Tag Archives: postcode

Postcode Lottery

One of the issues with new developments is that no one is able to find your new address. Either delivery drivers, online shopping systems, financial services, etc.

We’ve tried to reduce the effect by
A) getting Royal Mail to activate the address on their PAF (postcode address file) as soon as we could, right after we exchanged. This file is updated daily and used by data providers who in turn supply the data to companies.
B) submitting map updates, error reports to various Map providers, Google, Navteq, Waze, etc. so hopefully get included on the next round of Sat Nav updates.
C) Finding the nearest existing postcode and supplying that in delivery notes for drivers to plug in to their Sat Navs.

so far the best performer has been Ocado, who managed to manually add us to their database and their drivers generally manage to find us without issue and they can add their own notes to the address for other drivers.

the worst performer has been: the Government! Even 3 months on I can’t use the DirectGov portal to update my driving license or HMRC details. They have no real support route for anyone knowledgeable to look at the issue and their pages say they update their PAF data within 2 weeks. #EGovernmentFail!

To be fair, local government seems better, with the district council having more of an idea.
Not too sure about the county council as I can’t get register to their Broadband campaign with the address, but that may use a different data set entirely. We’ll see how good their data is when it comes to school applications and they need to work out catchment and distance to the front door.

Personally, i think part of the problem is probably with one dataset provider as i know a previous employer uses them and they can’t provide insurance quotes based on my address. Not sure whether it’s their dataset or the frequency of updates the client has signed up to.

The other really annoying thing is when delivery drivers blame us for not finding the address!

Home Insurance – Computer says No

One of the standard mortgage requirements was to arrange buildings insurance. This is not as easy when dealing with a new development and roads where the postcodes are not yet live.

My mortgage provider, kindly, passed on my details to one insurance provider Legal & General who called up and were able to provide a quote based on a neighbouring postcode. their pricing was rather steep and definitely wanted some comparisons before diving in.

I had managed to get Royal Mail to activate the post code and add it to the Postcode Address File which gets updated daily. However not all companies use the daily updates and a lot of insurance companies (based on my financial services experience) use Experian as their data provider who update on a monthly basis.

After a bit of trial and error did manage to find that the AA Home Insurance site allows you to manually enter the address if the postcode doesn’t lookup correctly. Also comparethemarket also allows manual entry, although you get a limited number of quotes back (but enough for some basic comparison), mostly seemed to be underwritten by Axa.

Although some others came out cheaper, I went with the AA in the end as it offered electronic documentation that i could send off straight to my solicitors rather than risk having to wait for paper documents to send off ahead of completing. It also qualified for £38 cashback on Quidco so not a lot in it pricewise in the end.