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Why should I present the validated address back to my client for review?

Question

I've been using your address verification services (LiveAddress API) for a while and the results seem to be very accurate. With that said, do I still need to present the address to my customer for their approval?

Answer

Quick answer, you don't "have to". You control the interface and can easily choose to present the address to your customer only if there are multiple matches or if the address needs correction.

The good answer is, just do it anyway. It's a good practice and can keep you out of a bind with your customers. Here's an example.

Input address:

PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10011

Output address:

PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10040-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10008-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10150-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10163-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10024-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10116-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10002-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10009-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10012-0004
PO Box 4 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10013-0004

There are at least 10 addresses in New York, NY that have a PO Box 4. But NONE that have that exact 10011 ZIP code. Thus our system gives you multiple results. If you were to take the first deliverable result and just run with it, it would be delivered to the wrong PO Box 4. Just hand the address back the customer along with the multiple options and ask them to verify which one they meant. It lets your customer remain in control and allows you to be sure you are only working with good addresses.

The output address is a completely valid address but is not in the 10011 ZIP code that was input. In fact, there is no PO Box 4 in ZIP 10011. Had this address been passed on and the letter mailed out, it would have been delivered to the wrong person. So, even when the system can determine a valid address, it's a good idea to let the customer check it.