The use of bad addresses in Intelligent Mail® barcodes has been blamed for mail being continuously looped to and from processing plants.
Returned mail that has a barcode on it will be scanned again and if it contains a bad address, the likelihood is it will go back to the listed destination, according to a report in from the Dead Tree blog.
As the practice of not "obliterating barcodes" is discussed within the United States Postal Service (USPS®) and talks of changing the method to manually checking data on returned mail to ensure the correct address is on it, users are reminded to always verify the address on the barcode to ensure no problems are experienced.
Monica Lundquist of Window Book Inc explained the process to the news source: "When the carrier determines that the recipient is no longer at the address on the mailpiece
the mail carrier manually crosses out the barcode on the mailpiece so that the piece does not get re-directed to the old or bad address."
However, she noted that this cannot be done on Intelligent Mail pieces as tampering with the barcode will stop any address correction
being put onto the system.