The US Postal Service is eliminating the “Return Receipt for Merchandise” service designed to help merchants prove that they mailed orders to customers and that those orders were delivered.
The USPS called the service redundant and said its termination would reduce customer confusion and would save the agency money by eliminating PS Form 3804 inventory and distribution costs.
The USPS had marketed Return Receipt for Merchandise as being useful for any sender who wanted to have both proof of mailing and proof of delivery. “Get proof that you sent an item and proof it was delivered,” it stated on its website.
The service cost $4.30, but it’s unclear what its appeal was for merchants since they have the option of using USPS Signature Confirmation for $3.15.
Here’s what merchants who currently use Return Receipt for Merchandise should know:
“Effective July 1, 2020, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be eliminating Return Receipt for Merchandise service. The extra service will be eliminated from all USPS systems, software applications, publications, manuals and forms. The extra service options that are available for customers due to the elimination of Return Receipt for Merchandise are Signature Confirmation or Certified Mail with Electronic Return Receipt.”
In addition, the USPS provided the following information:
Customers in need of signatures will continue to have the following options:
- Signature Confirmation, which is an extra service that is available for a fee of $3.15 at Retail Offices and provides the mailer with an electronic version of the signature obtained during delivery.
- Certified Mail is the other option for customers that is available for a fee of $3.55 at Retail Offices (plus the fee for Return Receipt) and provides the sender with a mailing receipt and, upon request, electronic verification that an article was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made.
Many sellers rely simply on tracking for packages unless they are high-ticket items. The USPS recently launched a “Premium Tracking” service which, for a fee, extends the length of time that customers can access the tracking history of a domestic package – you can read more on this February 4th EcommerceBytes Newsflash article.