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Address management becomes crucial for big businesses

Richard Jones Archive

For large corporations that find themselves managing hefty volumes of consumer information, it's important to stay constantly vigilant about the accuracy of that information. This is especially true when it comes to contact data - if a business is collecting addresses and phone numbers for millions of people, there are going to be changes happening every day. People are always moving and changing phones, and corporations must adjust.

It's clear that address management should be a key priority for anyone, but that's especially true for big businesses, for obvious reasons. The more people you're working with, bigger the blowback will be when you make mistakes.

CNBC recently published an alarming example of when contact data management went wrong in the corporate setting. The Prudential Insurance headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, recently sent a large batch of 1099 tax forms to the wrong addresses. The company mails out 4 million 1099s each year, and this year, 700 of them were mistakenly sent. That may only be a small percentage of the company's customers, but it caused a significant level of outcry from those 700 people, not to mention a technical fiasco and a PR firestorm.

The trouble was that the mistakenly mailed forms include a great deal of information that can lead to identity theft - the people's names, Social Security numbers and financial information were all included. As a result, Prudential has had to take considerable action to apologize to the affected customers. The company is offering to pay for two years of credit monitoring services for each individual, as well as any amended tax filings that those customers may have had to submit.

Making mistakes with contact information can be costly for anyone, but for big businesses, it's especially important to be careful. Verifying addresses now can stave off a multitude of headaches later.