Hold for Pickup Goes on Hold to Study Test Results

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Dell Inc., Austin, TX, confirmed last week that it completed its test of the Hold for Pickup service in December. Both the company and the U.S. Postal Service are studying the results before deciding whether to proceed further.

Dell began using this feature from the postal service Oct. 10. Hold for Pickup gives mailers shipping high-value and heavyweight goods the option to let the USPS hold packages at local post offices for 10 calendar days instead of dropping them off at consumers' homes.

If the package is not picked up within three days of arrival, the USPS sends another notice to the customer. Items will be held for 10 days before being returned to the shipper. The service is available in 5,600 of the country's 38,000 post offices.

Dell used the service for customers buying its lower-priced desktop and notebook computers. The only charge was a handling fee, which is included on all Dell purchases. Independent shipper APX Logistics transported the computers to the post offices. Then, postal workers scanned the packages and notified Dell so it could inform customers the packages were available.

"We made the [Hold for Pickup] option available to our customers for a limited time in test mode," Dell spokeswoman Jennifer Davis said. "We are currently reviewing the results of the pilot and will make a decision for our next steps based on customer feedback."

Dell would not divulge how many computers were shipped using Hold for Pickup or any specifics from the pilot.

USPS spokeswoman Joanne Veto said that Dell was the only Hold for Pickup client and that test results were being evaluated.

"When we finish completing the evaluation, we will make a decision about the future of the program," Veto said.

APX Logistics also said it was in the process of analyzing its results.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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