I recently posted about MADD’s failure, for over a year, to stop sending me junk mail.
I remain somewhat appalled by what happened, but I think it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Since I sent them the complaint which I posted, they have been quite responsive, culminating with this email which I received yesterday from a senior employee of the organization:
We have gotten to the bottom of what happened, so I wanted to update you.
We have two different databases – one ([elided]) that handles our online constituents and another ([elided]) that handles our direct mail and telemarketing supporters. We’ve only recently started to send mail to those who have signed up online and thus we’ve been pulling those names by hand.
What we discovered is that when our vendor ran the [elided] names against our do-not-mail file, they were only eliminating exact matches. Thus, if [elided]’s address had “Street” and [elided]’s address had “St.”, the two addresses wouldn’t be considered the same.
To prevent what happened to you from happening to others, we’ve taken a few steps:
- We are running all addresses through address standardization before checking the do-not-mail file; this should allow addresses to match regardless of how they are stored in the database.
- We are counting matches by household, not by name. Thus, if a husband asked not to receive any mailings, we would not send to the wife (or vice versa). This also prevents us from having problems when a person’s name is (for example) Bob in one database or Robert in the other
- We are working to sync our databases together automatically, so there isn’t room for human error (or, rather, there isn’t as much room for it).
Again, I’m sorry you had to receive so many extra mailings so that we could get our act together, but I do appreciate you helping us prevent it from happening to others.
While it’s unacceptable that it took them so long to solve this problem, it’s important to recognize that they’ve clearly now got their act together. This is definitely a case of “better late than never.” Thank you, MADD, for doing the right thing.