A parcel posted from Britain with Ireland clearly marked as its destination ended up in Canada — leaving the intended recipient to question whether the Eircode he gave in his address may have played a role in the mix-up.
Richie Gardiner, a presenter on Spirit Radio in Co Wicklow, had ordered computer parts from England at the start of August and requested them to be delivered to his work address.
Approximately a month later, when there was no sign of the package, he called the supplier and said it must have been lost. They sent out a replacement via UPS.
However, the original parcel did then arrive — with “Missentto Canada” emblazoned in large red writing across the bottom.
“So why did Royal Mail in the UK send this to Canada by mistake?” he wrote on his blog. I can’t help wondering if this could be something to do with [the fact] Ireland’s new controversial Eircode system is similar to Canada’s postal-code system, perhaps?”
He said both Eircode and Canada’s postal- code system is split into two parts with Eircode using a routing key and a unique identifier, while Canada’s code is similarly split between forward sortation area, and the local delivery unit.
Mr Gardiner said he would wonder whether someone in Royal Mail made the mistake or whether it was a computer error.
A spokesman for Auto- address, which was involved in the establishment of Eircode, laid the blame firmly at the door of Royal Mail, pointing out that the first thing that should have been looked at was the bottom line of the address which clearly said “Ireland”.
It also responded to Mr Gardiner’s tweet about his experience with a link to a sketch by comedian Dara O’Briain, who says how all expats living abroad, when sending a letter home, will write their address in normal writing before putting “Ireland” in big block capitals.
Eircode was launched in July at a cost of approximately €27m.
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