MAILERS+4:Using Phone Check

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The Phone Check feature in MAILERS+4 enables you to verify and the Area Code + Prefix of telephone and fax numbers in a list. In addition, it can update your phone list with new Area Codes, correct missing or wrong area codes, check for distance errors and apply a standard format to phone numbers. All of these operations are done in a single pass on two phone numbers field at the same time. The result is an up-to-date phone number list that is more accurate. Phone Check can append Error Codes to your list that indicates the type of problem. The typical speed of Phone Check is 24,000 records per minute or 1,440,000 records per hour. Phone Check is a standard feature of MAILERS+4. You'll find it under the List menu.

Verifying Area Code + Prefix

Each phone number in a list is compared to the Phone Check database of Area Codes + Prefixes. Only the first six digits of the phone number are checked. The last four digits are not. For example, with the phone number 949-589-5200, the 949 (Area Code) + 589 (Prefix) are verified. The suffix 5200 is ignored.

Phone numbers with the special Area Codes of "800", "900", "888", "877" and "866" are not verified. If a phone number is preceded by a "1", the "1" is ignored and the rest of the number is checked. International phone numbers starting with a "0" are ignored. Phone number extensions are ignored. Phone numbers that have only seven digits can be checked, but Phone Check needs to assume an Area Code. If you have seven-digit phone numbers in your list, you will need to enter a Local Area Code in the option box.

Updating Area Codes

Twenty new Area Codes will be added in the U.S. and Canada in 2002. When a new Area Code is added there is a transition period of 6 to 12 months when dialing either the old Area Code or new Area Code will work. At the end of the transition period, only the new Area Code will work. To find and update these Area Codes in a list is a daunting job that Phone Check does with ease. Simply check the box "Update Area Codes" and Phone Check will look for Area Codes + Prefix combinations that have split. The number of records modified with new Area Codes is displayed in the summary screen at the end or processing.

Correcting Area Codes

The Phone Check feature will also correct missing or wrong Area Codes. To use this feature you must check the option "Correct Area Codes" and have formatted the City, State and ZIP Code fields. If Phone Check finds a wrong or missing Area Code, it uses the City, State and ZIP Code information to add the correct Area Code. The feature does not work with Canadian phone numbers.

Phone Number Formatting

Another powerful feature of Phone Check is number formatting. If you have lists with phone numbers that have been entered in different formats, Phone Check will clean them up for you in no time at all. You select one of six predefined formats or enter a custom one. Phone Check will format good records to the selected format. If you don't want to reformat your phone numbers, simply choose the "Keep Original" box.

Error Codes

To know which records have phone number problems, you'll need to have an error field formatted. There are two types of error fields. The first is a Phone Error field #1 and #2 that are only used by Phone Check. The second is a general "Error Code" field that is used by other MAILERS+4 operations. There is a list of all error codes in Appendix C of the User's Manual.

The Phone Check Database

MAILERS+4 includes a database of over 120,000 Area Code + Prefix combinations in the U.S. and Canada. Area Code + Prefixes originate from a Wire Centers. A Wire Center is a physical building that handles local phone lines. Up to 35 prefixes can be serviced by a one Wire Center. There are over 24,000 Wire Centers in the U.S. and Canada. The Phone Check database includes the latitude & longitude coordinate of the Wire Center. It uses this coordinate to calculate the distance from the Wire Center to the 5-digit ZIP Code centriod. The Phone Check database is updated every quarter and is also available as a separate database product called FONE*Data.


Phone Check is a unique and powerful feature of MAILERS+4 that will help keep your list cleaner, more accurate and up-to-date. If you have any questions or comments about Phone Check, call 1-800-MELISSA.