Billing & Purchasing
Data, Quality & Reliability
Do international and UK lookups use the same credits?
Yes, there is only one type of credit.
Both the Global Address Auto-Complete and the legacy UK Postcode Lookup products use the same credits. You buy credits into your account either as PAYG packs or on a monthly plan.
There is an option of using a reduced quality of data on the UK Postcode Lookup service, this is called "street level data" and each lookup the uses 0.8 credit. Please contact us if you think this may be of interest.
For high usage in the UK, we offer the option of annual licences. This is part of the Royal Mail PAF licence. Please speak to us for details.
Do PAYG credits expire?
Yes. Credits have a 12 month shelf life. Due to licensing conditions from some of our data providers.
The credit pack expiry period starts on the day you first use that credit pack, not on the day of purchase. This means that there is no penalty for topping up your account early.
Do you send alerts before PAYG credits run out or expire?
Yes, we send emails when your credit balance drops below certain "trigger" levels. The trigger levels can be adjusted in MyAccount.
We also send an email if your credit pack gets within 30 days of expiring (each credit pack has a maximum of 12 months to be used).
There is also the option of setting up an auto top-up. This way you don't have to worry about running out of credit. We top up your account as needed.
Only one pack on your account is ever active. If you have multiple packs, they get used in turn and each will get a full 12 month shelf life, so there is no penalty for topping up early.
Please ensure that we do have a valid email address and phone number for you. This is important so that if your account runs out of credit we can contact you before suspending the account.
How does the monthly plan work?
The monthly plan is designed to be best value for customers with fairly steady usage month on month. In most cases, the monthly plan will be cheaper than PAYG.
To start a monthly plan:
- Decide on how many credits you need each month - this 'commitment' or inclusive level can be set in steps of 50 credits, starting at 250
- Set up a direct debit mandate
- You are invoiced for your inclusive credits
- If your usage goes above the inclusive level, we add the additional credits to your next invoice
For example, if you sign up for 1,000 credits per month and use 1,100 in a given month. Your next invoice will show 1,000 * 2.25p + 100 * 2.5p = £25+vat.
Please note that unused inclusive credits do not roll over to the next month.
To stop a monthly plan:
- Call or email us giving us one month's notice
- We stop your account or switch you to PAYG as requested
Our business is based outside the UK, do we need to pay VAT?
We are happy to issue VAT free invoices for eligible customers.
Please contact us and provide proof that you are entitled to purchase free of VAT in the UK. We can set your account to be VAT free and any future invoices will not include VAT.
How accurate is your data?
We source our data from a number of selected providers, including the Royal Mail, HERE and Ordnance Survey.
This means that our address data is the most current and up to date available. For most countries, our data is updated monthly or quarterly. In the UK it is updated on a daily basis.
How often do you update your UK data?
The UK PAF® data is updated on a daily basis.
The Royal Mail PAF® changes constantly - new addresses are added and properties are built or modified, addresses are removed and errors corrected. We make sure that our data is always reflecting the current state of the official PAF® data base.
What is your web service uptime?
We aim for 100% uptime including updates and maintenance.
Since 2008 when our postcode lookup web service went live we have had no down time at all.
Our web service is structured in a way that makes it robust to failures :
- It is delivered from two completely autonomous data centres. Each location can handle 100% of the load and does not depend on any other part of our system.
- We run on a distributed anycast DNS infrastructure, providing active fail over between our locations. This is managed for us by DYN Inc.
- All updates and maintenance are performed without taking the system off line.
How long do PAYG credits last?
Some of our data suppliers specify that all credit must expire within 12 months.
Any pay-as-you-go credit packs purchased from Crafty Clicks will last for a maximum of one year from the date that they are first used. If multiple packs are purchased at the same time, the expiry periods will run consecutively and each pack will have a full 12 month shelf life.
Why do I have to accept multiple sets of terms and conditions?
Our data is supplied by a number of suppliers, including the Royal Mail PAF® and HERE. Use of some of the data sets require agreement with end user terms.
When you sign up for an account with us, you will need to read and agree to our terms of trade as well as the end user terms for specific data sets/suppliers.
Do you provide a sandbox test environment?
Yes, free trial accounts are available.
Signing up for a trial account with us, gives full access to the data for a limited number of requests. There is no commitment and no credit card is required, you only pay if you decide to use our service on a live system.
On the UK Postcode Lookup service, we also have some free postcodes you can test with. The free test postcodes can be used with or without an access token. They are : AA11AA, AA11AB, AA11AD and AA11AE.
Do you provide county/province names?
Yes, our API does return province and UK county names where available.
In UK, since the postcodes were fully implemented, the Royal Mail have stopped supporting counties and they are no longer required as part of a postal address. There is no central authority in the UK to define a single set of counties and their boundaries. There are at least three different sets of county names in circulation :
- Former Postal - as used by Royal Mail in the past for mail delivery purposes
- Traditional - the "real" county names going back in history
- Administrative - this includes unitary authorities
More information about the confusion around county names in the UK can be found on Wikipedia.
Our advice is to leave county names out of UK addresses completely. The county name is not needed as part of an address in the UK and Royal Mail sorting machines would ignore it anyway. However, our system does provide a choice of traditional and former postal county names for customers who do require this data.
How fast does your API respond?
In most cases our API servers will respond in well under 10ms.
The exact speed of response will depend on the internet connection speed. Once all the DNS and connection overheads are included, total response times your application is likely to see should always be well below 200ms. We monitor our API performance from a variety of locations around the world.
My access token is visible in HTML, is that safe?
The risk is small and we do provide a way to make it secure.
There are two ways to reduce the risk of your token being abused :
- Our system allows a token to be locked to a specific domain(s). Usage on any other domains will be denied.
- Use a data relay script on your own server. This will hide your token on your server and you can implement additional security there.
Please get in touch if you would like more information on this topic.
What is an ‘access token’?
The access token is like a user name and password combined. It gives access to our APIs.
When you sign up for a trial account, a trial access token is created for you automatically and sent to your email address. While your account is in trial mode, your token should only be used for testing and evaluation.
When you purchase credits, the same access token is activated and can then be used for postcode lookups on a live system.
Your developers will need the access token in order to add (integrate) the postcode lookup to your application or website.