Although it might seem like we’ve always used ZIP codes to send snail mail, it was not always so. In fact, it’s only the 50th birthday of the string of digits introduced by the United States Postal Service e to make the mail system a whole lot speedier. So unpopular was the ZIP code at first that the USPS had to embark on a marketing campaign featuring Mr. Zip to convince people to use it. Side note: 99950 is the highest ZIP code in the U.S., for Ketchikan, Alaska. [Time]
How many times have you been asked “May I have your ZIP code?” when paying with a credit card? Many people just assume it’s for security purposes, but in reality it’s more likely that you may have just given marketers access to a wealth of knowledge about you and your shopping habits. [More]
Don’t want your mailbox crammed with circulars? Neither did a Massachusetts resident who used a credit card at Michaels and was asked for her ZIP code to complete the transaction in 2011. She’s not alone — a few years ago California ruled against retailers that asked customers for ZIP codes when using credit cards.
It’s been less than a week since the California Supreme Court issued a ruling forbidding retailers from asking for your ZIP code when making a purchase. In that short time, more than a dozen different lawsuits have been filed against retailers as a result.
If you live in California and you’ve ever been annoyed or concerned about giving out your ZIP code when making a credit card purchase, the state’s Supreme Court has issued a ruling that should appeal to you.
A Postal Service worker told Chris he wasn’t allowed to send packages from that specific office because the return address was from a zip code other than the one where the office was located, and thus the location wouldn’t receive credit for the transaction.
Richard has a warning for the Consumerist community: he writes that if you mess up a zip code on an overnight UPS package, they will charge you an $11 “address adjustment” fee to fix it. Excessive? Richard thought so, and UPS was nice enough to waive it when he asked.
Prospective home buyers may need to pony up more cash up front to secure a mortgage if they are looking to buy in one of hundreds of zip codes that lenders now consider “soft markets.” Countrywide and GMAC recently ranked over 1,000 zip codes on a risk scale of 1-5. Lenders to moderate risk zip codes, ranked 1-3, may require borrowers to pay an additional 5% down payment. Unlucky buyers in high risk zip codes, ranked 4 or 5, are now automatically required to put down the extra 5%.