast. If you used postcodes more often then the mail wouldn't get mixed up.

Websites are catering for the majority, most countries (I'm assumming here, may be wrong) have advanced mail services and use postcodes/zip codes.

Tick the resolved box when you feel it has been resolved.

  polymath 21:41 13 Sep 2005

The post office in the Republic doesn't seem to agree with you, Pooke (otherwise I'm sure we'd all be glad to have postcodes here).

I know the Republic and the North have some identical placenames, but don't people put their country on their address when communicating internationally?

I know websites cater for the majority, but I can't imagine anyone with a postcode omitting it, if the postcode fields were voluntary (and so catered for the minority as well).

  Diodorus Siculus 21:50 13 Sep 2005

Related to this is the surprise some people express when they see that many addresses in Eire don't have house numbers / names. The country is still small enough for the postal service to be able to deliver in a village where people are known by name :-)

  Pooke 21:57 13 Sep 2005

Many people forget there postcodes, they need to remember them, it delays the mail otherwise. Quite a few people don't know their postcodes, they don't think they need to know them.

With just the postcode and house number is suffice info to accurately deliver an item of mail. These websites are mostly commercial and they want mail to go to the right place, which is understandable.

In relation to my example many people address mail for here as just Ireland so where does it go the south or the north? both are Ireland - The postcode is the answer.

Main Street

Main Street
BT37 1AA

Are they the same places? well they could be, although if I was in the post office I would send the top one to the republic and send the bottom one with the postcode to belfast.

Bottom line is they want a postcode, they want their mail to get to the right place.


  Pooke 21:59 13 Sep 2005

That's a factor I'd forgotten about.


  Diodorus Siculus 07:42 14 Sep 2005

Pooke - further to that, any address in Eire usually has the county at the end so you would have:

Main Street, Rahtcoole, Co. Dublin

I don't know of two towns with the same name within the same county.

  jack 08:55 14 Sep 2005

My postman comes by with my letters on a split stick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Chegs ® 10:15 14 Sep 2005

I don't know of two towns with the same name within the same county.

Here in Cumbria,we have a definite need for postcodes,as we have Parton(small village 2 miles from me)and Parton(small village 24 miles from me)Mirehouse(a large estate within the town I reside in)Mirehouse(a small village a few miles away)These are just two I know about,I'm certain there will be others. :-)

  Pooke 10:16 14 Sep 2005

We used to get mail that was meant for Rathcoole in Dublin. My example was first hand experience I was a Postman in North Belfast and my duty was part of Rathcoole.

I am not arguing that accurately addressed mail won't get to where it's going I am saying Postcodes are better, more efficient and most importantly more accurate.


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