USPS Tests Delivery Confirmation/Merchandise Return Program

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The U.S. Postal Service is testing a program that combines its Delivery Confirmation Service and merchandise return service.

The Delivery Confirmation Service provides Standard B, Parcel Post or Priority Mail package mailers with information about the delivery of packages, and the merchandise return service allows mailers to have their customers return unwanted merchandise at no cost but at a 30-cent fee plus postage to the mailer.

The program, according to the USPS, allows mailers to test confirmations about merchandise returns in advance of receiving the returned package "[thereby] helping companies keep better track of their inventory," said Gerry McKiernan, a spokesman for the USPS' Expedited/Package Services division. "Basically, when a customer receives an unwanted package from a mail carrier, the customer can open it, wrap it up if they don't want it, and the carrier can scan it right away, letting Delivery Confirmation customers know that it is coming before it gets there."

During the test phase, which debuted earlier this month, direct merchandise returns -- with Delivery Confirmation Service barcodes on the label -- are sent to the USPS Postage Due Unit in Fort Worth, TX. Mailers also can direct their returns to the USPS Boynton Beach, FL, facility. Additional destinations will be added after the initial six weeks of the test.

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