Howmuch

How Much Could 1K Cost You?

The “butterfly effect” is a well-known part of Chaos Theory, where a small event in one location results in a significant action in another.  In this case a butterfly flapping its wings leads to a series of events which results in a hurricane happening several weeks later.

In many ways address quality and delivery are similarly connected, where something as trivial as a missing letter can have major implications down the chain.

Take, for example, the hypothetical case of a person buying a camera online inadvertently missing the “K”, when manually typing their delivery details.

The delivery label was printed including the postcode M1 1AA rather than MK1 1AA, camera packed up and e-mail confirmation of order sent to the buyer.

The camera company then passed the package over to its 3rd party shipper to deliver the goods and the goods headed off to the shippers regional depot in Manchester rather than the intended Milton Keynes.

In the Manchester depot the error on the label is discovered and the package is returned to the camera company to handle the problem.

The camera company then gets in touch with the customer to confirm the correct address details and the goods finally arrive at the correct destination some 2 weeks late.

And the result?

One frustrated customer who is blaming the retailer and shipper for poor delivery; a retailer who is probably out of pocket as a result of further delivery charges from the shipper and many unnecessary miles and additional work.

All because of a missing K!

Ensure your deliveries arrive at the right address by validating data at the point of entry.


  • Simon Hill

    I live in Manchester and this exact thing happened to me when a parcel addressed to someone I had never met was delivered. I contacted the seller and after a day or two they asked me to forward the item on to a chap in Milton Keynes after he had made a postcode error!!

    He was lucky I am honest or he may never have received that model train set.

  • Bart

    Might not even be a hypothetical camera – could be a hypothetical library boo, or just a nic-nac. Great post – thans! Maes a change from nee-jer stuff about Jimmy Savile!! I now what you’re taling about and I thin it hits the mar. :)

  • Gary F.

    Great post. Love the way chaos theory was weaved into postal codes. (I know what you mean, a few missing K cost me some of my staff!)

  • Gordon Jones

    Like Simon, the same thing happened to me when I received a brand new bed due to the wrong address being entered by the customer. This is an issue that is well related to the Chaos Theory. Nice blog post.