A technical blunder by our mailing house resulted in the wrong address information being printed on the envelopes of our just-released Fall issue. This resulted in non-renewing subscribers getting issues while those who subscribed since June didn't get anything. In addition, last issue warnings weren't printed on the envelopes of those subscribers whose last issue was Fall and any changes entered since June weren't relected on the envelopes.
Approximately 1500 issues will have to be remailed via first class mail on Monday. We will work throughout the weekend to ensure this deadline is met.
Until fairly recently, we had been using individual people who would spend a long time stuffing envelopes and affixing labels. When the workload became too heavy for this, we started to use a mailing house, which printed the information directly onto the envelopes. We first noticed a problem when their programming "intelligently" began to alter our address information. Nonstandard zip codes seemed to disappear entirely, which fouled up international subscribers. Prisoner addresses had problems due to nonstandard PO box formats. And other parts of subscriber addresses would without explanation be cut off, abbreviated, or otherwise changed.
This was the issue where all of the problems were to be fixed once and for all. Instead, the morons mixed up the old file we had given them to fix with the new file that had the current mailing information. We don't know how we'll do mailings in the future but it most certainly will not be with these people.
We don't believe there is any cause for concern as regards the security of the list itself. We signed a legal contract with the company that requires them to return our disk after each mailing. At no time is a copy to be made onto their system. Had we not given them the old file ourselves to investigate the above problems, we would be pursuing vigorous legal action against them for violating the agreement. Again, we have no evidence that this ever happened nor do we believe it did. Since all of our mail goes through the same post office, it would be a lot easier for any snooping authorities to go that route anyway. Regardless, we always advise our subscribers to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.
We apologize for the utter stupidity that led to this disruption.